Floor Bubble / Squeaky Repair

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Old 05-11-09, 11:35 AM
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Floor Bubble / Squeaky Repair

Hello

I have a hardwood kitchen floor. In a section by the sink it is becoming loose and is not firmly afixed to the joists or possible the subfloor. The section is about 2 feet by 3 feet. There is not a water problem and the flooring is exposed from the basement. The previous owners put in shims between the joists and the subfloor in the area where the problem exists. My questions are the following:

1) I don't know if the problem is between the hardwood floor and the subfloor or the subfloor and the joists or both. Obviously there is some issue between the joists and the subfloor...hence the shims. How can I determine if I need to only fix one problem or both?
2) If I have to fix both, which one do I do first? The hardwood to the subfloor or the subfloor to the joists?
3) Should I remove the shims if I am going to fix it? I think the floor is high in this area, so my bias is to remove them and fix it properly
4) Are there any products that I can buy to make this job easier?

If you can please try to be moderately specific in the approach, I would appreciate it. Again, I have access from below and that is my preferred method of repair. I dont want to have to countersink and then fill with a dowel, sand, etc.

Thanks for your help
 
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Old 05-11-09, 03:25 PM
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You can experiment with the raised subflooring area. One way would be to install 2"x2" angle brackets to the joist about a quarter inch from the top of the joist. Remove the shims and install a 1 1/4" decking (not sheetrock) screw up into the subflooring. The length will also go into your hardwood flooring and will possibly pull it all down in one motion. Like I said, you are experimenting, so go slowly. Let us know what you find out.
 
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Old 05-11-09, 08:37 PM
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Thanks and Follow-Up

Chandler,

Thanks this sounds like good advice. I thought of doing something similar, so I will give that a try unless I see a better suggestion before the weekend when I will work on the mini project. My follow-up questions are these:

1) How many of these do you think I need? My guess is that on each floor joists that I decide to install them I will space them about 1 foot apart and probably alternate sides of the joist (or do both sides??) ?? Does that seam reasonable?

2) You said to use 1.25 inch screws and place the angle bracket about 0.25 inches below the top of the joists. By my calcs you are expecting to drive the screw about 1 inch (or a hair over) into actual wood. In general is the subfloor 0.75 inches and the hardwood 0.75 inches so I have 1.5 inches of material to play with? The home is 40 years old and so the hardwood is basically that same age. Don't know if that gives you any indication of the thickness of the hardwood flooring. I thought 0.75 inches was pretty standard, but somewhat guessing on that one.

Thanks for your help!!
 
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Old 05-12-09, 05:33 AM
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1) I would do both sides of the joist in an alternating pattern, possibly the two joists adjacent as well to make it uniform.
2)If your bracket is a little low, it gives you a pulling point. Your overall floor/subfloor combination is 1.5". Given the 1/8" thickness of the bracket, using a 1 1/4" screw will place it hopefully about midspan of the hardwood, pulling it down as well as the subflooring.
Let us know how it goes.
 
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Old 05-17-09, 11:29 AM
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More help needed

Additional questions....

I started the project and part 1 went ok. I used the angle brackets and was able to get the subfloor down to the top of the joists, but I could not get the hardwood floor to pull down. Here is what I learned.

There is a gap between the subfloor and the bottom or hardwood floor of 3/4 of an inch. When I drill through the subfloor once I get the pilot hole drilled and break through the subfloor the bit runs free. I measured the distance that the bit can freely travel (0.75 inch for subfloor and 0.75 more inches = 1.5 inches total). Since I am using 1.25 inch wood screws, I can never grab the hardwood. My guess is I need larger screws, maybe 2.0 inch screws since I have 1.5 inches plus 0.75 inches for the hardwood giving me 2.25 inches of space.

There has to be some type of support that runs every X inches between the subfloor and the hardwood floor. Has anyone ever seen this? There is not one of those floor heating systems installed. I am worried about trying to put in bigger screws and pulling down the hardwood floor too much in between the support slats.

Any advice on what to do here would be helpful. Should I keep drilling until i hit the support slats and put a screw in those locations? What type of spacing do you think the support slats are spaced at?

Feel free to tell me that I am totally wrong here as well and recommend a different course of action. Remember the overall problem is my hardwood floor in some spots seems to have pulled away and come loose so it is not firmly afixed to the floor and is a little "spongy". There is no evidence of water damage.

thanks
 
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Old 05-17-09, 02:10 PM
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If you use longer screws, you will penetrate the top of the hardwood once it bottoms out, so that isn't an option. Is there a way to have someone stand on the hardwood to help lower it to where you can grab it with the shorter screw? Is the floor moveable after you pull down the subflooring? Try using a 3/4" screw in the subflooring, then if someone can stand on the flooring, try the 1 1/4" screw next to the shorter one.
 
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