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Old 09-19-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
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How to find floor joist

I'm having new carpet installed, but before I have them come over I wanted to screw down the floor, (I have few sqeaks) how can I find the joist under the sub floor, I have no pattern to follow either. I removed the carpet from one bedroom, it appears, what is down is 1/2" chip board, on top of that another 1/2" laminant (which is stapled down) so I cant follow any nailing pattern.


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Old 09-19-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
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poke around with a few short nails to determine where a joist is. Once you find the center of one, (they are typically 1 1/2") try measuring over 16 inches and check for center of another. Other possibilities are 12" and 24" on center, although 16 is very common.


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Old 09-19-2011, 09:27 AM   #3
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Crawl under the house and run a screw up next to a joist and use that for a starting point.
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Old 09-19-2011, 09:28 AM   #4
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Finding Floor Joists

If you have a stud-finder, try it, it might work through the two layers. If not, then go back to old manual method. Go to a corner of the room and measure out 16" from both walls and make a square on the floor. I like to take a thin drill bit and start making holes until I find a joist; in the old days we used to use 16 penny nails. Once you find the first joist measure out 16" and see if the joist are running in this direction, if not, then measure from the other side. When you find the joists I suggest that you mark 4' marks and then check to see if the joist is till in line with your first hole. If so, find the edges of the joist in both places and then mark with a chalk line so you have a line to follow when you screw. I recommend screwing the entire floor because if you screw just the area's with squeeks you will find that pulling those area tight may create other gaps that will either squeek now, or they may later. Hope this helps.
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