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Todd85 04-16-2010 02:03 PM

Fixing Noisy Subfloor (No Tile)
Would like to get any advice on fixing a noisy subfloor in my 6 year old house.

The top floor is currently carpeted and when you walk on high-traffic places, like around the bed, there is considerable popping noise heard in the room below. The noise seems to come from along the floor not just underfoot. Deflection or flex has not been an issue in the room, which has a width of about 14'.

The floor is still sealed up but I was able to measure the joists and subfloor of the floor below from a cold air return. Assuming the two floors are the same, I have 2x10 doug fir joists, 16" OC. The subfloor is 3/4" plywood. The plans for the house I got from the city call for the subfloor to be nailed with #8s and glued.

I have time off coming up and would like to do my best to fix the noise problem. I'm not decided on whether carpet or hardwood will go back in. I have hardwood on lower floor and there are far fewer sounds.

Recently I learned that the subfloor likely extends under the walls so my original plan of taking it all up (assuming it really isn't glued) is probably out of the question as I'm not going to jack the walls to pull it out.

So my next best solution is to put 1 3/4" deck screws in the edges and field of the plywood. The question here is whether or not to remove the nails, and to use the nail holes as the pilots for the screws (would need #6 screws I believe) or to leave the nails as is? An architect friend thinks the noise is most likely nails that are not centered on the joist. If so, does leaving them make a difference?

PaliBob 04-16-2010 02:28 PM

Todd, Welcome to the Forum

You have come to the right place.
The answer is Squeak No More

Click on the video

I have used this product and it is a lifesaver
The carpet does not have to be removed.
The screws do not interfere with future re-carpeting


Todd85 05-10-2010 10:04 PM

Thank you for the reply Bob. I have relatives that have used that product with mixed results.

The carpet is definitely being replaced though so I will have the bare floor to work with and would appreciate any advice screw type, size and leaving the nails.

rusty baker 05-10-2010 10:29 PM

One problem with modern home building is air nailers. When shooting the floors down, they can't tell when they are missing the floor joist. That's usually why they squeak.

tacomahardwood. 05-11-2010 02:18 AM

Usually get a BIG friend to come over , get to the clean floor and have Him walk while you get your face close to the floor and watch the flexation , and listen for the sqeaks .It has been my experience that it will be ,#1 Nails that are deflected from the joist and rubbing , Yes the nail will squeak if it rubs just right ,
Next it could be they nailed it with a nail gun and it penetrated the ply wood while the plywood was wet . then as the house dries the plywood shrinks . then the nail heads are loose , You will be able to see this with the BIG friend walking and you looking , Here is the choice you will make ,
#1 hammer the nail tighter , or use a catspaw to pull it out . I use hot dipped galvy nails . or ring shanks to renail . I think hot dipped 8Ds are better then rink shanks .Because ringshanks have a file like groove and seem to file there way in , Hot dipped galvy s seem to hold better , If you don't believe it , Buy a small box of each and try to pull them after nailing .
I like to hand nail because I can feel it hit the joist . Once you find the joist snap lines with a chalk line . Now heres the trick , The line are only a reference . If the joist goes over a beam or wall then one side of the beam will have the joist on one side or the other of the line , don't just think the line in THE SPOT TO NAIL . !!! Use it for a reference and nail to whatever side the joist is on ,and hammer [tap] slow. Then if it is missing the joist leave the nail stickin up and move over a little till you find the joist , then mark the good spot NOW the next thing it could be is a bushing where they put the plumbing pipes through , Code say's they have to do this , And IF the joist flexes it [could ] squeak at the joist , I just force it back a little or oil it or what ever , But if it is the second story it will be sheetrocked over and floored on the top , SOOOO Pick your battle , if you have squeaks at the wall parelel to the joist [good luck ] if the joist run perendicularto the wall then nail as close as possible ,
I usually don't pull all the nails . I make sure it is nailled properly and [most ]of the squeeks will go away .
And then last it could be where the joists are nailed together over the wall or beam , usually thts because if it is demensional 2X10s they are not perfect ,and they are cut to two by nine and three eights and nine and one half inch , When you step on one side of the beam the joist flexes on the other joist and the nails pulkl and squeak .

Jim F 05-12-2010 04:14 PM

The Squeek no more is a good idea for a carpeted squeaky subfloor. I got some and had fun driving them down but discovered some of my squeaks were not coming from the sub but rather the joists agains the rigid foam insulation. That is another fix.

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