LESLIE: Now we’ve got Clayton from North Carolina on the line with a question about squeaky floors. What can we do for you today?
CLAYTON: I’m fixing to put some new carpet. It’s been about 10 years we’ve lived in a townhome. But there’s a lot of squeaking in our master bedroom floor. Is that going to be a major repair? One place on my wife’s side, kind of the floor gives away more than just squeaking.
And then there’s an issue in the master bedroom with a bright orange spot, about the size of a nail, that’s been there about eight years. And you can’t wipe it off. And someone said it’s not a nail underneath. What could cause that? We’ve got to replace that vinyl, as well.
TOM: Where do you have vinyl? Because you said you have a carpeted floor but where’s the vinyl?
CLAYTON: Vinyl is in the bathroom.
TOM: OK. So, first of all, let me just deal with the vinyl issue. What happens is, depending on what’s underneath that floor, if it’s an orange spot – I don’t know. It might be a nail or something. But what happens is you get a reaction between the vinyl and whatever is underneath it.
Sometimes you get it because of what you put on top of the vinyl, especially if you have like a rubber-backed throw rug; sometimes you see that in kitchens, right up against the cabinet where everybody is standing. The rubber and the vinyl will react and it will discolor the vinyl. That’s usually not a stain in as much as the vinyl has actually just changed colors. And it’s not repairable. So, get a rug to cover it up.
But in terms of the squeaks, you actually have a golden opportunity now to deal with this. So what we want you to do is take the old carpet out and then go ahead and screw the subfloor down to the floor joist using case-hardened drywall screws. Those are those black screws that are really hard. You drive them in with a drill driver or with a drill with a screwdriver tip in it. And you want to put one about every 12 inches.
Because the reason the floors squeak is because either the nails are pulling in and out as the floors move or some of those subfloors are tongue-and-groove. And as the tongue-and-groove plywood moves side to side, it will squeak. So if you pull the old carpet out and then you screw the subfloor down, you’ll find that that floor will get a lot quieter. You may even eliminate it 100 percent.
CLAYTON: Right. OK. Thank you so much for the tip.