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Old 02-22-2014, 10:20 PM   #1
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Subfloor Noise


Hey folks,

I'd really appreciate some thoughts on what may be causing part of my subfloor to make a popping noise when I walk on it. I just rebuilt entire second floor of my house including all of the floor joists. The joists span 16 ft and are kiln dried Doug Fir 2x10's. They are 16" OC with 2 rows of 2x10 blocking. I used PL400 on top of the joists and laid down 3/4 inch tongue and groove OSB with 2 inch nails every 6 inches. I also added some PL400 in the grooves of OSB and made sure to stagger all the seams. I really put a lot of thought and effort into this floor and my heart sinks every time I walk on it and hear a creaking noise. Any possible ideas on what I can do or why it's happening? Thanks. Rick
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:59 PM   #2
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Can you tell us what grade specifically those Doug Firs are? Are they Doug Fir Larch, Doug Fir Larch North or Doug Fir South? Do you know? Is the 2nd floor bedrooms and baths only or is a kitchen or rec room involved?

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Old 02-22-2014, 11:01 PM   #3
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Sounds like you did it right.
100 % sure the butt joints where centered over the joist?
Did you offset the pieces?
Hand nail or nail gun?
Been back over the nails with a hammer?
Narrowed it down to one area and added some bugle head screws?
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan
Can you tell us what grade specifically those Doug Firs are? Are they Doug Fir Larch, Doug Fir Larch North or Doug Fir South? Do you know? Is the 2nd floor bedrooms and baths only or is a kitchen or rec room involved? Jaz
I didn't realize there were that many different grades, I'm not really sure. The entire floor consists of a big master bedroom and that's it. There is an addition off the master bedroom but that is a different floor.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption
Sounds like you did it right. 100 % sure the butt joints where centered over the joist? Did you offset the pieces? Hand nail or nail gun? Been back over the nails with a hammer? Narrowed it down to one area and added some bugle head screws?
Sorry Joe, I said nails but what I meant was screws. I used 2 inch screws with screw gun every 6 inches. When you say offset the pieces do you mean stagger all the seams? I did that. Regarding the butt joints being centered...there was a seam or two toward the end of project where the OSB didn't lie perfect in center...could that be causing it to creak in someway? Also, what's a bugle head screw?
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:49 PM   #6
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Those I listed are species not grades. I'm axing you for the grade, each joists should have a grade stamp. Is the span exactly 16' 0" or is that a good guess?

The grades are;

Doug Fir Larch 21 grades
Doug Fir Larch North 6 grades
Doug Fir South 5 grades

Jaz
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan
Those I listed are species not grades. I'm axing you for the grade, each joists should have a grade stamp. Is the span exactly 16' 0" or is that a good guess? The grades are; Doug Fir Larch 21 grades Doug Fir Larch North 6 grades Doug Fir South 5 grades Jaz
The span is 15' 10 inches in 90 % of floor and less than that where the stair case comes into play.
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Subfloor Noise-image-399310094.jpg   Subfloor Noise-image-2760454001.jpg  
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:22 AM   #8
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OK, looks like Doug Fir Larch North grade #2.

I've been asking cuz 16' is a long span. So let me see what the chart says.

Minimum deflection rating for rooms other than sleeping rooms is L360. That's the worst it can be. Sleeping rooms can have more deflection, but normally the entire house is built to meet the min. L360 figure.

Those joists should not be spanned more than 15' 2" to meet L360. So, part of your floor may have a little too much bounce. What do you plan to install on these floors?

As for the noise..........? You'll figure it out since you're there. Most likely I would guess two edges as snapping as the curvature bends each panel against the other. Otherwise a few screws didn't hit their mark just right. Since the underneath is exposed, look for screws that broke the edge of the joists.

Also try installing 2 sets of bridging (X) between each of the cavities.

Jaz
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazMan
OK, looks like Doug Fir Larch North grade #2. I've been asking cuz 16' is a long span. So let me see what the chart says. Minimum deflection rating for rooms other than sleeping rooms is L360. That's the worst it can be. Sleeping rooms can have more deflection, but normally the entire house is built to meet the min. L360 figure. Those joists should not be spanned more than 15' 2" to meet L360. So, part of your floor may have a little too much bounce. What do you plan to install on these floors? As for the noise..........? You'll figure it out since you're there. Most likely I would guess two edges as snapping as the curvature bends each panel against the other. Otherwise a few screws didn't hit their mark just right. Since the underneath is exposed, look for screws that broke the edge of the joists. Also try installing 2 sets of bridging (X) between each of the cavities. Jaz
Thanks Jaz. I want to install carpet on the floor. Do you think screwing a 1/2 in sheet of ply to OSB would be helpful? I checked all the screws and none if them are missing the mark. When you say two edges snapping are you referring to edges of OSB?
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #10
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Rick,

Adding more lumber will decrease the deflection between the joists, it won't help for the joists' deflection though. You don't need it, especially for carpeting.

Have a friend step on the area of the squeak while you look from below. Try adding more screw. If nothing works, sprinkle some talc on the seam, and brush it in. If the noise is not in the seam, remove a few screws and drive new ones next to where the old were. Might work. You have to make like a Sherlock.

It could also be a weak joist. To stiffen the joists.....why not sister those joists with more limber? Even 2x6's or 3/4" OSB or ply strips. At least do the mid-2/3ds of the span.

Jaz
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:02 PM   #11
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In my area you have to use #1 for floor joists.

I personally would not have used OSB. I think plywood does better on a floor than OSB.

I used 1 1/8" T&G upstairs.....it's about par to walking on concrete.



Downstairs I used 5/8" so the floor level would be the same as the existing house....big difference...
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:22 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the help guys. It turns out the noise is from some of the blocking that was put in too tight. Was able to correct it. Rick
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