How to board out a loft: DIY Supplies & Accessories | DIY at B&Q

How To Board Your Loft In 5✔ Easy Steps [Infographic]

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If you are short of storage space in your home adding loft boards and using it for effective storage can be a great solution. Moreover, boarding the loft is a way to reduce heat loss, as it creates another barrier to any heat escaping from the roof.
In this article we are going to show you how to create extra storage space in your loft.


To board a loft space you can use OSB board, moisture-resistant chipboard or general-purpose hardwood plywood. While OSB board and plywood are the most durable materials, they are not commonly used to board loft space. The reason why is because attic hatch dimensions require it to be cut into smaller pieces. On the other hand chipboard may not be as strong as OSB or plywood but is more commonly used in UK due to their smaller size and price.
Chipboard loft boards generally have a tongue and groove construction which allows them to neatly slot together. Standard loft boards come in 3 different sizes:
2400mm x 600mm, 1220mm x 320mm, 2400mm x 1200mm;  18mm or 22mm thick. The larger boards such as 2400mm x 1200mm are available from your local timber merchant such as Wickes or B&Q.


1200mm x 320mm (packs of three and cover 1.17m² per pack) – easy to get through small loft hatches.

2400mm x 600mm (sold separately and cover 1.44m² each) – requires a large loft hatch and sufficient headroom to get into the loft space.

2400mm x 1200mm (big size board covers 2.88m²) – used less common due to large size.


Remember to make sure that the boards you decide on will actually fit through your loft hatch!




To find out how many loft boards you will need simply measure up the area you intend to board out. You need to multiply the width of your loft by its length.


A x B= m2

Loft m2 / board coverage m2 = boards no





If you are about to board your loft, you’re probably looking for the price. Adding a loft board you also adding value to your property – that is a fact. If you look from this point of view it won’t cost you much.
If you still want to find out how much it will cost you, here is a simple guide. The costs given here are given in good faith as an indicative guide only and should be used with understanding. Insulationgo Limited cannot accept any liability for any budget produced using these figures.
The overall loft boarding cost will depend on a number of factors such as different specifications of floorboards, loft area and whether you’re going to board the whole loft space or just a section of the loft for storage purposes. 
However you should be expected to pay for a medium loft size (15m2) around £1300. If you are boarding a small loft, £800 should be enough to cover material costs only. Changing size scale, to board a large loft (20m2) costs start from around £1400 to £1800
The cheapest way to board a loft would be off course to use a chipboard. You can expect to pay £66 per m2 on an average size loft. However, this figure decreases as the m2 increases.
When planning to board your loft, make smart shopping lists and find out which stores near you are cheapest to get your materials. If you are looking to buy insulation you can try our products here.



Before you start make sure you insulate your loft with acoustic slabs such as Rockwool RWA45, RW3 or RW5 or insulation roll. These slabs are non-combustible, with a class ‘O’ fire rating and can be friction fit. Acoustic slabs such as Knauf RS  range or Rockwool  RW range are manufactured to a higher density than other forms of insulation, unlike thermal insulation which is lower in density and supplied in rolls. For more information click here.

Make sure you have all the tools and material for this type of project such as:

gloves ǀ insulation mask ǀ  knee pads ǀ handsaw ǀ  trimming knife ǀ  cordless drill ǀ  screws ǀ  tape measure ǀ  pencil ǀ  loft panels ǀ loft legs


Clear a space in the loft and remember not to stand in the area between the joists as it won’t support your weight.


Usually when loft boards are installed, insulation is often installed at the same time. Recent research suggests that only 1 in 8 of UK homes get the full benefit of their loft insulation, so when you’re undertaking the project it’s worth giving your insulation some careful attention.  If you want to find out what is the best loft roll insulation click here.
If there is a top layer of insulation already installed, roll it back to expose the ceiling joists. 
Before you screw the storage boards onto the legs you will need to replace the layer of insulation. To be thermally effective, mineral wool insulation needs to be at the government recommended depth of 270mm. This means you need to use 175mm loft legs for extra insulation to raise the boards (100mm first layer of insulation + 170mm second layer of insulation + 5mm air gap between top layer of insulation and loft board).

Loft board diagram

This is generally 100mm between the joists/trusses, and a 170mm top up layer running perpendicular to the joists.




