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Old 09-12-2011, 11:59 AM   #1
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squeaking subfloor


my home is about 30 yrs old. I have recently taken carpet up from inside the master bath. I am ready to start the floor process of tiling. I am down to the subfloor, and have taken 2inch screws and drilled the subfloor down better to the floor joists. at 16 inch intervals. hopefully i am in the joist...but.... I am still getting a squeek when i walk over it, in some places. I am trying to take care of this before i put my cement board down. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

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Old 09-12-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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hopefully i am in the joist...
How can you not know if your fasteners are in the joist?

Prior fasteners should be easy to locate and you can follow that pattern. There may be a seam or two that would give you a point to measure from to find the centers of adjacent floor joists. All you need to determine is your joist spacing.

What area do the squeaks seem to be coming from? Occasionally if there is an underlayment added over the subfloor the underlayment edges could be rubbing on a tub or shower or cabinet toe-kick.

Generally speaking...the installation of cement board can also eliminate some floor squeaks.

Don't forget the cement board MUST be installed into a fresh bed of thinset mortar, and this can also serve to eliminate squeaks. Be informed that if you have squeaks, you have movement. The movement must be remedied if you expect a rigid ceramic tile installation to last.

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Old 09-12-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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i guess i could not know because i am not an experienced carpenter. I have gone down every 16 inches, and where i have put the screw, it has been very difficult or at lease hesitant to go in. I assume its because it is total wood that im going through... Yes i thought prior fasteners would be a hint for me, but i can hardly see the nails, actually there arent that many of them. so i kinda guessed that my sub floor was mostly glued down. I am totally on the subfloor, because when i had my new whirlpool taken out, we could see that this was the only floor next to my joist. The squeeks i though would be controlled by me screwing every 3 or 4 inches across the joist, but, maybe the boards are rubbing each other, or up against something. It doesnt appear so, but im not sure.. Im just trying to do a good job. figured i'd ask on here cause you all know more than i do.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
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If the subfloor is "mostly glued" then that technique is supposed to eliminate squeaks but that doesn't mean a few (squeaks) couldn't occur for who knows what reason.

Since there is no underlayment on top of the subfloor then edge squeaks at the tub or shower or toe-kicks is basically impossible because all the improvements would then be on top of the subfloor.

The downside of that is that the squeaks are from deflection (movement) in the structure and that may not be a good thing.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:27 PM   #5
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ok bud... went back and looked, and i see a very very thin sheet of wood that i guess is on top of my under floor. im going to check again, but i did see this this piece. it actually looks like chopped wood pieces glued together to make a sheet... wow. i hope this isnt bad. its just that everytime i put pressure on this one spot, it makes a creek... idk what do you think?
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:34 PM   #6
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went back and looked, and i see a very very thin sheet of wood that i guess is on top of my under floor.

I'm guessing that is 1/8" or 1/4" OSB used for carpet underlayment for some reason. It should be removed totally. Underlayments can be a big cause of movement and movement is not good. Of course now that you have already screwed through it you have more work to do.

If that is what it is and it isn't glued down it will break up easily but then you will have to fiddle with each screw to get them down flush.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:46 PM   #7
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ok, looked, and yes, it is a thin piece on top, but under it looks like it is a 5/8 piece of board too. sooo with that being said, would you say i just need to screw as much as i can to the joist, and go ahead and lay backerboard with mortor..?
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:47 PM   #8
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oh, that would be ok to remove, however guess my next question, is how do i cut it away from under the tub, and vanity area, because im sure it was all laid on top of both pieces of wood
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:01 PM   #9
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ok, looked, and yes, it is a thin piece on top, but under it looks like it is a 5/8 piece of board too. sooo with that being said, would you say i just need to screw as much as i can to the joist, and go ahead and lay backerboard with mortor..?
Absolutely not!


Find a place where you can begin to peel it up. It will easily break off at the tub and vanity and any scraps and splinters that remain can be cut away with a sharp utility knife. Let it stay under anything it may be under, that's not a big deal.
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:53 AM   #10
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Thank you... you have been wonderful...

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