How to Board a Loft
If you are wondering how to board a loft, you have come to the right place because we just happen to be experts at it.
There is more than one way to board a loft, but before you get started, there are a few things to consider:
- What is your loft space going to be used for?
- What type of insulation do you have and where is it?
- What type of material are you going to board the loft out with?
What is your loft going to be used for?
If you only plan to use your loft as storage space, you might be forgiven for thinking that you can board your loft however you like, but that is not the case.
If the loft of your property has never been boarded or converted before it is likely to be significantly more exposed to the elements than the rest of your house. There are likely to be gaps between the eaves of the roof and the wall which will allow air in from the outside – this is quite normal but it does mean that anything you store in your loft has a chance to get damp, dirty and or smelly.
Provided there is enough airflow in your lofts space it should not get mouldy, but there might be pockets of the loft space which are better ventilated than others.
If you plan to use the loft space to make a proper room in your loft then you will need to put a lot more thought into boarding it out, particularly when it comes to insulation.
What Type of Insulation Do You Have and Where is it?
If you have a virgin loft space there is a good chance that you will have rolls of thick fluffy insulation (rockwool or similar) laid horizontally between the joists.
This insulation is likely to be deeper than the joists which make up the floor of the loft, so if you want to lay new boards to make a floor you have a few options:
- Fix pedestals to the joists and fix boards over the top of the insulation
- Replace the insulation with something thinner and board the joists
- Squash the insulation down and board the joists (not recommended)
- Remove the insulation and board the joists (not recommended)
If you remove or squash the existing insulation you will compromise the energy efficiency of your house and make it much less comfortable.
Insulating between the rafters will help to alleviate this, but having reduced insulation between the existing top floor and the loft will mean that both sound and heat travel between the two more than they should do.
What type of material are you going to use to board the loft with?
Typical loft boards can be made of:
- Chip board
- OSB (oriented strand board)
Plywood is usually stiffer and stronger than a OSB or ship board but it is also more expensive.