StoreFloor Installation FAQs

LoftZone StoreFloor is suitable for almost all attics, new and old, including cut, purlin and truss-roofed types. It’s frequently fitted in both houses and commercial buildings. Your joists (which span across the floor of your attic) will be need to be made of wood and be at least 32mm (1.25″) wide. 

For our 1.2m metal Cross-Beams to fit, your joists should be either 400mm or 600mm apart on average (measured from the centre of each joist to the centre of the next one – not the distance in-between them). This covers the vast majority of US attics. Because the Cross-Beams slide along the top of the Tri-Supports, they have a tolerance of 75mm in either direction, which helps if your builder fitted the joists only roughly in the right place! In fact, this is one of the features that makes LoftZone so easy to fit, and much faster than using timber or plastic supports alone. 

A very small percentage of US houses however have joists that are 450mm apart, so for these, we have a specially-designed 1.8m Cross-Beam, and associated kits, which can be purchased from this website.

From a StoreFloor perspective, the height of your joists doesn’t matter, and in most US houses they are approximately 100mm (4″) or 75mm (3″) tall, which is fine. If yours are shorter than that, then we advise reducing the loading you put on StoreFloor. In the very unusual case that your joists are less than 50mm (2″) tall, then we would not advise using your attic for storage. 

If you are still unsure whether your property is suitable, please contact us on [email protected] or 617-765-7444 and we’ll be happy to advise you.

Yes, thousands of people have fitted StoreFloor into their own homes. The parts are lightweight and sized to easily fit through most attic hatches. They are simply screwed to each other and into the joists. Attic boards to fit on top are a bit heavier, typically 5kg each, but are still an easy DIY job. You can see our installation guide here. Note: to fit StoreFloor, we recommend the use of an electric cordless screwdriver.

Nonetheless, if you would like someone else to fit this for you, then you can find your nearest installer by entering your postcode into the field at the bottom of this page. 

Yes – We have a network of installers that can help. Get in touch and we can put you in touch.

The StoreFloor Cross-Beams are 1150mm (about 45″) long. They span over 3 or 4 joists (depending on your building’s joist separation) and have an easy sliding adjustment, in case your joists are not spaced regularly (most aren’t!). The Cross-Beams rest on top of the Tri-Supports, where they can butt up against each other, or be positioned a few inches apart.

The StoreFloor Tri-Support and Uni-Support are both 279mm (about 11″) tall, and rest on the top of the joists. This is sized to allow the full depth of modern insulation levels plus an air gap above the insulation and below the boards. This air-gap is there to allow ventilation, to remove any possible moisture build-up on the underside of the boards. Beware any products which don’t provide this essential air-gap!

Boards are standard tongue and groove chipboard flooring, measuring 1220 x 325 x 18mm.

The StoreFloor parts have been designed to be very strong but also very light. The 1.2m Cross-Beams weight around 1.2kg, the Tri-Supports around 250g and the Uni-Supports around 100g. Hence, the structure to raise a floor of 13m2 (a Medium kit, out best seller) weighs only 33kg, or 2.5kg per square metre. 

Boards are heavier. These are discussed in more detail in our post about which boards to choose, and weigh around 12kg/m2 (chipboard) or 7kg/m2 (OSB or plywood). 

The most common attic boards used for DIY in the UK are 1220 x 325 x 18mm P5 tongue-and-groove chipboard attic boards, in packs of 3. These are the boards which we sell with our kits online in our store.

But both OSB and plywood are also used and have some advantages. You can read all about these in our blog post on the subject.

Most people would like to board their whole attic, but you don’t have to. StoreFloor is modular so you can start small and build more later when your storage requirements go up. Most people choose a square or rectangular deck, or an L or T shape near the hatch. Some people have more than one deck, on either side of the hatch. Don’t board right up to the eaves though, as you’ll want to keep a gap there for ventilation.

No. StoreFloor is built up in sections, 1 square metre at a time. So you can build part of your deck – on one side of the hatch for example – and then transfer your possessions on to your new deck before creating the next part of your StoreFloor.

We sell a number of standard-sized kits, from 3m2 (32 sq. ft.) to 52m2 (576 sq. ft.). If you’d like to build a floor that isn’t one of these sizes, then we have a handy configurator tool on our shop’s front page, which you can use to work out the precise number of parts you need, and buy those individually. Note that we measure decks in multiples of 1.2m in each direction, as that is approximately the length of our regular Cross-Beams and of standard attic boards. If you’d like to build a deck that isn’t an exact multiple of 1.2m, then that’s possible; we’d recommend you buy enough parts for the next 1.2m up, and then cut the beams and/or boards to suit.

