I've been told that the electrical wires in the roof can heat up and potentially start fires if you cover them up. How can I get around this to lay the floor for an attic? The type of floor is just chip-wood since I'm just using the space for storage.

Any other help in putting this project together is welcome!


  • 2
    Surely you're not talking of heat cables for your roof? Normal 120/220 wiring wont heat up unless there's a large load on it. There's wires everywhere in the walls, and it's insulated.
    – Natsu Kage
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 4:17
  • Do you mean laying floorboards on top of wires? As long as you don't pinch the wires between the joists and floorboard you should be OK. Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 5:30
  • You don't want to lay the wood floor directly on top of any wire or cables.
    – SteveSh
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 12:39
  • 1
    Please come back and provide some more specifics about what you're asking! We have lots of questions and would like to be sure we're providing accurate answers for you.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 13:09
  • Hey guys, yep Natsu Kage - not heating cables, just normal electric wires for the house. Steve Wellens, yep essentially just laying floorboards over the top of everything. Cheers for the answers guys!
    – Lawson
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


If you have wires/cables that run across the top of the attic floor joists, you could build up the joist with ripped 2x4's that would provide another 1-1/2 inch clearance above the joists for the wires. You would have to provide a gap between the added sections of wood to provide a channel for the wires to lay in. Or lay 2x4's flat perpendicular to the joists, running parallel to the wires. Then lay your attic floor down on the new 2x4's.


One other thing to consider is you probably want to provide protection for any of the wires that end up under the flooring. Might want to put nailing plates over the wires so that an errant nail doesn't find its way into a wire.

  • 2
    Suggest that if you decide to go this way, take some pictures so that you know where the wires are strung. Most home builders just stretch wires across joists, and it may be good to know their routing at some time in the future.
    – mongo
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 15:50
  • Thanks for the info. I'll take all of that (protection, pictures, and building some clearance up if the cables go over the top of joists) into consideration. Cheers
    – Lawson
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 23:13

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