Installing Attic Flooring Start to Finish

Windows casting patches of light on a wooden attic floor.
  • 48-72 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-200

Installing attic flooring in your unfinished attic will help you with storage problems. The flooring can pave the way for you to be able to finish off the attic in the future and can help you access your attic by making it easier to walk. Note that you will need to check with your local licensing department about required permits or inspections.


Before you begin to install your attic flooring, you will need to take into consideration the ventilation of the room. For example, if you are going to lay down new wood flooring, consider the effects of extreme heat and cold, because these will warp the boards. Also, there is a danger that, because of the heat, moisture will form on the joists, which will add to wood flooring problems.

The second thing to consider is the size of the area you will need to cover. To determine the kind of flooring you will need, evaluate whether you will cover the entire space or just the accessible areas.

Flooring Types

flooring samples

There are several different types of attic flooring you can use. For an easy attic flooring, start with a simple laying down of wood planks. If you keep these close together, you will not have to worry about any gaps.

Another way to add attic flooring is to secure plywood sheets to the floor. This will add a much more stable platform to your attic flooring and can act as a subfloor if you decide to finish off the attic in the future. There are also synthetic floorings available from several different manufacturers. This type of flooring simply snaps together and comes in squares, but you will still need a subfloor.

Start in the Center

placing a chalkline on plywood flooring

The most common temptation in laying down attic flooring is to start in a corner and begin installing the plywood sheets or wood flooring from there. However, you will have much better success - and use your material much more efficiently if you start in the center. Lay out a chalk line to determine the center and then lay the first plywood sheet down with its corner on the edge of that line.

Secure Floor to Joists

There are different ways you can secure the flooring to the joists, but screws are your best option. If you nail in the plywood sheets, you will have to pry them up if you later decide to move them. With screws, you can easily take up the sheets of plywood in case you need to lay new wires or reach the ceiling underneath.

Use Trim Strips

To finish off the area of attic flooring, install some quarter round trim pieces that will line up flush with the plywood for a finished look. If you are using the entire floor, you can install the trim along the wall.