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Old 01-06-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
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Squeaky Floors


My house was built in 1987 and Iíve only been living in it since 2009. Two things I notice when I bought the house, the walls were thin and the floor squeaked a bit. I have carpet throughout the second floor of the house and they have become extremely squeaky, especially in the master bedroom. The good news is the carpet needs to be replaced. The bad news is the price (I got a quote for $4,000 plus). I wish it was as simple as replacing the carpet, but the the truth is I don't have the money to replace the carpet right now because we just had a baby (8 weeks). The baby is also the reason why I am looking to fix the squeaky floor, nothing worst than putting a crying baby to sleep just to have her wake back up because of a squeaky floor.

Would replacing the carpet and padding solve my problem with being able to hear whatís going on upstairs when youíre downstairs? How hard or easy would it be to pull up the sub-floor and add insulation?

Iíve done a little research on this product called Squeak No More, which looks to be pretty easy. I am a little concern using this product because I think I have ductwork underneath my floors.

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Old 01-06-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
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Squeaky Floors


If this house was poorly construted and they took short cuts your only going to be able to make it better but not get rid of all the noise.
If there was no constrution adhesived used under the subfloor on top of the floor joist and they used nails not screws then about all you can do short of removing all of the sub flooring is remove the carpet and pad and insert a ton of screws.
Removing the whole sub floor on the second floor can be done with some
special tools, a toe kick saw ossilating saw cirulating saw.

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Old 01-06-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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You don't have to pull up the carpet to ram some screws into the joists. Might help.
Make sure you use a nail and hammer and tape measure (they should be 16" apart) to locate the joists so you don't screw into duct work, etc.
Not totally the right way, but may make a huge difference for now.
You shouldn't be able to see the screws if you ram them in far enough (stand directly over where you're screwing and use lots of pressure), then fluff the carpet back up.

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Old 01-06-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
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When you say; you can hear it downstairs, makes me think it may be more than just loose flooring.
First-squeeks are caused by wood rubbing on a nail. It might be as simple as loose plywood and there are many ways to solve that. Driving finish nails into joists through carpet is one. Of course, you will have to establish where the joists are.
If you are hearing it downstairs, get a builder or two to come look at it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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Finish nails will do nothing to draw the subflooring down to the floor joist.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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One option.



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Old 01-06-2012, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Finish nails will do nothing to draw the subflooring down to the floor joist.
Sorry to have to break it to you, but I have had VERY good sucess in drawing the subfloor (3/4" plywood) down to the joists. Very often where they break. 12 penny finish nails every few inches in the affected area will work very well!
If more is needed than that, then there are other problems. IE badly crowned joists, undersized headers, plumber cutting too big holes through joists. Lots of things.
But when she hears it downstairs, leads me to think it may be wood blocking, (Which I never use anymore).between the joists. I've seen it before.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Hey guys thanks for all the suggestion. I just wanted to clear two things up. The first, usually the baby is in the same room, what I mean by that is after putting her down before you can leave the room she wakes up because of the squeaky floor. The other thing is noise, meaning you can hear people talking upstairs when you're downstairs or vice versa.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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glkirk: It might work FOR NOW, but it will result in the same problem the OP is having later, only worse because there are more nails in that area. Eventually the wood around the nail loosens up and a squeak is born...especially in high traffic areas.

I have plank subflooring installed with nails and the squeaking is horrible. I put two screws in every plank at every joist. This all but eliminated the squeaks. In your case, you can put screws down into the joists every 6 - 12". Use deck screws that have the top part of the screw with no threads. This provides the tightest hold as there are no (or little) threads forcing a gap between layers.

I personally wouldn't put the screws through my carpet but if you are just going to spot-treat your squeaks then this might be an excellent solution.

The other problem you might have is in areas such as hallways where the joist space is used as an air return. In these areas, the metal for the ducting is fastened right to the joists and the squeaks sound more like fog horns in the middle of the night after putting the baby down (I have a 9-month old...I feel your pain). You can only reduce this using the above method, the only way to eliminate would be to re-do the ducting in a more "squeakless" way...you will have to post in the HVAC area for advice on that though.

Finally...having a squeaky floor does not necessarily mean you have a poorly build house.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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JRMN: To your second point, you can get acoustic underlay that can help reduce niose transfer. Other than that, you can pull down the ceiling in the level below, install a product like Roxul safe 'n sound, then hang the drywall on resilient channel. That is a lot of work though just for eliminating muffled conversation.

The other thing to look into is ducting. It can transfer a lot of noise and you can get mufflers.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #11
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Thanks for clearing that up. Not too many homes have insulation or any noise barrier between floors in America.
Usually floor joists run from front to back of a home on 16" centers. With a 12 penny finish nail, establish where one joist is. At the area of the squeek, drove some nails through the carpet/plywood and into the joist and "Set" it with a nail set. If its at a "Break" in plywood, figure it out and angle your nails a bit.
Maybe give this instruction to someone that doesn't have a baby to worry about. Do you have a brother or someone to help you with this?
I think you will have very good sucess with this.
Take your time
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:00 AM   #12
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If you go to www.thisoldhouse.com they have a quick solution to fix a squeaky subfloor. I saw the product on their show so I forgot what it's called. I have squeaky subfloors throughout my home as well and am looking into getting this device to fix mine.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:12 AM   #13
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http://www.123itsdone.com/squeeeeek-...of-scre50.html

Here's where you can find the kit. They sell both a kit for carpet and linoleum.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:52 AM   #14
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Thanks again for all the greate advice. I think I am going to try and use the Squeak No More product for now.

@pete0403, what the purpose of the acoustic underlay, is it just designed to reduce impact noise through floors into rooms below or is used to muffle chatter from the rooms above/below?
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #15
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It does a bit of both. Not as good as a more in-depth fix using sound insulation and resilient channel, but it's better than any other underlay for sound dampening. It's meant to be installed under a floating laminate floor usually. The stuff I use is called "Therma-Son Acoustical Underlay"

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