Squeaky first floor - unfinished basement

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Old 09-15-16, 11:44 AM
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Squeaky first floor - unfinished basement

Hi - I'm a newbie and very "non" handy - disclaimer

I have a home that's about 3 years old. The builder was great.. we do however notice squeaky floors (more so on the second floor). It's a 2 story home plus a basement. I don't think much can be done on the second floor (carpeted with sub-floor) but correct me if wrong there. That's question number 1.

My basement on the other hand is currently unfinished. So for question number 2... We are about to start finishing the basement in the next couple weeks. I was wondering if BEFORE we finish and close off the basement ceiling, can I help mitigate current squeaks on the first floor (main floor of our house) by adding glue between the floor joists and the subfloor in the open unfinished ceiling of the basement?

I can't tell if this is a naive idea or would adversely affect the contractor who's about to finish the basement, but I can't imagine anything hurtful would come of it. The squeaks/creaks aren't that bad - really only a few spots, but I figure this could help in the long run as the home's only 3 years old and I'd imagine there'll be more settling and squeaks moving forward as I live in the Midwest. Question 3 - is that the sign of a poor builder or is this pretty normal to have some squeaky spots in the house like that (not that i could do anything about the builder now but I'm curious)?

If construction glue on the joists/subfloor is a decent idea, any suggestions for a product to use? I just saw a commercial for Gorilla Construction Glue??

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 
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Old 09-15-16, 11:59 AM
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Generally these are best addressed from above and there is a screw system at home centers for it - the screw breaks off at the subfloor level so nothing is left sticking up.

I'll see if I can find a link.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 12:01 PM
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Interesting - thanks! That will be a useful link.

Sounds like you think I should not bother adding any glue along the corners where the joists meet the subfloor?
 
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Old 09-15-16, 12:03 PM
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https://www.doitbest.com/products/sq...Fcgp0wodvs8OZw

I've used it and been happy with it. Keep in mind you want to stand directly over where you are inserting the screw each time so your weight brings the subfloor and joist together first.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 12:04 PM
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The problem with anything you attempt from below is you're not bringing the two surfaces together first.

If you can find a spot from below where you can see the floor moving on the joist when someone walks on it above, you could insert shims to fill the space. IMO, too much effort required.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 12:09 PM
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Ah I see what you're saying. I could have my wife walk around upstairs and I'd have to notice the exact spots where it's moving, apply weight, then glue. Not worth it.

Your link looks good - sounds like a non-handy person like myself might be able to tackle it. I'm curious how it works with screwing into/through hardwood or carpet though (it says it does and I believe it, just not sure how).

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 09-15-16, 12:11 PM
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It works fine - I used it through carpet.

You have a guide which limits the depth of the screw and then it also gets used to snap off the screw head at a scored line on the screw which should be right at the top of the subfloor.

Might make more sense when you see the kit in your hand.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 01:30 PM
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Snap off screws for the second floor carpet. If the first floor squeaks are between the subfloor and joists have your wife move away from the squeak point and push a shim between the subfloor and joist....don't hammer it in just push it in until it's tight. If the squeaks are not over joists it might be the subfloor panel edges rubbing together or if the first floor is hardwood then the hardwood will need to be screwed down.....for this I'd use a trim head screw that is countersunk into the hardwood.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 01:43 PM
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Thanks! I'm going to try the screw method
 
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Old 09-15-16, 01:53 PM
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I used the break off screws method a few years ago and have not had a squeak since. Be sure you have a good stud finder.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 02:38 PM
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Good point on the stud finder. Honestly that's the biggest paranoia I have as a non-handy person to screwing into my floors. That along with my inability to perceive screwing a screw into my carpet NOT interfering with walking on my carpet, but as stickshift mentioned below it will likely make more sense when I'm looking at the tools in hand vs a picture on the internet.
 
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Old 09-15-16, 03:24 PM
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A stud finder helps but if you can see up from below, it's less essential - you see you missed, you can measure how far over to put the next one. It helps if you don't snap the first one off before going downstairs to check, as you can measure from it and then also run it back out and reuse it. As you might infer, I did miss a few
 
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Old 09-15-16, 04:53 PM
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Do a visual first. Many times a squeak is from a nail that missed a joist and is running side saddle to the floor joists. These nails should be visible and can be bent out of the way before the basement is finished.
 
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Old 09-17-16, 12:32 PM
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Couple issues/considerations:

In the basement, if you can locate a squeak you can typ use a wood shim, coated in glue, lightly tap between the joist and underlayment.

For other floors if you have hardwood, laminate, vinyl, etc, not much can be done.

If you have carpet you have options:

Stud finder will not work through carpet, I use a coat hanger bent into a "C" shape. Drill a 1/8" hole through carpet and sub floor insert wire, spin and when it touches the joist you will see exactly where the edge is.

I then use 2 1/2" drywall screws through the carpet and pad, going up and down to get head below carpet and pad and into wood.

Some times it takes several screws along the joist but it works.

Sounds destructive but all it's doing is putting a slightly larger hole in the backing of the carpet and causes no issues.

This is very effective, have been using for 30+ years at my homes and relatives with squeak floor issues.
 
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Old 09-20-16, 09:40 AM
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I then use 2 1/2" drywall screws
First red flag, drywall screws are too brittle for this application.

Why would you use a full head screw when less obtrusive tools exist for this very application? If I'm at the bare sub-floor level, like when replacing carpet, I'll use deck screws but that's the only time.
 
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