I used to help a friend of mine with framing houses. He always insisted that everything was plumb, level and square and he stressed that none of his floors or stairs would ever squeak. Squeaks and “pops” are caused when the subfloor is free to move and rubs against a nail shaft or rubs against another pieces of wood. Squeaks are a sign of poor workmanship and lack of attention to detail.
About two years after we moved into our new house, we noticed a small squeak in the hall outside the Master bedroom. Annoying, but not a big deal, but over time that little squeak got louder. It got to the point that I was trying to step over the squeaky spot so as not to wake my wife. The small squeaky spot grew into a large spot that could not be stepped over. Then the large spot started squeaking on both ends. Something had to be done.
Years ago, we had a similar problem with squeaky floors in a condo that we fixed before we sold it. It was easy fix because we were going to replace the carpet anyway. I found all the squeaks, pulled up sections of the carpet and fixed each squeaky place with wood screws and glue.
Our advice for anyone selling a house, is to find and fix all the squeaks. Do not advertise poor workmanship. Obviously you don’t want to cut into the carpet if you don’t plan to replace it.
How to Fix a Squeaky Floor Under the Carpet With Squeak No More
Since we didn’t want to roll back the carpet, we searched for ideas until we found the Squeak No More Kit. We were skeptical about claims that seemed too easy and too good to be true, but we gave it a try despite some negative reviews and comments.
The goal is to screw the subfloor tight against the floor joists. With carpet in place, a normal screw head would grab the carpet and pinch it down against the subfloor. Not acceptable. The Squeak No More process uses special screws that have been scored and are designed to break so the head snaps off and doesn’t interfere with the carpet, but the screw threads still hold the subfloor to the joist.
The Squeak No More Kit includes:
- Tripod screw guide and screw snapping tool
- 50 special scored 3 inch screws
- Customized driver bit
- 2 special joist-finding screws
The kit comes with a tripod guide to make sure the screw goes in straight and level, but more importantly that screws reach an exact depth. Then a tool is used to snap the screw off just below the subfloor so the screw can not be felt through the carpet.
The Squeak No More process is simple:
- Find joist near squeak
- Using Screw guide, drive screw through subfloor into joist
- Snap screw off using tool in the screw guide
Bottom line, the process is simple and it works, but it may take some time to find the joists. I was able to find the first joist on the 2nd test drill and correctly guessed the direction the joist ran, so that squeak was fixed very quickly.
The second spot was more difficult. I drilled 6 or 8 test holes and still could find the joist. I finally had to look at pictures we took during construction (see photo). I got lucky and found a picture that showed the joist pattern had changed between the 1st and 2nd squeak. Using the picture, I was finally able to find a joist after two or three more test holes.
Note 1 – It is a good thing we took pictures of the house during construction. We advise everyone to do the same. If you never need them, lucky you, but you will be glad to have them if you ever need to see what is behind the walls or under the floor.
Note 2 – Insist that your builder uses screws or glue to secure the subfloor. Inspect the work yourself and make them fix squeaks or be prepared to fix them yourself before they carpet goes down.
Is drilling test holes in the carpet and floor a problem?
Every test hole puts a hole in the carpet backing, the pad and the plywood below, but this is not a problem. Simply pull the carpet fibers back out of the way so you drill through the backing and don’t cut the carpet fibers. Do not use this method if you have a wood floor underneath the carpet that you might want to refinish someday.
Video Instruction on How to Use Squeak No More
→ Get Your Squeak No More Kit!