How to board your loft
By Warton Woodworks
Want to know how to board your loft? then you have come to the right place. Our skilled tradesmen have boarded many lofts in Essex and London. This article covers everything you need to know about how to board your loft. We take into account insulation requirements, storage and access.
Why board out your loft?
- Is an ideal solution for anyone wanting extra storage space.
- Is a great way to access heating pipes and electrical connections. But only if boards are planned out carefully.
- Makes the loft safer to walk around in. You do not have to worry about watching your step.
- By following our how to board your loft guide below, you can achieve the above.
Things to consider when boarding out your loft
- Consider insulation height and type.
- Consider heating pipes and wires. Ensure easy access to pipes when boarding has been laid. Board around pipes if you can in case there is a leak.
- Consider loft access. Loft legs raise your floor by 175mm. You will need a 1m square space where the floor is level with your hatch. This will help you gain access to your loft (see images at bottom of article).
How to board your loft – Step by step guide:
- Loft legs.
- Loft tongue and groove boards.
- Loft screws
- Drill with Pozi drive (enables rapid screwing)
- Quality dust mask
- Disposable paper suit.
Step 1 – Location and size of loft boarding:
- Decide whether or not the whole loft needs to be boarded.
- Many people only require a small storage area in the loft.
- Large areas of loft boarding can be very expensive.
- Try to place your loft boarding close to the loft hatch.
- Choose an area where there are no water pipes, or anything else you may need access too. If you board over such things it will be difficult to reach it.
- Loft legs raise your loft floor by 175mm. Therefore you may want to install a lower floor next to your loft entrance. This is usually done be placing wood directly on top of the joists.
Step 2 – Insulation height:
- Insulation requirements for homes have risen dramatically. Most older homes have insulation between the joists only, usually 100mm high. Loft boards were simply laid on top of the joists then screwed in.
- Current insulation requirements recommended by the Energy Saving Trust are 270mm. This figure is based on glass fibre wool insulation.
- If you require over 100mm of insulation, then you will need to raise your loft boarding. This can be done using loft legs. These legs are 175mm high and are screwed to your wooden joists. These legs help you achieve the recommended 270mm of insulation.
Step 3 – Insulation types:
- There are many differences between insulation. Warton Woodworks only use glass fibre, space blanket or PIR insulation boards. PIR foam board is more effective then glass wool by a factor of 2. This means 100mm of PIR is equivalent to 200mm of glass fibre wool.
- Usually customers go for standard glass fibre insulation due to its cost effectiveness.
Step 4 – Installing insulation and loft legs:
Please note: If you have very old insulation, consider starting from scratch. Once all is removed you can vacuum between the joists. Expect much dust and insulation particles. Also look out for old nests or hives. The steps below assumes you have removed all your old insulation first:
- Lay 100mm of glass fibre wool between every loft joist. Cut the wool to the correct length and width.
- Now screw the loft leg bases into the joists, using 4 screws per leg. Spacing of the legs will depend upon the floor panel used. Space the legs about 30cm apart as a general rule of thumb.
- You are not ready for step 5.
Step 5 – Installing loft boards:
- Screw your first loft board down on top of your loft legs. First one should be installed furthest away from your loft hatch. Use 2 screws per loft leg. One board should have a total of 8 screws in it. Make sure the orientation of the loft board is correct. Tongue and groove boards are designed to slot together.
- Slide the second loft board into place, so that it joins to the first one. Now screw the board into the legs beneath it using 2 per leg.
- Repeat this process until you lay all of your loft boards.
- You have now completed the how to board your loft guide.
How to board your loft using different insulation:
This project used space blanket and PIR board for insulation. This is different from the how to board your loft guide above. Space blanket is glass fibre wool wrapped in aluminium foil. It offers more protection against itchy fibres, making it more comfortable to lay. PIR board is twice as efficient then glass fibre wool.
Below is a picture of loft legs being used with space blanket insulation. Loft legs are spaced about 30cm apart between every joist. Tongue and Groove chip board is then screwed to the loft legs.
Below is an image of a loft being topped up with more insulation. After we installed space blanket insulation between the rafters, we then placed 200mm space blanket on top. Always make sure you apply more insulation cross ways (90 degree’s to the insulation underneath). This helps to prevent cold spots within your loft.
Below is an image of a loft entrance. Floor level is lower at the loft entrance compared to the storage area. This ensures easy loft access. Celotex rigid foam insulation has been installed around the loft entrance. This customer wanted the very best insulation above his cold bathroom. Other areas of this loft use space blanket.