Loft conversions are a fantastic way to increase your living space and add value to your home.
As it is with any construction project, loft conversions need to be built from the ground up, starting with a high-quality, durable floor.
However, not every type of flooring is suitable for a loft, especially when it comes to hardwood. There are also lots of things besides just the look of the flooring you have to consider. That’s why we’ve comprised this guide to choosing the perfect wood flooring for your loft conversion project.
Got a wood flooring question? Email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 01162 165 107.
Why convert your loft?
Attics are a usually unsightly and an often-underused storage space tucked away beneath the roof of a home. Although they can come in handy as an impromptu storage space for unwanted bulky items, empty attic spaces lower the value of your home.
Depending on a variety of different factors, including how big your attic is, a loft conversion project can start at around £15,000. But don’t let this quote deter you from starting this project – adding a single bedroom with an ensuite bathroom increases the value of your property by a whopping 20%. Research by Nationwide Building Society said:
“loft conversion can add more than £42,000” and
“Homeowners who add a loft conversion or extension incorporating a double bedroom and a bathroom can add more than 20% to the value of a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house.”
Source The Guardian.
When you consider the added space and value, a loft conversion project is a pretty profitable endeavour in the long run.
Before you start
There are a few things you need to consider before you choose the perfect wood flooring for your loft conversion project, the first of which is the height of the roof.
Height is the most important factor you need to take into account when redoing your loft. Making use of the often cramped and narrow space isn’t an easy task because every millimetre counts.
Solid wood flooring is usually the customer’s first choice when it comes to loft conversions. Installing traditional solid wood boards is pretty tricky, and often downright impossible in lofts. Solid wood boards are usually 20mm thick and are installed over a plank battening system laid over a subfloor. Add a rug to the mix, and you’ve added at least 40mm to the overall height of the floor. While 40mm doesn’t sound like a lot, even a few millimetres make a big difference in how low the ceiling is and how cramped the room looks.
Another reason why solid wood flooring might not be the best option for your loft conversion project comes down to the properties of the wood itself.
As heat rises, attic space experiences the biggest temperature changes of any room in the house. No matter how well you insulate the loft, there’s always going to be heat exchange coming through the floor.
As sturdy and durable solid wood is, it doesn’t do well when the temperature varies a lot. The wood has the tendency to expand and contract with the heat, which causes the boards to become much less stable. Unstable boards move, bend, and ultimately crack.
That is why the best wooden flooring solution for your loft conversion project is to use engineered wood flooring.
Why engineered wood
Engineered wood is a perfect solution for a room where temperature changes can damage the structure of solid wood.
While solid wood flooring is, as its name suggests, is made from a single, solid cut of timber. Engineered wood flooring is made by compressing multiple layers of wood and fusing them together to get a harder, sturdier and more durable board.
The sturdy engineered board is resistant both to heat and moisture, and won’t move even if you install it yourself.
At Martin Allen Flooring Fitters, you can choose between classic oak, walnut or mahogany finishes, and 12, 15 or 20mm thick boards.
Engineered wood flooring has the same quality, and soundproofing capacities as solid wood do, with an added benefit of heat resistance and easy installation process.
To learn more, we covered all the pros and cons in our 8 Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring post.
Every loft conversion project needs to adhere to strict building regulations. Depending on the type, condition and value of your property, as well as the overall scale of the conversion project, the difficulty of meeting these regulations can vary.
However, there are safety regulations all projects must meet, despite their type or size.
According to the Building Regulations Advisory Committee, the floor, stairs, and doors of rooms on all upper storeys must have 30-minute fire resistance. At Martin Allen, all engineered wood boards meet the industry’s fire resistance standards, thus ensuring your maximum safety in case of a fire.
Engineered wood flooring boards come with pre-cut tongues and grooves to ensure a fast and easy installation process, making it a perfect flooring solution for DIY projects.
As an engineered wood flooring can be floated, one doesn’t need to be a skilled fitter to install it. As long as you have the tools, time and knack for proper DIY projects. And even if the results are less than stellar, a loft doesn’t get that much foot traffic, meaning that the floor is not going to be seen by many people.
For an added layer of comfort and safety, you can glue the engineered boards to a soundproof matting.
But if you are in the looking to rent the room out and want the best possible finish or done within a strict time frame, then contact a professional wood floor fitter.
Our loft conversion projects
Loft conversion in London, Fitzalan Road, North London
On this project, we used French smoked oak. In the loft to minimise the impact on the overall height of the floor, this project required the use of a 10mm battening system that was pinned and glued straight to the subfloor. Read more about this project.
Whether it’s because you’re in need of the extra space, or you want to add value to your home; a loft conversion project is always a welcome addition to any property.
To ensure you meet your budget and only the highest-quality and most durable materials are used in your loft conversion project, email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 01162 165 107 to get a free on-site quote.