Subfloor or ceiling?

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Old 06-02-15, 03:13 PM
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Subfloor or ceiling?

The ceiling of my first floor is making a creaking sound when walked on from the 2nd floor. It sounds like it is coming from the drywall. The sound cannot be heard in the 2nd floor room, only in the room below it. Everywhere online identifies this noise as subfloor, but I can trigger the noise by putting pressure on the drywall on the ceiling, it can't be heard in the floor of the 2nd floor. It will make a single creak, then I can't make it happen again until the spot is waked on. The ceiling is finished with drywall, I am unsure if on channels or direct to joist.

If the subfloor was squeaking / creaking, could you make the sound by pushing from below? Would putting pressure on the ceiling / joist below (20-30lbs of pressure, not much.) trigger the sound of a loose subfloor?

Normally I would just screw the drywall to be sure, but there are fire sprinkler and hot water baseboard pipes in there and if I hit one I'm out thousands, so checking that it could be drywall (and not subfloor) paying someone $100 with insurance and experience (condo, strata) to shoot some screws in.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 03:17 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I wonder if it's the plumbing you hear rubbing against the floor joists ??
 
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Old 06-02-15, 03:47 PM
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A member named Keith says that it's pretty common for ceilings in Canada to have strapping (perpendicular furring, such as 1x4's) so if you have something similar and it was nailed, it could be that the nails are slipping and allowing the furring to come down. If you can identify a squeaking area, I would not be afraid to cut the drywall out in a 16" x 16" or 2'x2' area and have a look. You could check for framing with a stud finder prior to making your cuts, or just make a small hole and see what you find... then cut it bigger as needed once you can see where the framing is at.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 05:12 PM
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It could be anything from inadequate floor/ceiling joists that move, to too-small of holes for the pipes allowing them to rub on the sides of the holes, to the builder using shiny (uncoated) nails to hold everything together allowing the wood to slip on the nails. Finding the true cause and repair might be a bit difficult.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 06:03 PM
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Wow thanks for the help.

This also only happens in warm weather, leading me to believe it is a nailing issue with my limited knowlege. If it were a plumbing issue (pipes rubbing) the only option is to increase the size of the hole they run through?
 

Last edited by bigbd; 06-02-15 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 06-02-15, 06:32 PM
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If it were a plumbing issue (pipes rubbing) the only option is to increase the size of the hole they run through?
Sometimes, if the hole is large enough, adding a plastic liner works. Plastic can be obtained from a plastic bottle such as a bleach bottle or even a two liter soda bottle. The pipe will be tighter than ever but it will also slide much easier on the plastic than across the wood.
 
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