Flooring for attic


This past weekend I finally got around to putting an attic ladder in my house. The attic floor is 2X6's 16"OC. It has some tongue and groove flooring in part of the attic, but I wanted to add more flooring. What is typically used for flooring, just regular plywood or something else?
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"Typically" would depend on what you plan to use the attic for.
In my crawlspace attic, which is just for storage, I used 1/2" ply, since all I ever do is crawl around up there to move boxes around. If I was going to be walking around, I'd probably go with something stronger.
Also keep in mind that you have to get it up into the attic. That may be why part of the floor is T&G. Individual strips of wood are easy to fit through the opening. I couldn't get full sheets of plywood up into my attic via the pulldown ladder, so I cut it into 24" x 16" wide strips so it would fit atop the joists.
One last issue: the insulation.
If the insulation is going to fit under the floor, in the 2 x 6 spaces, then you don't (or won't) have enough insulation to do much good. You don't want to pack the insulation down since that will cause it to lose some R-value.
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As of now, I have Batts of R-30 that was added on top of the existing insulation. Obviously I have to move some of them over to make room for more flooring, but I guess not much you can do about that.
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Mikepier wrote:

If you remove insulation, it will cost you for heating forever after.
You could add 2x4's or 2x6's edge on edge on the joists to allow room for the insulation under the flooring.
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Bob F wrote:

I'd add the sleepers to hold the storage floor at right angles to the existing joists, with blocking to provide a box section so the floor doesn't collapse when you crawl over it. My attic only has a rather inconvenient scuttle hole in hallway for access, and living alone in a 1400' house with a basement, I didn't really need the storage. So I just insulated over the strip of floor that was near the scuttle hole. Reframing a big hole to add stairs was more pain than I cared to undergo. My attic gets rather hot, so not much could safely be stored up there anyway. Don't forget to build an insulated box with an insulated lid to go over the stairs, or it will act like a chimney leaking all your warm or cooled air go right up into the attic.
And go to harbor freight and buy a cheap set of knee pads and a pair of gloves, and keep them at the top of the stairs. Along with a pack of disposable dust masks, if you are sensitive to insulation dust. Don't know about you, but I can't crawl on wood floors any more, and splinters from rafters and floorboards (not to mention errant fiberglass shards) are a PITA I can do without.
-- aem sends...
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I would go to 5/8 , especially if the rafters are 24"OC. One word of caution-- do not nail it down. Use screws. Nailing to the rafters is a good way to damage the ceiling, knock light fixtures loose, etc. Larry
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Mikepier wrote:

The least expensive might be waferboard which should be strong enough for storing stuff or walking around on. Half inch thick should do the trick.
TDD
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16" OC, attic, limited storage, I would use 3/4" OSB (non- T&G) since I am a big boy. I would let the guys at the BORG rip it down to 2x8 sheets for me.
That should mate flush with the T&G you already have.
Honestly 1/2" 16" OC would be fine for most people.
4x8 T&G OSB or plywood is what is used in a normal situation.
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 11:08:18 -0800 (PST), Mikepier

Just about anything you want. I used 2x4s, 2x6s, and 2x8s, mainly because a sheet of ply can not fit thru the trap door.
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I did this project a couple years ago. I agonized over what sheathing material to use as is my custom. :)
I had 2x4 (full dimensional lumber) and fiber glass roll insulation. I added another nearly full dimensional member to preserve my insulation space by gluing (epoxy) onto the upper face. The span were short like 10' or so becuause of the ceiling / roof design.
I dont know your local heating / cooling environment but you might consider adding a 2x4's (cheap hem-fir) to the upper face of the 2x6's to give save your insulation space and use some thin plywood gussets to hold them in place.
Alternatively you could install them at 90 degrees to the 2x6's & toenail....more of PITA to insulate but the construction would be way faster.
Foam boards have about 2x the R value per inch, if you're tight on head room, you could go with foam.
Anyway....sorry for the "off question" reply
about sheathing thickness....
I fianlly settled on 15/32 OSB which is APA rated at 32/16; 32" rafters for roof or 16" joists for floors.
I'm 205 & my buddy who helped me is closer to 250. Would I use 15/32 for a "real" floor? No way! I'd use 3/4" plywood. But for an attic floor that I walk on maybe once a week....less than $10 a sheet is hard to argue with.
I was concerned 15/32 would be too thin but it has worked out just fine. I screwed it down with Hardi-backer square drive screws (12" o/c) so in case I need to remove it I could. Its a nice tight floor...btw I installed it smooth side up so its really easy to slide boxes around.
cheers Bob
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On Tue, 19 Jan 2010 11:08:18 -0800 (PST), Mikepier

It took them years, but the people here finally convinced me that since I had trusses** holding up the roof (on 24" centers), the bottom part wasn't really meant to hold a floor, that I would walk around on.
Nonetheless, like Derbydad, I had already put in something like a floor. I used 3/8" plywood. iirc. It bends a bit when I walk on it, but I try to step right above a truss.
I have only a hole in the closet ceiling, so I cut the 4x8s into 4'x 16" pieces. Another reason why I didn't use 1/2 inch.
**Each is a triangle, pointing up, with an upside down W inside the triangle. The center has quite a bit of space, plus I had to crawl out to other areas to put in phone lines, ceiling fixtures, co-axial cable for the tv, burglar alarm sirens and wires to the swithhes. Plus electicity to power the roof fan and the light. And now to power the floodlight on the side of the house.
We had a folding stairs in the house I lived in during JHS and HS, and I think there there were no trusses and the partial floor was 1x6's, but plywood wasn't so common then I think. It was a suburban ranch but built maybe 1950. But the roof was shallower and there was less area to stand in, even when I wasn't fully grown.
If you already have tongue and groove, your attic is probably nicer than either of mine.
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Judging by my grandfather's house: old doors.
Sorry. Not helpful, but I couldn't resist.
Cindy Hamilton
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Cindy Hamilton wrote:

It is helpful - old doors make excellent attic flooring. And they're often available for free on Craigslist.
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It took me 20 years to floor my attic. I hauled it up there mostly one piece of plywood at a time adding on as I needed more storage. Most of the stuff I took up there 20 years ago is still there, hasnt been touched since it was first put up.
Jimmie
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