Temporary flooring help needed via /r/DIY

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Temporary flooring help needed

I’m not sure of terminology or how to describe exactly what I’m asking so please bear with me… The house my friend and I just moved into has a really lovely attic, which my friend is using as his bedroom. The stair to the attic from the second floor is totally uncovered, by which I mean the stair’s footprint on the second floor corresponds exactly to a hole in the floor of the attic. This stairway-sized gap in the attic floor takes up almost the entire center of the attic, with large empty spaces on opposite sides, but crossing one side of the stair hole to the other there’s only about a foot of walkway on either side, with heavily sloping walls that mean my tall friend has to contort himself awkwardly to cross the room.

What we want to do as a temporary fix is install a single piece of wood that could hold a person’s weight over part of the stairwell, so that you could comfortably cross the attic where the ceiling is higher, and so that the attic is less open to the second floor. Now I’m at the part where I’m really not sure I’m describing correctly what we have in mind and what we need help figuring out: We do NOT need or want this temporary “flooring” to be flush with the existing floor. I didn’t take measurements of the area we want covered yet, but let’s say it’s 3’ by 4’; I’m trying to determine how much bigger the board would have to be so that the weight of someone walking across the unsupported section would be distributed across the existing floor without damaging it, and how thick the board would have to be to support a person’s weight (it’s really only to make it possible to comfortably cross the room, not to support furniture). And then how to fix it to the floor so it stays put but could be removed when we’re in a position to have actual permanent flooring and support installed. Also if there’s a particular kind of wood or other material that would be best suited for this purpose. Or if this is a totally harebrained project that is likely to damage the attic floor, or if there’s other factors I don’t know beyond these that I know I don’t know… Or would a series of planks crossing the hole be more feasible than a single big piece of material, and if so how would I figure out the right dimensions for those; would putting in nails or screws from above the planks or board down into the existing floor be sufficient to secure the walkway, or would we need to put in something like those wooden triangles connecting the wall of the stairs to the underside of the walkway, and what are those even called, and could they be attached to the wall wherever or would we need to find, I don’t know, beams or studs behind the wall? I’d appreciate any depth of help with this, including just giving me the vocabulary to research it on my own

Submitted May 05, 2021 at 03:06PM by firsttime___longtime
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