Loft legs are screwed directly into the joists or trusses in a grid to raise the boards. These legs allow you to put down additional insulation across the joists and then install boards on top. 
The main problem with the loft leg system is that if your ceiling joists are not level it simply does not work and you need spacers to make the boards level. Some people say that counter battening with timber is much more stable.
The loft boards should always be installed perpendicular to the joists. Place the first leg into position and using your power drill driver, screw it into the joist. You don’t need to pre-drill holes.

Using a straight edge such as spirit level and the bottom edge of the loft leg as a guide, mark the position of the next legs on the other joists.



Picture credit:youyube/Wickes/How to create storage space in your loft with Wickes


Now you can secure these legs into position. If you are using loft panels ensure loft legs are 320 mm from the center of the previous row. 

Picture credit:youtube/Wickes/How to create storage space in your loft with Wickes

You can use larger boards if you want to. But remember loft legs should be no more than 620mm apart.


Picture credit:youtube/Wickes/How to create storage space in your loft with Wickes

Once you are satisfied with the measurements, secure the first leg of your next row into position.
As with the first row use straight edge to mark the position of the legs.


Picture credit:youtube/Wickes/How to create storage space in your loft with Wickes
Follow this process for every row.


Use a trimming knife to put vertical slits in your insulation so you get a good fit around the legs. You are now ready to fir storage panels.

Picture credit:youtube/Wickes/How to create storage space in your loft with Wickes


Remember not to compress your insulation. If you intend to board directly on to the joists instead of having a raise floor, then start by placing the first board across the joists. In most cases you will be using chipboards for your project. The chipboard soaks up moisture so always leave an air gap between the top of the insulation and the underside of the board to stop the problem of condensation. The gap just needs to be sufficient that no part of the insulation is touching the board.
For better strength, boards need to be laid in a staggered pattern, so joins don’t all line up and create a weak point. Lay the first panel on top of the legs and don’t forget to leave half of the top leg visible for the next loft panel.


Picture credit:youtube/Wickes/How to create storage space in your loft with Wickes

Screw the loft panel to the leg using same screws as before. Cut and fit infill pieces as you go to complete the run of boards. You should pre-drill holes through the panel.
Attach the remaining panels in the same way relaying insulation as you go. And that is it!. Yor new loft storage is complete.


Remember not to overload the loft leg panels with 100 kg per m2. Don’t lay insulation or boards on top of electrical cables.



Generally speaking loft leg screws should be 300mm. Board to leg screws are longer – 400mm or more. The best screws to use are 4mmx30mm countersunk. You will need approximately 8 screws for each loft leg you are fitting.



If you haven’t fallen through the joists prior. They’re fine. If not, they supposed to be staggered for strength.
Loft legs will carry 500kg, the maximum 100kg per square metre load is over a long period of time, so spread the weight of whatever you’re storing as evenly and best you can.

BIBLIOGRAPHY, Wickes, ‘How to create storage space in your loft with Wickes’, November 17, 2014, accessed February 14, 2023



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How to board a loft – 3 different methods

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Boarding out your loft is a great way to add extra storage to your home. For most people, this is an area that is not utilized, and is essentially wasted space.

However, boarding out your loft is relatively easy and can add a large amount of usable storage to your home.

Every loft is going to be different, so the amount of space and the layout will vary. However, if the area is just being used for storage, then the process will be very similar.

In most lofts, you will have trusses and supports running through the space. If this was being converted into a usable room, there would need to be adjustments made. For example, you would need to remove certain timber supports. These would need replacing with new forms of support, to open up the floor space, whilst ensuring the roof is still safe.

However, for storage purposes, this is not necessary, and you can simply fit the flooring around these timber supports.

Most common boards used in a loft

The most common floorboards used in lofts, are tongue and groove chipboard flooring. Although other options are available, such as OSB (orient strand board) and also plywood. Both of these can be purchased with tongue and groove, meaning they can be fitted identically to chipboard flooring.

However, chipboard is usually the cheapest option, and it is also more readily available.

Chipboard flooring comes in two main sizes, the largest is 2400 x 600mm. You can also buy smaller boards at 1200 x 320mm.

Larger boards are preferred. However, they are sometimes hard to get into some lofts. Smaller boards are much easier to fit through a smaller hatch into the loft space.

Chipboard also comes in two main thicknesses. These are 18mm and 22mm. For this type of job, 18mm is completely acceptable and will give more than enough support.