If you’re unsure what you need, then please contact us on [email protected] or 01483 600304 with your measurements and we will work it out for you.

The StoreFloor system consists of the recycled plastic Tri-Supports (the triangular parts) and the galvanised steel Cross-Beams. These, on their own, provide a strong deck. The Uni-Supports (the vertical legs) are there to provide extra stiffness, to carry higher loads and/or for use when you are intending to access the deck frequently.

We provide one Uni-Support for every Cross-Beam in our kits. It’s usual to place the Uni-Supports evenly underneath the deck, or you can concentrate them in the area which is likely to get the most loading. 

We recommend 4x40mm wood screws. We supply these with all our StoreFloor kits and, if you buy the boards from us too, we supply enough for the boards, too. Our screws come in packs of 200, so there are usually plenty left over. 

(Note that if you buy individual StoreFloor parts, not complete kits, then screws are not included however). 

Every StoreFloor Cross-Beam, Tri-Support and Uni-Support need two screws each. Each attic board needs a minimum of 3 screws each, though you may choose to use up to 6 screws per board for added strength if you wish. 

The Tri-Supports, by their triangular design, overhang the joist in each direction. Sometimes, e.g near the hatch or a wall, this isn’t wanted. So in these cases, we’d recommend putting a Uni-Support at the end of the row of beams. But make sure that you put a Tri-Support on the next-nearest joist, as this is the main load-bearing part. There is a photo of this here

Attic boards in the US (including the ones we supply) are rectangular, with a tongue-and-groove along each long edge, so that you can slot one board into the one next to it, for added strength. In addition to this, before LoftZone was invented, people used to stagger the boards when they laid them, so that each board ended half way along the long edges of the two boards next to it. You can see a picture of this by looking at our 1.8×3.6m kit with boards on our shop.

The physics of this is that joists can be unevenly spaced in an attic, and if the short end of a board doesn’t rest on a joist, it doesn’t have a tongue-and-groove on that end, so could sag if someone stepped on it. The risk of this happening justifies the extra effort of cutting boards at the ends of each row.

But this is not an issue with StoreFloor, since we recommend that you place our steel Cross-Beams 610mm apart (for attic boards that are 1220mm long) so that they do indeed screw into a Cross-Beam and are supported by it, and there is no risk of the ends of the boards sagging.

Hence there is no benefit in staggering attic boards when you use LoftZone StoreFloor, and most people choose to avoid going to the extra effort of cutting boards in half and doing so, unless you are using one of our kits which are 1.8m wide, in which case you have to anyway, since loft boards are only around 1.2m long.

StoreFloor is indeed sometimes used for access, e.g. to create walkways or crawling spaces above the insulation for people who need to maintain boilers, water tanks, solar inverters, MVHR or aircon units, etc. You can see a photo a very long access walkway being built in a school on our Flickr page, and builders also fit it into new houses, too. The usual usual minimum width of the walkway is 1.2m (the width of standard attic boards).

However if your walkway is only going to be one board wide, then please note the following: The LoftZone plastic supports provide super-strong vertical strength. One of the design requirements of StoreFloor was to minimise parts, in order to speed up installation, and this was achieved by using the interlocking boards of a normal StoreFloor deck to provide the lateral stability. For any deck that is at least two attic boards wide, then it is very rigid horizontally too, but if you’re only going to use one board’s width then that board will not have another board to push up against and so there may be a small amount of lateral instability. The deck won’t topple over, unless the lateral force was strong enough to rip all the screws out (!), but it may have a little “wobble”. This is easily fixed, either by having a wider walkway, or if you don’t want that, then we recommend that you use extra sections of timber to brace the deck to the joists from time to time.

We don’t recommend that you use StoreFloor to support a water tank, for the following reasons:

  • A major consideration for water tanks is that they must not be allowed to freeze and burst. As such, it’s usual to not insulate underneath them, as you actually want the heat to rise from the room below, to keep the tank warm in the winter. So in this case you don’t need StoreFloor in this section of your attic as you don’t need the insulation there. 
  • StoreFloor is very strong but the joists it is screwed on to usually are not. Normally, standard attic joists are not designed to take the weight of a water tank and they usually have to be specially strengthened in the area of the tank. Moreover the boarding used should be marine-grade wood (not chipboard), so that any leakage does not cause the timber to rot. 

