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Old 10-04-2009, 04:26 PM
 
3,681 posts, read 3,492,680 times
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We moved in our 20 year old, not very well maintained house about 2 months ago. I have noticed that the floor in the kids' bathroom really squeaks and creaks when walked on. The bath is upstairs and has tile flooring. When we recarpeted the two adjoining bedrooms, plywood/particle board was underneath so I'm guessing that is what is underneath the tile in the bath as well. The upstairs hall is hardwood but I don't notice the creaking there or really any other place in the house. What might cause this in this one room? Anything to be concerned about? TIA
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,987,000 times
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The creaking floors are caused by ghosts.

Just kidding.......maybe.

You have your floor joists, they will be crossed with blocks the same size as the joist between each joist. Or you have an X meaning maybe a 2X3 crosses in an "X" between them. This helps the joists to handle more load without beefing them up as these blocks prevent the joists from twisting. In other words, 2X8 floor joists with cross members will hold just as much load as 2X12 without.

On top of these joists are your T&G plywood or most of the time it is flakeboard. Any finished flooring like tile or hardwod floors go on top of the subfloor.

That being said, there is still flex when you walk on a floor. All these componants will move and rub eachother. Before building codes got tougher Builders would cure sqeaking by placing roofing felt paper on top of the joists before the subfloor. This acted as a cushion to prevent wood on wood from rubbing.

A more modern preventive is to squirt construction adhesive on the joists before laying the subfloor.

If the squeeking is just bugging you and you can not stand it anymore, I suggest adding wood screws from the subfloor down to the joists. This could prove impossible if you have nice hardwood flooring or tile already.

If you have exposed floor joists from your basement or a crawl space then what I have seen is take a 2X2s and place them in the corners where the joist meets the bottom of the subfloor. Screw to the joist and up to the floor being careful to use the proper sized screw so it dont go through the floor. You can even add construction adhesive to these 2X2s. It's a boring job but if you have an isolated sqeak this will work every time.

This method may prove more trouble then it's worth if the whole house is squeeking but for a small area it works well.
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:23 PM
 
3,681 posts, read 3,492,680 times
Reputation: 1427
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertsun41 View Post
The creaking floors are caused by ghosts.

Just kidding.......maybe.

You have your floor joists, they will be crossed with blocks the same size as the joist between each joist. Or you have an X meaning maybe a 2X3 crosses in an "X" between them. This helps the joists to handle more load without beefing them up as these blocks prevent the joists from twisting. In other words, 2X8 floor joists with cross members will hold just as much load as 2X12 without.

On top of these joists are your T&G plywood or most of the time it is flakeboard. Any finished flooring like tile or hardwod floors go on top of the subfloor.

That being said, there is still flex when you walk on a floor. All these componants will move and rub eachother. Before building codes got tougher Builders would cure sqeaking by placing roofing felt paper on top of the joists before the subfloor. This acted as a cushion to prevent wood on wood from rubbing.

A more modern preventive is to squirt construction adhesive on the joists before laying the subfloor.

If the squeeking is just bugging you and you can not stand it anymore, I suggest adding wood screws from the subfloor down to the joists. This could prove impossible if you have nice hardwood flooring or tile already.

If you have exposed floor joists from your basement or a crawl space then what I have seen is take a 2X2s and place them in the corners where the joist meets the bottom of the subfloor. Screw to the joist and up to the floor being careful to use the proper sized screw so it dont go through the floor. You can even add construction adhesive to these 2X2s. It's a boring job but if you have an isolated sqeak this will work every time.

This method may prove more trouble then it's worth if the whole house is squeeking but for a small area it works well.
Thanks for the info. So it sounds like you're saying that its not anything to be worried about, correct? Because it doesn't really bother me. I just want to be sure its not a symptom of some problem that needs correcting! Thanks again.
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:49 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 14,474,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maja View Post
Thanks for the info. So it sounds like you're saying that its not anything to be worried about, correct? Because it doesn't really bother me. I just want to be sure its not a symptom of some problem that needs correcting! Thanks again.
You're right in that it's nothing in particular to be worried about.

Usually it's a matter of nails working loose - just a little bit - over time. The constant flexing does that.

A lot of people now use "coated sinkers", which basically are nails with a little epoxy coating. When driven into wood the epoxy heats and bonds, making those nails far less likely to make their way loose.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,987,000 times
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Omaha is correct. I forgot about the fact that nails can come loose in their holes and can cause squeeking too. He is also right about the glue coated nails they use today which when shot in with an air nailer, the heat caused by the the nail penetrating the wood heats up the glue on the nail shank. When the glue dries it sticks. I more see screw guns used with 2" nails by production builders though.

Either way...no there is nothing to worry about.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,310 posts, read 21,754,443 times
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Any cracks in the tile grout? Any gaps? Any spots that lack caulking?

Creaking is generally not something to worry about in a house with some years under its belt, but it may be a little funny that the bathroom is the only creaky floor. Shower pans have a funny way of obeying the third law of thermodynamics. They eventually leak. It can be just a little bit but over time it may be enough to swell or warp a plywood or OSB subfloor, which could easily cause some creaking. Another possibility is that an 80 gallon bathtub gains about 650 lbs. every time it is filled. That's a pretty serious stress test for your framing over 20 years of bathing. It doesn't seem farfetched to imagine that this could result in a creaky floor near a second story bathtub...
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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I had a different experience with a creaky floor covered in Marble. Due to a leak, the Marble buckled and we had to remove all of the beautiful Thesos White and Black Nero stone . It was a checker board design in a large area and sadly too costly to replace with the same material.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:28 PM
 
2,304 posts, read 3,657,999 times
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If your house was built by a production builder, the probabilities are high that he used TJIs for the floor joists. Back 20 years ago it was common for the supplier to furnish TJIs with 1 3/4" flanges. That created issues with the framer putting the subfloor down. Because the nails are going into different materials, it was common for the nails to go into the flange and be turned by the particleboard core. Most often this split the flange. This is the area that will squeak. A lot of the builders tried to solve the issue using adhesive and screws but it didn't cure the issue. Most framers would have one guy laying adhesive while another was laying the sheets down and way behind both of those would be the guy with the screwgun. By the time the screw guy got done, the adhesive was pretty much set and worthless. Ryland took a novel approach to it by having the framers use adhesive even in the truss hangers. They still had issues. If your house is a post tension slab on grade, the builder probably had the framer on the slab before cable pull. The upstairs was probably framed before the cables got pulled so when the cable did get pulled, it created a lot of stress in the upstairs components. We've even seen walls loose from this. But as stated above, it's an annoyance but hardly structural damage.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:34 PM
 
1 posts, read 5,645 times
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we have put in a engineered wood floor by Bruce that interlocks so no nails or glue it was installed by a professional and there was a liner put between the subfloor and the new wood floor. Since day one there has been creaking in many areas, what can be the cause thanks much for your help
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Old 03-30-2014, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,833 posts, read 21,956,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creaking floor View Post
we have put in a engineered wood floor by Bruce that interlocks so no nails or glue it was installed by a professional and there was a liner put between the subfloor and the new wood floor. Since day one there has been creaking in many areas, what can be the cause thanks much for your help
More than likely it's not the "finished flooring" that's squeaking. It's the sub-floor, nails that secured the sub-floor, sub-floor against the joists, or a combination of all three.

All the sub-floor should have been screwed BEFORE the new flooring went down.
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