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jwsmas 03-11-2013 08:53 AM

Subfloor Issues
I recently removed laun and a vinyl floor from my kitchen. My plans are to install solid hardwood. The floor joists are 2X10's and the subfloor is 3/4 plywood. The floor had numerous squeaks so I use 2 1/2 #9 deck screws to tighten down the subfloor. This seem to eliminate the squeaks but after a couple of weeks I had a different type of squeak where I had used shims over the years. I guess my first question is should I have went down in my unfinished basement and remove the shims prior to screwing down the subfloor? I'm guessing these new squeaks are coming from the shims where I have put s screw in them. Does anyone have a suggestion on what I should do now? Thanks

joecaption 03-11-2013 09:16 AM

Sure could be.
Was the plywood glued and was it Tounged and grooved?

jwsmas 03-11-2013 09:31 AM

Subfloor Issues
Yes the plywood was glued and it is tongue and groove.

jwsmas 03-11-2013 02:16 PM

Subfloor Issues
Does anyone have any suggestions?


JazMan 03-11-2013 08:18 PM

Sometimes, if not often, shims are the wrong way to go. It's unlikely a floor will drop suddenly where a 2" shim will bring it back where it should be. If not done properly a shim can raise the subfloor. instead of supporting it.

However it's an individual repair situation and no one can tell you exactly what to do. You have to be there, use a straight edge and maybe have a helper upstairs.

Got pics? How flat is the floor? Have you put a straight edge on the bottom of the joists too?


jwsmas 03-12-2013 12:20 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Thanks for your reply. I took a level to the bottom of the floor joists and they are all level. I did take a picture of the floor joists and of the kitchen subfloor. Let me know what you think I should do.

joecaption 03-12-2013 12:29 PM

All those shim should have been removed before the scews went it.

JazMan 03-12-2013 02:23 PM


Originally Posted by jwsmas
I took a level to the bottom of the floor joists and they are all level. I did take a picture of the floor joists and of the kitchen subfloor. Let me know what you think I should do.

OK, good. Did you put the level both ways? So, if the joists are flat and also level, then remove the shims and the kitchen floor will be level too. You forgot to mention if the subfloor from the kitchen side is level and flat. That's what you're trying to make flat and level if possible.


jwsmas 03-12-2013 03:49 PM

JazMan thanks for you input. The kitchen floor has one 9ft sq area that had water damage from a roof and dishwasher leak. This area has a 1/2 inch valley. I'm trying to decide whether to remove the plywood in this area or to level with roofing shingles. The rest of the kitchen floor is level and flat.

Concerning removing the shims, then you are saying I need to back out the screws and then pull the shims out. Shims that were glued in should I use reciprocating saw to cut those out?

Thanks for the help.

JazMan 03-12-2013 03:54 PM

The floor can't be flat if the joists are flat BUT there's shims between the joists and the subfloor. Which is it? You're not reading the level right, probably.

You probably didn't need the shims, but couldn't fix it because you had a finished floor then.


jwsmas 03-12-2013 04:10 PM

There are only shims in one area of the kitchen floor. Those were put in to get rid of squeaks. You ask me to check the level of the floor joists with the shims. I put a level on those and they were level. My issue is with removing the shims so I can get rid of the squeaks associated with the shims. Then I will make sure that area is flat and level. As I said I know of one water damaged area that will need attention.

JazMan 03-12-2013 04:14 PM

If the subfloor got wet and therefore weak, it'll be between the joists, not on the joists, and you said the joists are level from below so the joists have nothing to do with a wet subfloor. So yes, remove the shims then see whats up.


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