I have to screw down the floorboards of a large room. The consultant advised 50mm plasterboard screws. I don't think that there are any pipes or cables but would like to be sure. Can anyone advise on a suitable electric 'finder'? I intend to screw near the nail and on the opposite side of the board for each one. This is to appease the neighbours downstairs who are tired of the squeaking.
First of all I wouldn't use plasterboard screws as these can be a bit brittle and not much good for wood which contracts and expands all year round.
Secondly, sometimes inserting screws doesn't solve the problem as it could be the joist the board is laid on.
It is an easy job putting the screws in and I doubt very much if anybody has laid pipes or cables near the old nail holes, cable detectors will just confirm the presence of the old nails!
You are right to be cautious though as you can never guarantee that somebody didn't folow the rules when laying cable or pipe.
If you are lifting the carpet to get to the floorboards then you may find one or two cut boards where somebody has sought access to the void beneath, I'd lift these for a look-see just to confirm where cables or pipes run so I could avoid tehm