Is it okay to put plywood flooring in an attic?
Friday, February 28, 2020
Installing plywood flooring in the attic is an easy homeowner upgrade that allows for more attic storage without the possibility of heavier items damaging the ceiling below. We recommend using 1/2” CDX plywood. There are, however, three potential problems to avoid when placing the plywood panels:
1) Don’t remove any truss chords, like in the example of how not to do it shown above, to open up the area for more storage. it weakens the roof structure, will be called out by a home inspector when you sell the house, and is expensive to repair correctly.
2) The plywood should be nailed or screwed in place, with no ends cantilevered past the bearing. Loose plywood pieces laid over the ceiling rafters or bottom chord of the trusses can slide off their bearing as you crawl over them, tip, and send you and your storage boxes through the ceiling. Also, it’s best for the plywood to span over three or more trusses for stability.
3) Don’t sandwich any electrical cables between the plywood and the ceiling rafters or truss bottom chord. This can damage the cable sheathing and cause a short.
Also, see our blog post What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic?
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