Question: I’m having a problem with my floors squeaking. What can I do to eliminate this problem?
Answer: There are a few things you can do or have someone do for you that will handle this problem. I’ll give you the solutions in a two part series.
Part One: Where there is under floor access.
If you can access the floors from underneath, meaning no dry wall or covered ceiling, just exposed beams, the job is a lot easier.
This blog will tell you how to correct the squeak yourself or give you and education so you will know what to expect when you hire a professional to fix it.
Have someone walk on the floor or stairs from above while you’re down below so you can isolate where the squeak starts. If the source of the problem is a gap between the *subfloor and a **joist, just insert a shim into the gap. Apply some wood glue to the shim and slide it into the gap until its snug. Don’t force it in farther than it wants to go—you could make the gap wider. It’ll keep the floor from bouncing when someone steps on it. This also works for creaking stairs.
If the squeak comes from long gaps between the plywood sub floor and the floor joists, Instead of applying a bunch of shims over a long distance fill the gaps with construction adhesive, work the adhesive into the gap to stop the squeak A good adhesive for this is “Liquid Nails”.
Existing floor joists can occasionally twist, warp, or deteriorate. As a result of this, a space opens up between the joist and the plywood subfloor, this causes squeaking when someone walks over this area. You can fix this problem by nailing a block of wood alongside the problem joist. Apply a bead of construction adhesive along the top of the wood that will butt against the subfloor, then nail or screw it to the joist.
When the floor joists are the problem, quiet them by nailing or screwing 2 x 8 blocks between them. Insert the blocks at approximately the midpoint of the joists’ run. Apply construction adhesive along the edge that will be placed against the subfloor before fastening them in place.
Some of these bothersome squeaks can originate between the joists and are most likely caused by the wood floor rubbing against the underlying plywood subfloor. You can stop that friction by driving short screws from the underside of the subfloor into the bottom of the finished flooring.
You have to be very careful that the screws are not long enough to penetrate through the top of the floor covering or you’ll end up with a problem worse than squeaks. Just to be safe, drive the first one in an inconspicuous area, like a closet, and check that it didn’t break through.
*Definition: A subfloor is a wood floor which is laid over the floor joists and on which the finished floor is laid.
**Definition: A floor joist is a horizontal framing member made of wood, steel, or reinforced concrete, used in the construction of floors, roofs, etc
I’m available to answer your questions or to supply you with a complementary estimate for any of your projects.