Finally, you have the choice between standard boards and moisture resistant boards. This is entirely up to you. Moisture boards will be more expensive, but they will also hold up better if you do have a roof leak onto the flooring.

Fitting methods and insulation

When it comes to fitting your boards, the first thing you want to do is check the joist spacing. In most cases the joists will be fitted at either 400mm or 600mm centres.

Sometimes, you may also find joist at 450mm, and occasionally, in older properties, there may be different spacing.

In the vast majority of cases they will be 400 or 600mm. Of these two, 400mm is the most common. The advantage of standard spacing, is it will allow you to fit 1200 or 2400mm boards without cutting. This is because a whole board should land halfway on a joist.

In this scenario, the only time you will need to cut is when you reach a wall.

Boards should run perpendicular to the joists, and this will add strength to the flooring. Also, you should stagger the boards. For example, your first row of boards would start from the left of your loft, and your second row would start from the right. This will ensure that all the joints are staggered. Again this will strengthen the floor.

If you can see the joists and they have insulation in the middle, you can simply board straight onto the joists. To fit your boards, use 30-40mm wood screws. This will give a secure fixing and ensure that you don’t suffer with squeaky boards. It will also make the chipboard easier to lift at a later date

You can also glue the tongue and groove joint, with a standard wood glue, for a solid fixing between the floorboards.

Solutions for thick insulation

For a loft that has thick insulation that is much deeper than the joists, you may need to raise the boards up above the insulation. This can be done with additional timbers, or you can use a solution such as loft legs, to raise your floor above the insulation.

Loft legs are basically small plastic legs, they form a support to raise your floorboards above the insulation. This will require a little more time and you will need to measure and space them out properly. However, they do offer an affordable solution for raising your lofts floor level.

You can see some instructional videos on there website here. The process is very simple, and you just screw the legs in place and then fit your boards on top.

This type of solution is strong enough to walk on and can support around 25kg per square meter. Therefore, if you are just using the loft for basic storage, it is a fairly decent option, that will allow you to not compromise on insulation.

If you do need more support, whilst still covering the additional insulation, then you will need to use timber to raise the floor level.

This can be done with 4×2, running perpendicular to the existing joists. By doing this, it will also allow you to run your two layers of insulation in two different directions.

This process is more time consuming and slightly more expensive. However it will produce a stronger floor. It will also mean adding additional support between the floor and roof is easier. This may be something to consider, if you ever intend to use the room for anything other than storage.


Essentially you have 3 potential ways of fitting boards in your loft:

  1. Attaching straight to joists
  2. Loft legs
  3. Adding additional timber to raise the floor level.

Obviously, the first option is the easiest. Also, according to energy advice portal The Green Age, the heat loss difference between 100mm and 270mm of loft insulation is only around £13/. So it’s not massive.

With that said if you already have insulation. Or if you do want to add more, then loft legs are definitely a cost effective and easy solution to raise your floor above the insulation.

Timber is more expensive and more time consuming. However, it will add more strength and might be a better solution if you need more solid support.

How to equip the attic in the country house yourself

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For most owners, the attic in the country is a dark and dusty room with deposits of various household and garden rubbish. However, with a reasonable approach, the situation can be radically changed. And then we will analyze the plan for converting a room in the attic.

Equipping an attic in a country house with your own hands is much easier than it seems at first glance


  1. A detailed plan as a starting point
  2. The main stages and subtleties of arranging a country attic
  3. Arranging a hatch
  4. Choosing a staircase
  5. Floor issues
  6. roof heating
  7. How to finish a country attic
  8. Conclusion

Detailed plan , as a starting point

Arrangement of the attic in the country usually try to perform with minimal financial investment. In this case, the plan still plays the role of an estimate, so it should not be neglected.

  1. Preliminary plan. Here you have to decide what you want to see at the finish line. You can draw on paper or use 3D modeling programs. At this stage, you decide whether you need an additional window in the attic, how to sheathe the attic from the inside, in general, the desired design of the attic.

At the beginning, a sketch of the design of the attic is drawn

  1. Draft design . Then you take the documents to your dacha and, based on the plan, draw a sketch of the attic with dimensions in several projections. With it, it will be easier for you to calculate the amount of material, and at the same time draw an electrical wiring route, the location of the hatch to the attic, etc.

Now you need to solve a few issues that affect the amount of materials, the amount of work and the size of the budget.

