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

  •  
Trays are a great and stylish way to keep your home organized and beautiful.

    Decorating

    Style at Home: 5 terrific ways to use trays

    If you went on a scavenger hunt for a tray in my home, you’d find one in every room. In the 33 years I’ve worked in interior design, some of the decorating foot soldiers I use to style my home have come and gone (anyone remember tassels?). But trays are here to stay.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">BUTTERED UP: </span>The glass dome on this Victorian butter dish is known as ‘Rubina.’

    Treasures

    Unusual Victorian butter dish still valuable

    Q: This butter dish was given to my grandmother over 50 years ago. It is 5 inches in diameter. The markings on the bottom part of the metal are “Rogers Smith & Co.” with “Meriden Ct, Quadruple, 7, USA.” Are you able to give us any information on this piece?

  • Washington Report

    Is spring the time to list your home?

    It’s common knowledge verging on holy writ in real estate: Spring is the absolute best time of the year to sell a house.

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