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Question DetailsAsked on 5/16/2013

fixing squeaky floors

My subfloor has become more and more noisy as time passes. Can it be screwed down? Does the subfloor need to be replaced in all or in part?

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4 Answers


Here's an Angie's List on this very topic: How to silence a squeaking floor


Answered 7 years ago by JP


Paste this link into your browser - this questions was previously answered for another user

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Unless it is rotten it doesn't need replacement. I answered a similar question about a year ago. Can you access the underside of the subfloor where it sits on the joists? If so remove the floor covering above and slighly lift the subfloor off of the joists. Squeeze adhesive along the tops of the joists and drive the nails back down from the top. Then add screws. Between the screws and the advesive the subfloor will never move in relationship to the joists again. You can also take this time to reinforce any joints in the subfloor in the same manner. If you are unable to access the underside of the floor structure you'll have to just add screws which work well too but may not remove all of the squeaks. If the subfloor is thick enough (an inch or more) you can try the mothod suggested by others of "toe-nailing" screws from underneath without removing your floor covering. I wouldn't pry up on the subfloor to add adhesive if you do that because you won't be able to drive the existing nails back down with the finished flooring in place and might damage it.

Are you sure your problem isn't movement in engineered I-beam joists? Many homes over the last 15-20 years have these for framing under the floors. In unconditioned space the glue used can sometimes deteriorate which allows the top and/or bottom boards to move slightly on the osb core in the middle. In this case you'll definitely need a professional to help with the project to make sure the integrity of the joists aren't compromised currently or as a result of any repairs.

Todd Shell

Todd's Home Services

San Antonio, TX

Answered 7 years ago by Todd's Home Services


Todd brought up a good point. With wood I-Beam joists, instead of a solid full-width joist it is a glued-up composition of a top and bottom piece of wood dadoed out (or 2 pieces side by side) and glued onto a piece of plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). The top edge is therefore full width for only about 1-1/2-4 inches in height. Driving large enough nails or screws into this top edge to hold down a squeeky floor is likely to split the top "flange" unless they are dead center, dramatically reducing the strength of the beam.

Therefore, if you have this type of beam, you will probably have to first check and record flange spacings from underneath, then drive a few locator nails up alongside one of the joists (usually a middle one) to stringline on the sheathing above where the centerline is, then measure off and stringline all the others to be sure your fasteners go into the dead center. A high-powered sonic stud locator will also work through sheathing to locate the center of the joists.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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