List of questions:

  • is it necessary to insulate the roof;
  • whether reinforcement of the overlap is required;
  • whether it is necessary to insulate the ceiling;
  • whether a sunroof is needed and how it will be;
  • which ladder will stand.
  1. Cost estimate. The next item is the preparation of estimates. You need to figure out what you have and calculate what and how much more you need to buy.

It’s easy to find out the approximate price of the material. My advice to you is to calculate to the maximum and then add another 10%, plus do not forget to take into account the delivery.

  1. Secondary measurement. Next, you need to clean up the attic and measure everything with your own hands with a tape measure, after which you can purchase material and get to work.

After cleaning and real measurement, the amount of material and the amount of work can seriously change

The main stages and subtleties of arranging a country attic

If the ceiling is solid, then you need to start with the installation of the hatch and the stairs to it.

It is very inconvenient to use a ladder, and most importantly, to lift materials along it.

Next, we solve the issue of ceiling, windows and roofing. The work is finished with a clean finish.

Arrangement of the hatch

The entrance to the attic must be from the inside, the door on the side gable is not suitable even for summer operation.

According to fire regulations, the hatch is made no less than 60×80 cm.

  • In the beam ceiling, the hatch is inserted between the beams, if necessary, a part of the beam is cut out, and transverse bars are mounted.
  • A hatch in a reinforced concrete floor is cut at the junction of 2 slabs, and the maximum cut of each of the slabs should not exceed 1/3 of their width.

How to cut a hatch in the ceiling

Choosing a ladder

If the house is small, then the stairs to the attic in the country house should be compact. The best option would be a folding ladder attached to the hatch.

The serial model can seriously undermine the budget, such clamshells are expensive, so the video below in this article provides instructions for self-assembly of such a ladder.

Assembling a folding ladder with your own hands will save the budget and space in the country house. By the way, it is easier to make a stationary attic ladder with your own hands than a folding one and it comes out cheaper in terms of money.

Stationary models are more reliable and safe

Floor issues

The first and main question is the level of floor strength:

  • There are no questions about reinforced concrete slabs, everything is in order there.
  • Beam structures can be problematic. If the beams are laid in increments of more than 60 cm, then additional ones must be installed.

Another issue is the need to insulate the floor. With a warm roof, you can do without insulation of the floor, however, you will hear every rustle in the next room, because the hollow wooden flooring does not differ much from the curtain in terms of sound insulation.

Roof insulation

Here the solution is unequivocal – the roof and gables need to be insulated. Even if the dacha is exclusively summer, you won’t be able to relax under the hot midday heat of the roof day or night.

At the amateur level, only mineral wool is suitable for self-insulation of the roof.

For attic insulation, it is better for an amateur to use mineral wool


  • It is necessary to lay wind protection along the rafters, it is a membrane that allows steam to pass into the street and prevents moisture from penetrating into the insulation.
  • Ventilation gap. A gap (50 mm) is left between the wind protection and the roofing, it is needed for ventilation.
  • Insulation. Wadding mats or slabs are cut slightly wider than the distance between the rafters, due to this they fit tightly between the beams.
  • Vapor barrier. A vapor barrier is attached to the bottom, the vapor-permeable side is directed into the room so that the steam goes outside.
  • Purlin. Next comes the crate and finishing of the attic in the country.

How to decorate a country attic

Finishing a country attic belongs to the field of design and mainly depends on personal preferences and the size of the budget.

Finishing materials:

LINING This type of attic cladding is chosen by at least a third of the owners. Natural wood has always been, is and will be in trend.

First and highest class lining is expensive.

Grade 2 and Grade 3 slats won’t break the budget too much.

Also, do not forget that the wood needs to be treated with oil and wax or varnish a couple of times.

The more knots on the front side of the plywood, the lower the class and, accordingly, the cheaper the sheet.

But the cheapest packing list (grade 4) is not worth taking, it can delaminate over time

OSB, chipboard, MDF .

As for OSB and MDF, these are quite reliable materials, if you are not satisfied with their appearance, then the surface can be covered with wallpaper.

For dacha decoration, it is desirable to take waterproof sheets

gypsum board For summer cottages, you will have to take a waterproof sheet, plus then it will still need to be puttied and painted or wallpapered.

So for the price this finish will be expensive

UNEDGED BOARD The most budget option – take a cheap raw board, sand it lightly, treat it with a protective compound and varnish it.

