Can You Use MDF for Attic Floor? (Explained!)

Attics are a great solution for extra storage, but people often face different challenges when it comes to attic flooring. Since attics are difficult to work on, the flooring method highly depends on the type of roof and floor used for the framing of the house.

Adequate attic flooring is highly important since it acts as an important barrier to insulation. If the flooring is compromised, it may result in an energy loss and high utility costs. Therefore, residents have to be careful what type of equipment they use since it may undermine the functionality of an attic.

Can MDF Be Used As Flooring?

MDF has a higher density than other materials and hardwoods. The best thing about MDF is that it doesn’t swell or warp in humid environments. This makes it a common flooring option for homeowners to use as a flooring option for attics. Overall, it is smooth in nature, which makes it easy to paint and customize according to one’s tastes and preferences.

But there are certain downsides to using MDF as a flooring option. It is known that MDF is significantly weaker than other flooring options. MDF material is more water-absorbent compared to natural wood. Moreover, it is hard to nail it down with the help of a hammer. Cutting MDF may produce harmful dust containing formaldehyde. This dust can have dangerous effects on health and, in severe cases, can cause cancer and other breathing issues.

Often, homeowners choose MDF for aesthetic reasons and to build furniture. This is because it offers a smooth overall texture. Not often will you see it as a flooring option since it is slippery and may not provide as much friction as other floors.

Is MDF Good for Attic Flooring?

Attics often require a strong and compact structure to carry the weight of items in storage. Although MDF is heavy, it is not a common sight to see them as flooring options for an attic. This is because they are slippery and heavier than any other wood. Moreover, they are also more water-absorbent which may not be an ideal thing for many homeowners.

Attics require different materials that are heavier, compact, and durable. One of the key examples is plywood. Plywood is the type of material that doesn’t absorb much water and can withstand humidity. An attic needs to withstand the overall weight of the house and ensure that insulation is compact too.

MDF is considered a weaker flooring option since it can break easily under the weight. And attics are usually for storing goods, so this aspect makes MDF an unpopular flooring option among homeowners. Although it is a cheaper option, it is not good to work with it since it may raise some health concerns such as breathing difficulties as it emits chemicals that may cause cancer. The workers must take adequate precautions while working in the attic.

What Thickness MDF Can You Walk On?

Medium-Density Fiber (MDF) is becoming an increasingly common option for flooring. People are using this material to cater to their flooring needs and ensure a compact flooring solution. Typically, the MDF board for flooring needs to be anywhere near 2.5 to 25mm, but the ideal is 18mm in terms of thickness for you to easily walk on.

MDF boards are usually slippery and may not be as comfortable to walk on as plywood. Moreover, many people consider it a cheap and temporary fix for their flooring. They are considerably cheap and easy to install and thus a popular choice for people who are seeking temporary flooring fix.

What Are The Dangers Of MDF?

The main concern when working with MDF is the poison adhesives such as formaldehyde, which spread through the air during flooring installation. Breathing these chemicals may not be ideal for workers and homeowners alike. Not only can the dust potentially cause cancer, but it may lead to irritation in the eyes and skin. Some of the workers working on the MDF may experience burning and itching in their noses as well. It may lead to coughing, throat infections, and other complications. Repeated exposure may lead to serious complications such as respiratory tract issues.

MDF VS OSB for Attic Flooring

Selecting the right material for your attic flooring may seem like a confusing task, given the plethora of options in the market. OSB is also deemed as one of the alternatives for MDF for flooring. Compared to MFD, OSB is stronger and compact. Moreover, OSB also possesses the ability to withstand different weather conditions and moisture levels. MDF, on the other hand, is preferred for giving a smooth texture and final touch to the attic.

OSB Overview

OBS tends to offer more versatility and density compared to MFD. Not only that, but it is also durable and cost-effective when comparing other options in the market. However, it comes with a few shortcomings, which include:

  • Challenging to paint and customize
  • Absorbs water
  • Swollen edges and corners
  • Extremely heavy to lift and transport

MDF Overview

On the other hand, MDF is known for its functionality is similar to that of wood. It is also a cost-effective and budget-friendly material that adds to the beauty of a home. MDF is easy to cut, paint and customize and therefore, it is a popular choice for people who are looking to add a touch of personalization.

But similar to other materials, MDF has its drawbacks which include:

  • Heavier due to its high density
  • Not strong enough like other materials
  • Exposure to water and humidity may hinder the material
  • Dull blades and edges

How to Seal MDF Flooring?

There are different ways homeowners can seal the MDF flooring, which prevents water. Start by adding a high-quality wood sealant and paint it with moisture-resistant paint. It will help the project withstand moisture and humidity. One of the best sealers is Shellac since it creates a hard layer after it is dried. Drywall compound is also a decent option to seal MDF flooring.