Fix Your Squeaky Floor


Nothing is more annoying than squeaky and sagging floors. Do you ever try to be quiet because someone in your home is sleeping and then you step down and hear that awful sound as your heart skips a beat? If your floor has some bounce to it then North Canadian Construction are the professionals who can remedy this issue. In the meantime we have some DIY solutions that might help, however, we always recommend a professional, whether you consult your local contractor, building inspector or in some cases consulting a structural engineer, it is important that safety is the primary concern.

You can save yourself some time by locating all the squeaky spots and focusing on them. To test your flooring bounce around on your tiptoes on the floor. Doing so across from the exterior wall across from the beam or the primary load-bearing wall should have no bounce at all and then in between the load-bearing support wall and the exterior walls should be the location where the most movement in the flooring is experienced. Lastly, hug the load-bearing wall and bounce on your tiptoes, any movement here indicates the beam needs more support. Pay attention to sounds.

Some remedies are executed beneath the floor, where the joists are, the primary structure in the floor. Joists are supported by walls or beams somewhere in the middle. Beams should be inspected to ensure they are strong before strengthening up the joists. You may have to remove the ceiling if it is a finished basement that is not a drop-down ceiling. Squeaking and sagging in your floor occurs when the subfloor begins to separate from the joists. Floors that creak, squeak and sag can be repaired using shims, bridges, cleats, plywood, bracing, gluing, and fastening screws, or any combination of solutions.

The first solution to remove that sag or squeak from your floor is to install bridging between the joists. Nail bridging between the joists, this can be done in several ways, solid bridging, and cross bridging and the latter comes in wood or metal. All options are comparable in how easy they are to install as well as how long and how effectively they work. The span of your floor joist determines blocking frequency or bridge quantity you should install, less than 8 feet shouldn’t need any, 8 – 12 feet: 1, 12 – 18 feet: 2, 18 – 24 feet: 3, 24 – 32 feet: 4, and so on. Bridging is done to distribute the weight of you floor more evenly across the joists.  You might also notice your joists simply need to be reinforced, or have gaps in which both are simple solutions. You can install shims between the subfloor and joists, reinforce the joists with 2×4 block the exceeds the poorly supported section of the joist by a foot on each end and be sure to fasten either shims or the woodblock with a construction adhesive and be sure to wear a mask. Ask your framer or contractor which they prefer to prevent that squeak.

North Canadian Construction ’s second solution for squeaking floors is to use plywood, like CDX plywood, BC plywood, or GS1 Plywood. This option is more expensive, as your purchasing larger sheets of plywood instead of 2x2s framing lumber. It also will not work if plumbing and electrical lines run below the joists. It’s really simple to execute, using 1 ½ inch screws apply the plywood to the joists. We recommended using carpenter’s glue to solidify the bond between the two surfaces, you can even give the joists a few passes with sandpaper to give the joists texture, this allows for the glue to adhere better. Some key points to remember is to leave the ends of the joints exposed and to leave space on each joist edge for the next sheet of drywall then simply sink screws every 4 inches and you should have the squeaky floors fixed.

You can also install new subflooring plywood above the joists if you are remodeling or renovating your floors. You can also purchase a Squeeeeek No More Floor Repair Kit which can fix issues with the subfloor, this should only be done if you can confirm the issue is not more serious structural elements. The  Squeeeeek No More kit drives special snap-off screws right through the carpet. It’s interesting to note that this is a similar method to what was done in the 1970s when everyone covered all their beautiful hardwood with carpet. It was by nailing the floor down through the carpet to reduce creaking that ruined so many floors.

Our last option is to install more support in the basement, either by means of a wall or a beam. Walls built require studs to be placed beneath each joist, with a direct and tight placement. Careful consideration must be made if you are considering installing doors. You can also install a beam, which allows for more open space in your basement but requires more effort. Beams should be constructed using two 2’x12’s and require supported from adjustable metal posts or wood posts every 10 feet made up of 4×4 and both options require you to pour post footing for the posts to stand on. In some cases just repairing or fixing preexisting posts could be a solution as well. Please be advised that fixing or silencing squeaky stairs requires entirely different troubleshooting.

When your floor starts to creak and squeak it can give away your home’s age and won’t permit suffering in silence. Call North Canadian Construction the professionals who understand the structure of homes. We are here to help build your dreams.


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