Adding attic floor for storage - Thickness?

spup345April 18, 2007

I have 2x6 joists, 16" O.C.

I already installed attic stairs so now the next step is adding some flooring so I can store stuff up there (books, winter/summer clothes, other items not too heavy or cumbersome to get up the attic stairs). I'll only be walking on the floor to move the boxes around, etc., it won't be anything but storage though.

My dad has some (free) 1/2" plywood, 3/8" plywood, 3/8" tempered masonite, and some 1/4" wall paneling that we can double-up...

For my purposes, are any of the above 'ok' for storage flooring (oriented perpendicular across the joists)?

Is doubling up the 1/4" wall paneling ok?

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sdello

Anything that you're storing on the typical attic joists should be ok on any of those. doubling the 1/4 in. paneling works as well as anything else. you only need to span 16 in.

I wouldn't be storing bricks or anything heavy up there though.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 9:45PM
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davidandkasie

make sure you nail or screw them down. my stepdad put flooring in his attic and did not nail any down. it was only where stuff was to be sitting, not for walking on. well, after moving stuff around and throwing out a bunch, the floor is now walking area. last time i was up there one of the boards went out from under my foot and i ALMOST went thru the ceiling. the boards are now nailed down.

in many areas we doubled up 1/4" and it is fine. any more than a 16" spread needs to be 3/4".

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 10:34AM
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spup345

Thnx folks, I'll go ahead with it. I was going to screw the panels with 1 5/8" drywall screws (w/ pilot holes) in the 4 corners of each piece of wood just to keep it from shifting and leading to the inevitable Tom Hanks money pit scene where he is 1/2 in the floor (loved that movie).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 12:30PM
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ron6519

Did you bring the flooring up to the attic before you installed the stairs? You won't be able to get 4x8 foot sheets up there if you didn't.
I would not put wall paneling on a floor, even doubled.
Ron

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 7:44PM
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sbs9

This isn't over heated space is it?

Because if it is then 6" of attic insulation is around 1/3 to 1/2 of the recommended amount, depending on location and type of insulation.

Since you mention "winter/summer" clothes you probably don't live in the small part of the country where a 6" batt is adequate.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 9:17PM
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homebound

I think plywood is fine, but I wouldn't walk on paneling (even doubled up). 1/2 ply is springy, but will work well enough. Putting 1/2 or 3/8 ply over 1/4 paneling is good enough, too, or vice versa.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 11:48PM
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eal51

Do not skimp on the flooring. To be safe, use the 1/2 plywood and then cross lay the 3/8 over it. This will give you more than enough strength.

Under no circumstances should you ever use panelling in this application.

If you stairway is finished, you will have to cut the plywood into 2' x 4' pieces to get them in the attic area.

Definately use drywall screws to secure the plywood.

Enjoy the journey.

eal51 in western CT

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 6:36AM
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