As a result, you get an attic in a rustic style

Wall cladding with unedged boards looks original and costs reasonable money


It is not so important a large or small attic in the country. With the right approach, any room can be brought into the proper form.

The above plan and improvement recommendations are suitable for any attic, regardless of its size and configuration.

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Ready to experiment? Read the ideas for arranging the attic in our article and bring them to life soon!

Contents of the article

How to start arranging the attic in the country and how to do it?

  1. Before you start building your attic, you need to make a plan. It is important to take into account every detail: the location of windows, heating and ventilation systems, electrical wiring, materials that will be used in the decoration. Use a special computer program or a sheet of graph paper, a pencil and a ruler to create a project.
  2. After you have drawn up your attic plan and written down everything that is required for this, calculate the investment and think about whether it is worth starting and whether you can afford this project.
  3. Purchase all the materials and tools for the attic.
  4. Clean up the attic. Take out excess trash. You need to free up as much space as possible.
  5. Clean the floor and roof, inspect everything, including walls, and repair any damage. Repair of beams, ridge, roof and attic floors – all you need to do at this stage of the attic arrangement.
  6. Install communications: heating, lighting and ventilation.
  7. Insulate the attic if you use it during the cold season.
  8. Finish the interior and exterior of the attic.
  9. Arrange furniture and accessories as planned and enjoy the work done.

Attic ideas in the country house

Here are some attic ideas that everyone can handle.

Home cinema

To equip the attic with your own hands, you only need to move a sofa, armchairs, various pillows, poufs to the attic, hang up a TV and invite guests by arranging an evening of gatherings with watching your favorite old comedy. Or a thriller, or an arthouse novelty. Such an attic will become a convenient gathering place for the whole family, relatives and friends who will appreciate your creative approach to organizing home space.



If you like to relax surrounded by soft pillows, sip aromatic tea and bask under a blanket, then this attic arrangement is just right for you! You will need: a sofa, pillows (many pillows), soft rugs, blankets, decorations in the form of lanterns, mosaics and a wooden elephant figurine. Or an aged samovar with clay mugs. You can hang cute tea accessories or garlands under the slopes of the roof.


It’s very easy to furnish an attic. If you find it difficult to choose a place for your newly purchased treadmill, or a pet prevents you from freezing in asanas while practicing hatha yoga, the attic is a great option for placing sports paraphernalia in one place. Favorite simulator, a pair of rugs, dumbbells – the home gym is ready. Under the slope of the sloping roof, it will be possible to store all unused sports equipment so as not to litter the attic.

Home library

Yes, yes, that’s right, the attic is a great place to properly and neatly store books. How to decorate an attic for a library? Put a cozy sofa by the window, throw in a couple of pillows and go on a journey with the heroes of Jules Verne. The sloping roof here will not interfere with the placement of shelves at all – their length can be set depending on the angle of its inclination. Each book will get its place! See decor ideas with books here.

Dressing room

An excellent solution for arranging the attic will be a dressing room where you can store all your clothes and shoes, as well as put things away for the season, arrange bulky suitcases and bags. Nail a few open shelves, stretch the rail, place a couple of capacious boxes (you can put children’s toys in them, by the way), and the wardrobe is ready!


If there is a creative person in the family who just needs free space to create at full power, the attic will be an excellent platform for the birth of new ideas. Firstly, it can be equipped in any style and exactly the way you want it. Secondly, the attic is often a hard-to-reach and isolated space, being in which will contribute to the flight of thought and fantasy.

Equipping the attic, under the sloping roof, you can place many open shelves and hooks, on which the accessories of the home master will be stored. A table, chair, easel, drawing tools or technical details will take up the rest of the free space. There will even be a couple of square meters left so that you can invite your family to admire your next masterpiece.

Game Room

The attic is very easy to upgrade and turn into a game room, where you can hang a plasma with a game console, fit table football, hockey or even a pool table! It all depends on the square meters that you have and the degree of slope of the roof. Under its slope, you can equip a small table for board games and gatherings with tea.

Guest room

A great idea to accommodate some of the aunts, uncles, nephews and other friends and relatives during the next anniversary. In this case, the entire attic space should be occupied with spacious sofas and beds, on which it will be possible to lay the maximum number of sleeping guests. When arranging the attic, do not forget to provide a chest of drawers for things or nail several rails or hooks to the sloping slopes of the roof so that the invitees do not get confused in each other’s things.