Loft Conversion Flooring: Softboard & Chipboard

January 25, 2016 1:00 am

The addition of a loft conversions includes strengthening your existing flooring. Your current flooring is typically not designed for more than light storage (as opposed to human traffic and everyday living). Another reason the flooring is reinforced is because, currently, your joists are only functioning as ceiling joists (floor joists need to be stronger to withstand more weight and use).

A loft conversion expert will properly consult with you on whether there is a need for reinforced steel joists. Wall strength and conversion type will help factor into this decision. At times, existing joists can be doubled or ‘sistered’ in order to provide twice as much strength.

Prior to Flooring Installation

Regardless of the type of joists used, they will need to be fire protected in alignment with current building regulations. Joists will need to be installed prior to flooring. They cannot bear into chimney’s. Also, insulation and soundproofing materials (if applicable) will need to be laid down prior to flooring installation. Soundproofing is especially important if your loft conversion is designated for a nursery, playroom, music room or recording studio.

Choosing Types of Flooring For Your Loft Conversion

A softwood flooring panel.

A softwood flooring panel.

Flooring options are considerable but there are two main cost efficient choices for you to consider. These are softwood panels or chipboard panels. Softwoods include categories such as spruce, pine, fir, cedar, cypress and hemlock. Tongue and groove floorboards meet safety and fire requirements for building regulations. Another benefit of softwood is that it is environmentally friendly. Softwood is a renewable energy source because it can be farmed and harvested more quickly than hardwood.

Chipboard panels in a variety of colours.

Chipboard panels in a variety of colours.

Another option is the use of chipboard panels. The chipboard itself is less expensive than the softwood panels but it’s important to factor in the carpeting or laminate that will be needed to cover it.  Here, tongue and groove style laminate is also the most popular. An experienced loft conversion specialist will know how to stagger and secure the panels in a way that allows future access beneath the floor (in the event that it is necessary), with a minimum of hassle.

As mentioned, softwood and chipboard are not the only options for your loft conversion’s flooring. Hardwood is a beautiful, albeit pricier option that is always available.

If you have any questions regarding a loft conversion or want to schedule a project, please contact Loftworld today.




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