Floor making a slight popping or knocking noise

Q: This seems to be a similar question to some previous, but I didn’t see anyone mention a raised foundation. In the last week, I’ve noticed that one area in my dining room and slightly into my kitchen which are connected (about a 4′ stretch) makes a slight popping or knocking noise (not a creak) when walked upon.

My floors are original oak from 1963 and there is no cracking, bowing, or any damage that I can see. Very unlikely that it is water damage. Not near plumbing.

Could it be the weather? It’s gotten colder lately and it’s rained (Northern CA). I’ve been in the house 6 years and have not noticed this in prior winters. Could there be an issue with a joist?

A: A creaking sound would indicate movement of loose boards as their edges rub together. This is not happening.

If the floor was under stress from moisture imbalance from beneath you would likely see cupping of the floor, or in severe cases bowing up of the floor itself as the boards all expand and start exerting pressure. This is not happening either, thankfully.

Perhaps the subfloor itself has worked loose. If it is possible to go beneath the floor and observe while someone walks in the area you may be able to see if this is so, in which case perhaps shimming or other cross bracing from beneath may be needed.

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