SQUEAKY Floor Filter. How can I stop the floor squeaks in random locations in the 2nd story of my house?
September 17, 2008 7:49 AM   Subscribe

SQUEAKY Floor Filter. How can I stop the floor squeaks in random locations in the 2nd story of my house?

How can I stop the floor squeaks in random locations in the 2nd story of my house?

Recently bought a 2-story home, concrete slab downstairs with concrete block walls throughout the first-floor. The 2nd-floor has wood framing and already has a heavy pad and carpet, but walking through the house, several spots squeak quite loudly as you walk past them. One of these spots is even in the tiled bathroom!

Any suggestions for stopping the squeaks short without too many tools or hassle involved?
posted by emjay to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Most squeeks happen with the old nails that connect the subfloor to the joists. Need to find where the joists are in the floor (by looking at the ceiling from the first floor), then drive 2 1/2" wood screws into the floor through the joist. Some joists have the edges of two subfloor panels meeting, so two screws on each side of the panels might be necessary to secure it.
posted by omidius at 8:12 AM on September 17, 2008

More nails! (it's a hardwood strip floor mostly, right?) I don't know what they're called, but I was sold some very hard tempered finishing nails and I just put them in by trial and error until the squeaks were reduced. The trick is to drive them in at an angle to reduce the tendency they'll have to work their way up again as the floor flexes. You'll need a nail set as well (a little knurled steel thing). I found it safest to drill a tiny pilot hole in the flooring. If it's a newer house with a squeaking plywood subfloor, you need to drive 2" screws into the joists.

No ideas about the tiled floor. If you have squeaking joists, that's a bit troubling because the tile might be overloading it or there's been some kind of DIY structural reno to cause it.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:17 AM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's a product sold in Home Depot and the like called "Squeek-no-more" (or similar). About $10 for a tool and a pack of special screws that go through the carpet and joist underneath and then the screw head snaps off (so is flush with the wood and not embedded in the carpet).

Comes with a special probe for finding the joists and instructions. A bit time consuming, but it works.
posted by Xhris at 9:34 AM on September 17, 2008

Best answer: This video illustrates what I was about to post on - at least for the carpets. There's actually a system sold to take care of this. the screws are notched, so that once they're driven in and holding the joists and subfloor together tightly, the heads are snapped off and disappear below the carpeting.

The vid kalessin posted shows how to take care of this from below, but it sounds like you'd have to go through the ceiling in your instance.
posted by pupdog at 9:37 AM on September 17, 2008

If you can get to the spots where the squeaks are coming from, a little talcum powder in the nail holes or seams may do the trick.
posted by dolface at 10:25 AM on September 17, 2008

Response by poster: To clarify, this house is only 2 years old, so it's not a DIY botched issue, if anything it's a sloppy builder (wahaaah!) It is 4x8 plywood sheets over wood joists. So even the bathroom tile is laid over a squeaky flooring/joist combo. (I'm surpirsed I don't see a crack in the grout)

I think I'll try the "SqueakNoMore" suggestions first in the carpeted areas (I'm concerned with damaging the carpet though)

As for the tiled area... I think it's over the laundry room so I might be able to do something from below and not worry so much about the popcorn ceilings.

I'll report back if I can get a fix in on it this weekend for those watching the thread.
posted by emjay at 1:49 PM on September 17, 2008

I always heard that sprinkling talcum powder all over and then sweeping it into the holes, cracks and crevices helps. I have never tried it though, good luck!
posted by Black_Umbrella at 1:52 PM on September 17, 2008

Talcum powder works.

It's also great for squeaky beds, wooden drawers that stick and also a nice tingly dry feeling on your skin after a long bath...
posted by Mephisto at 9:25 PM on September 17, 2008

Response by poster: Holy Mackerel!

I would definitely give a product endorsement on the "Squeeeeek No More ®"

I had 5 major squeeks, but followed the instructions and video suggestions from the "This Old House" clip above and eliminated 4 of them. I also eliminated a few smaller squeaks that were only noticable after I had taken care of the big ones.

It seems that the one I can't eliminate may not be the joist rubbing against the flooring so I may need to go a little further and try working on it by opening the ceiling from below. I also have one that's over tile so I don't have a choice as this product is geared towards carpet installations.

As for the talcum powder suggestions - I've used this on bed's and such, but can't use this on my floors as the carpet prevents the correct spread of the powder to the rubbing flooroards.

Thanks all for your suggestions.
posted by emjay at 8:41 AM on September 22, 2008

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