How to Quiet Squeaky Carpeted Floors
Squeaky floors can be an annoying nuisance that you have to bear with everyday. This can be especially so when they exist in high traffic areas in the home. You sometimes brace yourself for the annoying squeak when walking on that spot.
Squeaky floors under carpets are just as bad as those on bare areas. Only the squeak creeps up on you quite unexpectedly because it’s hidden. Fixing it is the best way to be rid of this.
Fixing squeaks in carpeted areas
Squeaks in floors are caused when the nail joining the floor to the joists underneath becomes loose. This happens as the wood expands and contracts with changing temperatures. Every time you step on this spot, the floor will squeak as the nail moves in the wood.
There are two ways to fix these types of squeaks. One way is to take the carpet out and the other is to repair the squeak while the carpet is still intact.
Fixing the squeak without taking out the carpet
Identifying the joists
When repairing the floor without taking the carpet out, the first thing to do is to identify the floor joist. The person doing this will have a rough idea of where it is by studying the house. They will then tap on the carpet to identify the location by the sound made by the tapping. Hollow areas will give a different kind of noise than the joist area will.
After identifying the joist, drill down into the carpet with a long screw with short thread. If there is a joist there, the screw will go into it. From this point it is easy to tell how far apart the other joists are.
The next step is to go across the room identifying where all the joist are. You’ll find them located 16 inches apart from each other. Mark each joist location with a screw.
Once you’re done with one side of the room go to the other side and begin the process again by identifying the floor joist with a tap. Then drill screws into each joist across the room.
It is advisable to have a colored string or nylon cord to tie around each screw you have placed in the carpet. This helps to identify where each floor joist is and the line in which it runs across the room.
Use the squeak repair kit
The squeak repair kit that professionals use comes with a special tool for holding the scored screw. You’ll use the depth adjuster that by placing it right above the string. Then place the cored screw in the drill and drilled into the floor joist. This action causes the sub floor to become attached to floor joist.
The depth adjuster has a special slot for holding the screw head and breaking it off. By breaking off the screw head and top, it will be difficult to feel it through the carpet.
Continue putting in the scored screws along the lines where the floor joist are. In this way, without removing the carpet, you’ll fix the squeak in the floors.
Fixing squeaks without the carpet.
- This will involve first rolling up the carpet carefully and securing it. Do this as near as possible to the area of the squeak.
- Then identify the joist at or near the problem area. A depth control bit will help you to be extra sure of where the joist is. Once you identify the joist, use a screw to attach the floor board and the sub floor to the joist.
- Break off the screw head and fill the top of the drill hole with wood putty. Then sand off for a smooth finish.
- Use carpet adhesive to carefully reattach the carpet.
Some Things to Consider
- Though it is convenient to fix squeaky floors while the carpet is intact, it may be wise to leave it to a professional. Some of this method’s detractors have pointed out the danger of drilling into electric cables and water pipes when looking for floor joists.
- Some people have reported water damage to carpets and floors due to bursting water pipes. Others have damaged their electric wiring in the process.
- In any event it is important to first identify where the pipes and cables are before trying this out. A professional is best placed to do this work.
- Also when removing a carpet to fix the squeak, remember that the spot may always be detectable. This is especially so with carpets attached to the floor with an adhesive.
Quieting squeaky carpeted floors is something that takes a relatively short amount of time. Just take care to prevent damage to the home’s utilities and you’ll to achieve a good result.