Q: My floors are squeaking badly, so I removed the carpet that was in my hallway and the tile that was laid down in the front foyer area just inside the front door, and I also removed the second layer of subfloor (which believe it or not was simply particle board) someone had nailed on top of the original subfloor before they laid both the carpet and the tile. I’m now down to the actual subfloor. The house was built in 1967. I’ve gone and purchased screws and screwed it into the joists every 6 inches and the thing is still squeaking badly.
Does this mean I have to rip up the original subfloor and replace that? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
A: What exactly is the subfloor? Plywood? Or perhaps Pine planks on an angle or spruce tongue and groove laid 90 degrees across the joists? If it is plywood on joists there shouldn’t be any squeaking. The squeaking occurs when two boards move and rub against each other. If you are sure you are screwing into the joists, if you have access to look at this structure from below you might get a better idea of what is going on. You could even have someone move around on a spot that squeaks and look at it from beneath to locate where and why it is squeaking. Could it be that you are not actually yet at the original subfloor?
Follow-up Q: It’s plywood and I went below to make sure I was hitting the joists with the screws and not simply screwing into nothing. Here are some pictures for you as you can see I have put enough screws in there, but it’s still squeaking. If you put your feet where I marked on the picture foyer 2 and shift your weight back and forth right there it squeaks loudly, and you can actually see the board flexing under your weight. Could it be that this plywood is simply weak?
A: How thick is that plywood? Most building codes say 5/8″ thick minimum. But there is still flex in that. There is a huge difference between 5/8 and 3/4. What are the odds you have 1/2″? If that is what it is, that won’t be good enough. Thicker plywood is much more rigid and won’t flex and squeak.
Follow-up Q: OK I need to go back to school to learn how to properly read a tape measure. It’s half-inch as you can see, but it’s a weak ass half-inch because it’s simply flexing under the weight of my 16 year old, forget about my 230lbs. When I walk across it it’s squeaking and creaking like it’s gonna give way. It’s obviously very weak wood. Like I said in my original question to you this house was built in the ’60s, and this floor is the original subfloor. Then they laid another layer of plywood on top of this area before laying a thin slate type tile over that. I ripped up everything to get to the original subfloor in the hopes that I could simply add some screws and get the squeaking to stop, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
So, I’m guessing this is gonna be a project requiring the original subfloor to be torn up and replaced. In the hallway, there was carpet that was lying on top of particleboard. Yes, particleboard. Here’s a picture of that stuff that I pulled up in the hallway, and now I’m down to the original subfloor there, and the hallway doesn’t squeak. Nothing’s easy. Thank you again for your help. I found you on Facebook. I’m probably going to see if I can find someone to help me out. My goal was to put down porcelain wood look tile that we bought from Home Depot. I’ve been on YouTube checking out how to properly lay a floor so that I can get a look at how this is supposed to go, but like I said if it’s gonna get overly complicated I’m gonna bring someone in who does this for a living.
A: It’s 3/8 spruce sheeting. Go and get some 3/4 exterior plywood. That will not be near good enough. That explains everything.