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How to board your loft space with MDF sheets

Keep clutter out of sight by boarding your loft space with MDF

Do you seem to be running out of storage space? Have all your closets and shelves been occupied with stuff, and there are still several things which are left outside, making your home look untidy? What you might never have considered is that there could be spaces in your home which could be put to good use when it comes to additional storage space. For instance, if you have an empty loft, you could easily turn it into a useable storage space. Boarding your loft is really simple and affordable. If you would like to learn how to board your loft with MDF sheets, simply keep reading.

Tongue & Groove Boards. Image credit: BPS Access Solutions

Tongue & Groove Boards. Image credit: BPS Access Solutions

Just imagine how many things you can get to store in your loft. All it takes is the proper linking together of the loft boards. As you know, loft boards are constructed with a sturdy tongue and groove system so they can be linked to each other really easily, so as to form a solid floor where you can store a great deal of things.

Standard boards are available in these sizes normally: 240cm x 60cm, or 122cm x 32cm. The thicknesses are generally 18mm and 22mm. Prices for such boards are really affordable. Calculate how many you will be needing and you will surely be able to find them at your local stores.

Before starting the job, bear in mind that loft boarding is a rather fiddly job, since you will be working in a cramped area, and you will need to go up and down the ladder several times. So you may wish to have someone help you a bit so as to render the job a bit easier. Also, make sure you have all the tools at hand, including a drill, an electric screwdriver, a jigsaw or circular saw for cutting the loft sheets, a hammer, a tape measure and a pencil. Put on gloves, overalls, and most importantly, a dust mask. It is best to set up a temporary work platform which will prove very helpful and safe as you work.

You will need to measure the area which you intend to board out. Basically, all it takes is multiplying the length of the loft by the width, so as to decide how many boards you will need to buy. Make sure to add some extras just in case.

Before you start laying the boards, you need to check the depth of the insulation. One of the best options is to build a raised floor above the insulation. In that way you will be able to board directly on to the joists, and you would be on the safe side in case of building inspections. The idea is to always make sure that you put as much insulation as you can beneath the boards. If you will be boarding directly on to the joists, it is only an option is you are absolutely sure that you won’t be running the risk of interstitial condensation. In that case start by placing the first board across the joists.

For best results and strength, the boards should be laid in a staggered pattern. In this way the neighboring joints will be able to line up. Some cutting may be needed in case of overhanging. Every time you will be sliding the board into position with the first board, and you will need to make sure that the tongue and groove construction is well connected so as to form a join. Attach that part with two or three screws.

Raised Loft Boards. Image credit: LoftZone

Raised Loft Boards. Image credit: LoftZone

You will keep moving part by part until you compete the whole run of boards. In cases where you find some resistance for them to slide well, it is best to lay a small block of wood along the edge of that board and tap it with a hammer. In such a way you would also be reducing the chances of making any damage on those board edges that could be a bit more vulnerable. It is best to wear gloves as the edges may be quite sharp. Any infill pieces will need to be filled. Should there be any light fittings in the way, just cut that panel so as to give access to the light, and then use a removable infill panel should it be in the middle of a board.

This could seem to be a time consuming job, but at the end of the day it is more affordable to do it yourself since it is rather straightforward. In time, as you complete the job and start storing things in your loft, you will surely come to appreciate the convenience of having done this boarding in your loft.