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Tips for Tiny House Loft Flooring (Thickness, Materials)

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Snifter tiny house frame showing the tiny house loft floor frame

A loft is an excellent addition to a tiny home, making maximum use of available space.

While a tiny house loft floor can be straightforward to install, there are several essential factors to consider, such as floor support, beam thickness, and flooring material.

This article will explore each of these factors in greater depth.

How thick is the loft floor in a tiny house?

The most common beams used in tiny house lofts are 2×4 or 2×6.

Once the frame is laid, the flooring is placed on top. These floorboards add around half an inch of tiny house loft floor thickness, with the flooring material topping it up by another 1/4 to 1/2 inch.

Combining all of these elements, the thickness of a tiny house loft floor will sit somewhere between 5 inches and 7 inches.

How is a tiny house loft floor built?

One crucial detail to keep in mind when planning your tiny house loft floor build, is the maximum height requirements for tiny houses on wheels in your juristiction. 

There are four main steps to building a loft floor in a tiny home, which are outlined below:

  1. The first step in building a loft floor is to attach your beams to the framing studs of the tiny home. There are two ways to do this.
    1. Attach the beams directly to the supports with multiple 2 ½“ screws. Align your beams before drilling; pilot holes are a great way to make sure your screws align correctly.
    2. Create a ledger. Attach the ledger to the framing studs, then screw your beams into it. Alternatively, use the ledger as support for the framework of your floor. If you build it in this way, you can gain extra height as the ledger will help support the weight and allow you to use wood smaller than 4×2, depending on the dimensions and weight requirements of your space.
  2. The second step is to add supporting blocks between the beams. These blocks add stability and help prevent your beams from bending and flexing.
  3. Think about additional support. A vertical beam can be a great way to add support to the edge of your loft floor.
    1. To add a vertical beam, sandwich it between two supporting studs. Add a block rather than a beam at the edge of your loft floor, which can sit on the vertical shaft and provide greater stability.
  4. Place your flooring on top of the beams and screw it into place.

You can read some detailed plans for contructing a tiny house loft here.

There’s also a video on how floorboards are added to the frame of a tiny house loft floor using the tongue and groove method:

What does a loft floor support in a tiny house?

The loft space in a tiny home is most often used as a sleeping space. Due to height and loft size restrictions, the ceiling is usually between 3 – 4 feet tall, meaning it is not an ideal living space but perfectly suitable for sleeping or relaxing.

Because of this, the upper floor will usually hold a double bed, one or two people, and some storage capacity. With the average bed weighing anywhere between 50 to 100 pounds and the average person weighing 136 pounds – you’re looking at a minimum of 500 pounds of weight placed on the floor of your tiny house loft.

In addition, sleeping rooms should have the ability to hold a live load of 30 pounds per square foot. For these reasons, it’s crucial that your loft flooring has the integrity to support a sufficient amount of weight; this is why it has to be so thick.

Tiny house loft flooring options

There are many options available for the floor of your tiny home loft. Along with the aesthetic look and feel, you’ll want to consider crucial factors such as cost, durability, longevity, and ease of installation.

Here’s a table that explains all you need to know about tiny house loft flooring materials. It covers the lifespan, pros, cons and average cost of each material:

Most flooring options will require a ¾” plank to sit atop the beams. The thickness of the floor can add anything from a few millimeters to ½” depending on which material you choose.

In total, this will bring the thickness of your floor anywhere between five and seven inches. It’s up to you to decide the best options to suit the individual needs of your space.

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