Q: Our 3 year old 3/4″ maple hardwoods (nailed down with a nailer) are creaking all over and some boards actually feel loose. It was nailed down to OSB on top of I-joists. I’ve checked the sub-floor (our basement is un-finished) and it is secure to the joists. I have tried adjusting the humidity and that didn’t help.
I was wondering if I could pilot holes through the sub-floor underneath and pull the hardwood down secure to stop the noise. Will this cause damage, because of the natural movement of the wood through the different seasons and the wood unable be able to move because of the screws? I just don’t want to make things worse, but it’s really annoying. How to fix a creaking subfloor?
A: Screwing from below is certainly worth a try. I would suggest drilling pilot holes using a depth gauge on your drill. I don’t like installing on OSB even though it apparently has been approved by the NWFA. This being a new build I’d even guess the builder went minimum code and only used 5/8 instead of ‘¾. Little wonder the floor is moving. There isn’t much really holding the cleat or staple and maple can be sensitive to humidity changes as it is.