Ask Angie

Stopping a floor from creaking

 

http://www.angieslist.com/

Q: Any suggestions on how to handle second-floor creaks under the carpet?

Susan K., Lawrence Township, N.J.

A: How annoying is the creaking? If it’s waking the baby, that’s a problem. If it’s alerting you to a teen trying to sneak out, you may prefer to live with it.

But if it bugs you and you don’t have a super-handy person in your household, the cost to quiet that creak could range from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000.

The precise price will depend on the creak’s cause and the solution’s scope.

In most cases, squeaky flooring occurs when nails connecting the plywood underlayment (known as subfloor) to the support structures (known as joists) become loose. This can often happen over time as wood dries out.

Experts told our researchers that creaks can also result if the subfloor was not properly attached to the joists in the first place. In such a situation, the plywood can lift up from the joists, creating a space between the joists and subfloor, which creates a squeak.

Creaking can also be caused by sections of the floor rubbing against each other or wood rubbing against a nail.

One solution is to remove the squeaking section of subfloor, reglue it to the joists, and then tightly screw the subfloor to the joists before reinstalling the carpet or hardwood top layer.

The work can actually be easier with carpeted floors because there’s no wood to remove. The carpet, though, must be carefully lifted up and put back in place after the repair.

Another possibility to silence a squeaky floor, one that is less expensive and time-consuming than removing a floor section, is inserting 3- or 4-inch screws directly through the carpet or hardwood to secure the plywood to the joists. For hardwood surfaces, be sure to fill the holes with wood filler after the repair.

Your best bet may be to hire a professional to diagnose the problem and propose a solution. Experts to consider hiring include a flooring contractor, handyman or carpenter.

As always, before you hire, be sure to get recommendations from friends or family, or a trusted online source, and check references, insurance and licensing status. Get the details of the job in writing and never pay more than a third of the cost upfront.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
This impressive and rather rare vase was made in England by a company that was founded in 1820 to make utilitarian items out of stoneware.

    Treasures

    How old is this vase from my great-grandfather?

    Q: Attached are photos of a vase that once belonged to my great-grandfather. It is marked “Coulton, Burslem” and is decorated with painted poppies and a three-dimensional dragon. It is marked with an emblem with a crown on top and the number 1922. It is 221/2 inches tall. Would it be possible for you to tell me how old it is and the approximate value?

  •  
A native ladybug on a firebush in Terri Stephens’ yard.

    Gardening

    The gardener and the ladybugs

    A citizen-scientist documents the ladybugs in her South Dade yard for a research project.

  • Real estate

    So you’ve decided to rent out your home? Some tips

    Cynthia Kent and her husband, John, didn’t set out to be landlords, but career choices made it necessary.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category