A loft is an expansive, adaptable space directly under the roof that has been converted for residential use. They are often open spaces with exposed walls, accessed by a ladder or a fixed staircase.

Initially, lofts were primarily created in urban cores for industrial purposes. But what should you know about boarding a loft?

This feature comes in handy when running out of space or storage area in your home. Boarding the loft also reduces the amount of heat lost through the roof. 

The process of boarding a loft is relatively easy. You can do the procedure on your own as a homeowner or as DIY if you are looking to keep your costs down.  

This guide will show you 11 important tips you should know about boarding loft.

Can you use loft boards as floorboards?

In the modern world, where loft boards are becoming a norm, it could be a conflicting choice to decide whether you can use them as floorboards or not. Loft boards are more affordable, cover a large area quickly, and easy to lay than floorboards.

Due to these reasons, several people use loft boards as floorboards. Boards used need to be moisture resistant to survive wet conditions. It should also be appropriately cut and well-fitted on the floor. 

However, when used as floorboards, loft boards can come with some disadvantages: 

  • This could be due to not gluing the joints and using nails or the wrong screws. 
  • It will become loose quickly and sometimes creak when you walk on it. 
  • If much water gets to it, it will expand and fall apart. 
  • It is cumbersome to lift whenever you want to access the floor below and will damage easily, so you have to be extra careful when handling it.

Can you paint loft boards?

As discussed earlier, a loft board is a cheaper furniture alternative to the average wood material for building. The question of whether you can paint it comes in whenever you are looking to blend your colors for convenience.

You can always paint any kind of floor with a suitable primer; thus, it is fortunate to say that it is possible to paint loft boards. 

Loft boards can be acrylic painted. When you use oil or water-based paints, the board will get soaked, making it uneven. 

Do you need to raise loft boards?

When loft boards are perfectly placed, it will allow for free airflow between the panels. When you put the board directly on the joint, insulation reduces. Moisture will condense beneath the boards and drip down, thus causing dampness. You don’t want your space area smelling like fresh damp, do you?

To prevent this from happening, you need to raise the boards. 

Modern properties use standard joist heights of at least 100mm, making a secure raised loft floor that allows for adequate insulation. Products such as loft legs can safely create a raised boarding.

Do You need to stagger loft boards?

Every time you are working on your loft, you should ensure that it comes out as strong as possible. One key factor in doing this will depend on how you lay the loft boards.

It will help if you lay the boards in a staggered pattern, making sure that the joints do not line up. This way, the loft will be much stronger, therefore, able to carry heavier loads.

Can you board a loft without loft legs?

Every time you are boarding a loft, you must consider building regulations and planning permission to make sure that the loft boarding is compliant.

You can not board a loft without using loft legs. The loft leg is great for raising loft boards. It allows enough space below the floor area for insulation and enhances good air circulation.

If you don’t have access to the loft leg, you can use plastic stilts, which is also another cheaper way to board.

Can you use MDF to board a loft?

One thing about boarding a loft is that it does not require a lot of expertise and planning consent. You can efficiently perform this task using the most basic DIYs.

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is a product of wood fibers, and you can use it to board a loft. It is easy to work with, strong, and cheap. Consider buying bigger sheets to cover the entire floor, then screw directly to the joints. See! Very simple!.

In 1994, rumors spread across the British timber industry stating the ban of MDF in Australia and the United States due to formaldehyde emissions.

When preparing MDF, urea-formaldehyde adhesives act as a bonding agent. Formaldehyde, however, post a risk of cancer. This made the United States reduce the limit of safe exposure to 0.3 parts/million.

Can I board my loft and use it as a bedroom?

Lofts feature in most home decor show how expansive and versatile it can be. You could convert the available structure into a new bedroom with suitable space and dimensions.

You can board your loft into a bedroom, although you will need to meet the government’s Building Regulations. These include:

  • The structured bedroom will need a permanent staircase and not a ladder as used in most cases. 
  • Additional joints to support the extra weight of the floor. 
  • Correct fire regulations. 

Can you board a loft with plywood?

The process of boarding a loft is relatively easy. But you will always decide which kind of material you would want to use for boarding.

We can use several loft board materials to create a loft, with Plywood being one of them. It would be best if you used entirely genuine plywood. Although it is a bit expensive, it will last much longer if you’re going to be walking on it.

I suggest you use 3/4″ thick plywood if you use the room as a living space.

Can I board my garage loft?

Walking into a garage full of equipment can be frustrating at times. You might want to keep away the equipment that you don’t need frequently. 

You can board your garage loft and transform that space on top of the roof into more storage shelves.

Be careful not to put anything too heavy, as this might bring the whole roof down. Load light to moderate weight and spread the weight along the roof.

How to support a garage loft?

Most garages do not come with usable floors. You would always need to get the basics before you can remodel. How best to remodel depends on the existing flooring system, requiring you to ultimately support the garage loft.

For firm support, you need to add joist hangers to all the 2×6 ceiling joists, or in some cases, even 2x 4 joists. This will strap the ceiling around the floor perimeter and spread the weight much better. It is advisable to nail a new joist next to the existing joists.

Can you board loft walls?

The task of boarding loft walls is not always entirely straightforward, and it might be a good idea to get assistance from professionals who deal in loft boarding.

The answer to whether you can board loft walls is almost certainly, yes. Whether or not you can board your loft walls, will depend on the amount of space you have.

If your loft is typically a low crawl space, boarding its walls might be a bit pointless. You will use up that existing space, ending up with an even smaller area.

References

How to board a loft

Condensation in loft spaces: Myths and realities

Loft conversions: The ultimate guide

Understanding of Formaldehyde Emissions from Solid Wood: An Overview