How to Build a Silent Floor
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Gilbert in Texas who wants to block out some sound.
What’s happening over there?
GILBERT: Well, I’m having a house built and I wanted to know how I can prevent the creaking and cracking that you hear when people are walking upstairs.
TOM: Yeah, you want the squeaking floor avoidance advice. (Leslie chuckles) Well, you know, the manufactured building materials today – for example, there is a type of floor joist called a TJI that looks like a plywood I-beam and I think they sell that under the trade name The Silent Floor because it’s designed to have a little give to it and be a very, very straight and level beam that doesn’t expand and contract the way dimensional lumber does and therefore is much less likely to ever develop into a noisy floor. The only downside of those is that they have to be absolutely perfectly installed and you need a trained installer to do that because if you use a regular framer, typically they make mistakes like cut webs and things like that and impact the structural integrity. So they have to be properly installed. And they also tend to be a little softer, in terms of the bounce, than standard dimensional lumber. But otherwise, I think that that’s a great way to go. So trussed floors or TJI floors are much quieter than dimensional, lumber-framed floors.
GILBERT: Would I need any other, additional support other than just regular nails and screws or something?
TOM: No, but it’s something your architect really needs to design into the house. It’s not like you just don’t show up one day and throw these things in. But you want to talk with your architect or your builder about using manufactured lumber like that because it’s a lot straighter, it’s a lot stronger, and it’s a lot quieter.
GILBERT: That helps a lot.
TOM: OK, Gilbert. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.