The attic boards we sell are not moisture-resistant, as you generally don’t need these in a attic. If you have a damp issue in your attic then this could affect the whole timber structure so we would recommend that you solve the damp problem before fitting any boards. 

For more general information about attic boards, please see our page on which boards to choose

StoreFloor Photos and Videos

If you use Facebook, then you can see photos and reviews posted by lots of LoftZone DIY installers here. We also have a Flickr site with images too.   

We would encourage you to post your own photos on these sites once you’ve fitted the deck, to help other people see what it’s like!

If you’d like to see the work of our installers, then you can find photos on their websites. Check out our installers page to find your nearest one. 

Several customers have uploaded their own timelapse installation videos, for example:

Thanks very much to all these people, all of whom acted independently! Please note however that LoftZone is not responsible for any external content. 

Payment

Our online store lets you pay via PayPal or by using your credit or debit card (Visa or Mastercard). If you want to pay via American Express, please select ‘pay via PayPal’ and then you can fund the transaction with your card. 

Alternatively, you can also place your order over the phone with one of our customer service team. Simply call them on 617-765-74444 between 0900-1730 Monday to Friday, and they’ll be able to take payment from you for whatever size kit you’d like.

LoftZone does not offer credit, but you can apply for credit (sometimes at 0% interest for the first few months) if you pay via Paypal.

Strength & Safety

StoreFloor is extremely strong and LoftZone is the only raised attic floor manufacturer to have put its products through robust accelerated lifetime tests in extremes of temperature beyond those normally found in the US. Even in these conditions, our StoreFloor deck survived loads of over 500kg per square metre, without failure, making it far stronger than the joists it is screwed on to.

Well, this is a question we can’t answer online, as every house is different! But we can give some general guidance to help you make your own decision.

StoreFloor ensures that any loading is shared across several joists in your attic by forming a lattice-beam type of structure. (In that respect, it’s similar to the old-fashioned way of strengthening an attic by cross-battening with timber, but it’s much less heavy than doing that). This therefore increases the loading that your joists would otherwise be able to take.

The LoftZone parts are designed to be very strong but also very light and you can choose boards of different weights (see the FAQ on the weight of the StoreFloor parts).

Nonetheless, StoreFloor is only intended for storage and occasional access, and we recommend that you don’t overload your joists. If you do, they may bend under the weight and cause cracks in the plasterboard ceiling below. (It’s very rare for a joist to completely snap, you’d have to put a lot of weight in your attic to make that happen).

To summarise, and to be on the safe side, unless you know that your joists are stronger, we recommend loading your attic flooring with no more than 25kg of stored items per square metre, plus the weight of one person accessing them. And if you think that your loft is particularly weak, then choose boards that are less heavy than chipboard. We have provided this 25kg/m2 guidance since we first launched StoreFloor, and now, after tens of thousands of installs, no one has come back to us to say that their ceiling has been damaged by overloading. 

Remember that all houses are different though, and it is your responsibility to load your deck sensibly. If in doubt, please consult a structural engineer.

Most new-build houses now come with a 10 year warranty, underwritten by companies such as NHBC, Premier or LABC. If StoreFloor was fitted by your builder as a paid-for option, then it will usually be covered under this warranty, because the warranty typically covers the materials and the labour of the items fitted by the builder.

But if StoreFloor was not fitted by your builder, then it won’t be covered by the warranty for the house. Neither will it affect the warranty – this is a common misconception – the warranty only affects items the builder put in, so anything you fit afterwards is irrelevant. You can see a letter that NHBC sent to one of our customers below, which explains this. A LoftZone customer also contacted Premier Guarantee who told them “Boarding your loft will not affect your warranty. Your warranty will only be affected if you were to make alterations which would damage the structure of the build and cause a claim.”

Moreover, LoftZone has a BBA Certificate for StoreFloor. BBA is the UK construction industry standard and is required for all building products for new-build houses. So if your builder tells you that the loft should not be used for storage, that was because in the past, there were no BBA-approved products. But now there are, and so StoreFloor can indeed be fitted to houses, including new-builds. You can download our BBA certificate via this page

Of course, you need to be sensible. If you overload your StoreFloor so much that it causes the ceiling below to bend slightly and crack, you can’t claim for the damaged ceiling under your warranty. But if you use the product as designed, and something else goes wrong with your roof, loft or ceiling, then the builder will still need to fix anything they built wrongly in the first place.

It’s worth remembering that tens of thousands of new-build home owners in the UK have had StoreFloor fitted, it’s a very common option in houses that often don’t have much storage space elsewhere. 

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