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Soundproof Your Floors
Squeaky floors occur as homes age and components pull apart. Squeaks can come from gaps and separation between the surface flooring and the subfloor or gaps between the subfloor and the joists. Eliminating floor squeaks is easiest from below if the joists and subfloor can be accessed. First have someone walk the floor to locate the squeak. Once located, decide what problem is causing the noise. If it is a gap between the subfloor and the joists, use a shim shingle and push it between the floor joist and the subflooring. Gently tap the shim home to secure it and eliminate the void causing the squeak.
Another way to stop squeaks that occur between the joist and subfloor is to use a 3-1/2 inch to 4-inch drywall screw angled into the joist and subfloor where they meet so that it pulls the joist and subfloor together. Be careful not to penetrate the flooring above when attempting this fix.
If the squeak is because of gapping between the finish flooring and the subfloor, you’ll have to fix it from the finished side. If the subfloor is exposed, walk across it to locate any squeaks. With a power screwdriver or drill, drive a 3-1/2 inch drywall screw through the subfloor into the joist below. To locate joists, use a stud finder, look for the line of nails along the joists, or find the joints where the plywood or oriented strand board meets.
With carpeting, getting to the squeak is a little more difficult, but not impossible. There are a number of products that allow for a coarse-thread screw to be screwed through the carpet and the pad into the sub floor. The screw threads are coarse to prevent the thread from catching the carpet nap and twisting it around the screw. If you’re hesitant to trust the technology, try one in a corner or inside a closest where a mistake won’t show. Once satisfied that it won’t catch on your carpet, go ahead and drive one home in the offending area. Once the screw is in place, the top part of the shank breaks off below the carpet line to make the fix invisible.
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