squeaky floor

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  #1  
Old 01-28-08, 08:58 AM
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squeaky floor

What's up everyone?! Here's a quick disclaimer before I begin, "New to the forums and also new to the home repairing, so excuse any retarded sounding questions."

That said, I have a lot of squeaking coming from the upstairs floors of my 20 year old house. I could deal with a couple squeaky spots, but from the top of the stairs it squeaks for a good 10 feet out in any direction you go. I am in the process of remolding and have carpet ripped up, so I have complete access to the floor. Finished roof below, so can't come up from below.

Looking at the floor, it appears to just be nailed down. I was planning on cutting out pieces and nailing down new pieces of plywood, but concerned about such a large area. It looks as if the floor runs under some walls, so instead of replacing full 4 x 8 pieces, I would be replaces bit pieces that I cut out. Would that affect anything if I went that route?

I did change out a 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 piece of floor in a small bathroom. The joists were 2 x 6 and, I think, 24" wide. I ran a couple 2 x 4 support beams in there to help with stability and it seems to work "better".

Asking around, I was told that I might be able to just get a lot of 2" screws and screw it down. Never thought of that (again, I'm a new guy), so thinking that might be the easiest thing to start out with.

Any ideas of what the best way to go would be? Thanks!
 
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Old 01-28-08, 09:14 AM
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squeeking

Hi Danko and welcome.

I'm sure someone will post before i even finish this, but here goes anyway.

Had the same issue as you do, similar age house. This was before (what I believe now is common practice) they started using adhesive btwn the floor joists and the subfloor, and screwing the subfloor instead of nailing..

Your squeeking is probably coming from the ply rubbing on nails that have slightly loosened their grip on the joists, or from the edges of ply rubbing together. It doesn't take much movement to make a pretty big sound

At this point, I think you have come to your own answer. Put screws beside every nail, and add additional as you see fit. W/o access to the underside, not a lot you can do there.

Like I said, it worked at my old place just fine.
 
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Old 01-28-08, 10:24 AM
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Use screws to quiet the floor, as previously suggested. Make sure you use deck screw or equally strong screws designed for flooring applications - DO NOT use drywall screws as they are not strong enough and the heads will break off.

Use the existing nails as a guide as to where to place your screws and be sure you hit the floor joist under the plywood. Sometimes you may have to make several attempts before you hit something solid underneath.

After you have installed you screws, walk around and listen for any additional squeaks. If there are any, use a prybar to remove the suspect nail. It helps if you have a partner walk around while you keep a good ear to the floor.
 
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Old 01-28-08, 12:11 PM
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IMO drywall screws are fine for this aplication. Drywall screws are weakest in shear. These screws are under tension.

Another (IMO better) option is to use an 8d ring shank nail.
It's fastyer, cheaper and they make a strong, tight joint.
 
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Old 01-28-08, 12:41 PM
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cw
I think the problem (that I've had) w/drywall screws is not so much they wouldn't hold well once installed, but that the heads can snap off when putting them in. I know its happened to me when I tried to pull 2 pieces together and over-torqued 'em.

My elbows/shoulders won't let me nail very much anymore, so i try to screw everything i can now.
 
  #6  
Old 01-28-08, 05:24 PM
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Seen too many DYI fixes that used drywall screws, they are not designed for applications involving flooring. Do it correctly in the first place, you have the opportunity while the floor is opened up. Cheaper than going back after and redoing the flooring later to correct squeaks that pop up after the fact.....
 
  #7  
Old 01-29-08, 04:28 AM
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Thanks everyone!

Went by the store last night and picked up some screws. Ended up getting some 1- 5/8" that are basically for wooden decks. Told the store employee what I was doing and they said it would work fine. Got home, tried it out on a small 3 x 3 section at the top of the stairs and it worked great! No squeak at all from what used to be one of the worst areas in the house. Definitely a great improvement and much easier than replacing the floor boards.

Amazing how much "play" was in there with the nails. As the screws tightened down, in some places, there was close to 1/4" gap between wood and nail head. Should I take those nails out, or just beat down, before laying carpet?

Currently I'm in the process of tiling my entire downstairs right now, but as soon as that is done, I'm now ready to tackle the floors upstairs. After screwing everything down, it's going to be carpet everywhere upstairs.

Question for you, I'm thinking of screwing all the boards down, on all sides, regardless of squeak. Figure since I have easy access now, I might as well try to eliminate any possible squeak I can and maybe save myself the hassle of pulling back carpet later. Any down side to putting in all the extra screws?

Again thanks for your help!
 
  #8  
Old 01-29-08, 04:36 AM
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Danko
If it were me, I'd pull out any nails that were loose. They'll just move again, and they're not doing anything for you.

And Yes, put screws in everywhere while yer there. You made a good choice on using the deck screws, btw.
 
  #9  
Old 01-29-08, 05:18 AM
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Thanks again Gunguy
 

Last edited by Danko; 01-29-08 at 06:02 AM.
  #10  
Old 01-29-08, 09:04 AM
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If you are going to screw down the whole floor, I would suggest looking into renting a collated screw gun. It will turn a weekend project into a couple of hours worth of work and save strain on your knees and back. The screws are a little more expensive, but you can weigh that against the ease and time savings.
 
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