(Video) How To Eliminate The Squeaks In Your Floor - July 30th 2015
Having your floors squeak every time you walk over them can be a very annoying problem. Once the summer is over we will be shutting our windows and turning our heating systems on. When we heat the air in our homes we tend to reduce the relative humidity, which can lead to squeaky wood floors.
In order to reduce or minimize the amount your hardwood flooring shrinks due to the decreased relative humidity inside your home you may want to consider having a humidifier added to your forced air heating system, to help maintain a more consistent level of humidity in the home.
Squeaks are caused by movement between the floor joists, the sub-floor, and the underlay. This problem can exist in older homes where years of use, drying in the wood, and settling of the home are the main culprits. Newer homes can experience this problem as well if the lumber used to build the home was somewhat wet when installed and has now shrunk as it dried.
Construction in older homes was typically green lumber floor joists under a shiplap board floor installed diagonally on the joists. There could then be another layer of boards or plywood underlay. This would depend on whether carpet, vinyl or hardwood was installed on top. In newer construction, the joists could be either be lumber or engineered joists under 1 or 2 layers of plywood underlay.
Access to the floor from below is the way to truly attack the squeak. If you have a drop ceiling in the basement you will have to remove some of the tiles to gain access.
Once you have located the correct area, (have someone walk slowly upstairs above you to make the floor squeak), you will probably see a small gap between the floor joist and the floor. Insert a small wedge into the crack as tightly as you can. A wooden shingle works very well for this.
Wood screws can also be used to attach the sub-floor to the joists. This will pull and hold the various layers together. Screw up through the joist on an angle through the sub-floor and into the underlay. This is where knowing how many layers of flooring are above the joists becomes very important. The wood screws you use must be long enough to go through the layers but if they are too long, they can come up through the floor. Your homework is very important when using this method.
If your ceiling is open underneath strap the underside of the floor joists using 1x4 on 16” centres. This reinforces the joists taking out the bounce. Using a product called Countersnap screws on the floor where the squeaks persist would be highly recommended.
There is a product called Squeeeeek No More that stops floor squeaks from above the floor by going through the flooring (carpet, hardwood, vinyl, etc), fastening the subfloor and underlay to the joist.
Here is a video of Shell using the Squeeeeek No More product...