View Full Version : Creaky Floors
I have a new house (2 years old). The house has an unfinished section of the basement (where my shop is). Above this section of the house is the master bedroom.
My problem is that when you walk in the bedroom, the joists squeak and its extremely annoying. In looking at the underside of the floor and the supporting joists, I notice that there looks like construction adhesive was applied to the top of the joists before the plywood was nailed to the joists. There are a few "misses" witht the nails but not an extreme amount. I have wall to wall carpet upstairs so putting additional nails into the floor does not appear to be an option. Is there another solution???? Would some sort of "L" bracket work???? I would love to get this fixed and I do not want to tear up the carpet.
Any suggestions would be apprectiated.
There are a couple of products for just this problem. Unfortunately I don't know what they are called. The basic design that I have seen is what looks like a pocket hole jig that you place against the beam and subfloor, then screw it in place. That pulls the subfloor tight with the beams and won't allow any squeeking.
Maybe someone here has a homebrew solution that would work, otherwise you will have to go to the big box store (or your local lumberyard) and ask the salesman about these.
Danford C Jennings
01-15-2003, 08:28 PM
The sub floor is probably OSB too, huh? Well, seeing as peeling back the carpet doesn't seem to be an acceptable option. I guess we're forced to work underneath...
"L" brackets won't work over the long haul, sounds like this is in a main traffic area, which is part of the reason why the floor is squeeking. My first approach would by to use #10 1" deck screws. Drill your pilot holes in at an angle, then "toe screw" 'em in. Just make sure you've got enough meat between the joist and subfloor so you don't screw through the OSB. The coarse threads of the deck screws will give you some bite into the OSB. No quarantee. The other alternative might be door jamb shims, driven into the gaps. No quarantee.
If it were my house, I'd pull back the carpet, drive in some decking screws, go down to the rental store and rent out a "kicker" and put the carpet back...guaranteed.
01-16-2003, 12:26 AM
I have your solution right [link:store.yahoo.com/squaredrive/snm-3320.html|here]. It is a screw that is designed to fix the problem right through carpeting.
01-16-2003, 01:10 AM
The squeak you hear is the plywood rubbing up and down on the nails as people walk over spots that are not attached firmly to the joists. Yes, there are "breakaway" screws designed to fix this, and special brackets you can screw into the joist and up into the subfloor, but here's what I would try first:
Take a handful of shims (like you would use for hanging a door), a caulking gun, and a couple tubes of construction adhesive into the underfloor space. Get a helper to walk around upstairs and locate the squeaky spots one by one.
When you hear the squeak you should also be able to see the plywood move up and down slightly. Tell the helper to mark the spot (blue tape works well) and move away from the spot. Then drive a couple shims between the joist and the plywood to get a 1/8" gap (or so). Fill the gap with construction adhesive, remove the shims, and have the helper place a weight (5 gal. paint cans are great, but sandbags, books, bricks, anything will work) on the spot (watch out for oozing adhesive). Leave it overnight. Do this to all the spots you can find. After you remove the weights, check again. You may need to repeat the process in a few spots. When you're done, the plywood should be stuck tight to the joists for years to come.
You need to learn from other people's mistakes. You'll never have enough time to make them all yourself.
Danford C Jennings
01-16-2003, 01:14 AM
I'll be danged, Lou.
Have you used these things? I can see how it wouldn't be visable in a plush pile, but what about a short loop? Any who, it never ceases to amaze me where you find "trick" like that.
01-16-2003, 01:52 AM
These things can even be used with a hardwood floor. The screw has a weak point that end up below the surface. The tool is use to screw it down tight and then you just pop it and it breaks below the surface and it still holds tight.
I found this catalog surfing in my reading room one day about a year ago. I have a couple of spots to fix, but haven't got a round tu it yet to order and use them.
So no I haven't used them yet but will one of these days. Thought it was a neat idea and wish I had thought of it.
01-16-2003, 03:46 PM
[link:www.squeaknomore.com|Here] is a system that I stumbled across while reading a DIY magazine at the doctor's office today. These screws were a pretty nifty idea.
01-16-2003, 05:54 PM
Lou and Jerry have the right answers.
Lou's answer is designed for second floor areas, where you can't get to the floor from underneath. It would work anywhere, however.
For first floors the standard fix is Jerry's idea. This is because you want to prevent the OSB from moving, and nails or screws don't work as well at this as does shimming the floor. So you should use this method first for two reasons, it is cheaper, and it will prevent movement better than any kind of metal fastener. The floor simply can't move if you shim it tight.
I tell you, I always get answers to my questions. I would never of thought of either method.
I think I will try the shim method first. I will keep you posted.