I’m trying to finish an attic, however, can lights from the living room and other electrical peeks above the joist about an inch give or take. How would I finish the floor with those obstructions in the way. By the way the joist are 16 inches on center.

Thanks in advance,

  • 4
    How large are your attic joists? Sometimes the joists are sized to be an attic, not a finished space. – kponz Dec 10 '18 at 14:37
  • 1
    The clearance needed would depend on the type of can light. Some need 3" above to allow the heat to dissipate. – Ed Beal Dec 10 '18 at 16:10
  • Thx for the answers, the joist I think are 2x6, and I’m just guessing. So in this case if it’s not sufficient enough for a floor what do I need to do, and what if subfloor is placed over existing, what would or could happen. – Tajuan Riley Dec 10 '18 at 21:37
  • How far do the 2x6s span? @TajuanRiley – kponz Dec 11 '18 at 0:07
  • 2
    16" is the gap between the joists - what is length of the joists. If it's anything over a few feet, that sounds like they are sized for holding up a ceiling, not providing a stable floor to an attic room. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Jan 15 at 14:11

If the existing joists are adequate to support an attic floor, it will be far easier to replace the recessed can lights with wafer style LED lights such as these from Lithonia.

Lithonia LED wafer lights

When shopping, check carefully to see that the lights you select will work out with the openings in your ceiling. You might want to bring one of the trims from your existing lights with you to the store.

If the joists are too small and need to be beefed up, you can sister new, larger joists to the existing joists, but that will probably be a lot of work.

| improve this answer | |
  • You'll also need to make sure the new fittings can be closed in - some LED units cannot be covered and need to breathe. Check the paperwork! – Criggie Feb 14 at 23:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.