How to Fix a Squeaky Carpeted Floor
LESLIE: Now we welcome John from Georgia to The Money Pit who has a squeaky floor situation.
What’s happening, John?
JOHN: Well, we remodeled and right during the remodeling, after we laid the subfloor, we had a week or so of heavy rain and the rains puddled up on the subfloor. And then when they cleared up, the builder said it would be OK but eventually, after the carpet was laid, we started to notice squeaks and they progressively got worse and now it just squeaks in about five or six different spots. And I was wondering is there any easy way to get rid of those squeaks.
TOM: Yeah. Actually, I just wrote a chapter for a book called The Expert’s Guide to Life at Home that just came out about how to eliminate a squeaky floor. And there is a trick of the trade that can solve that. It’s a way to repair a squeak when you already have it covered with carpet. Here’s what you do.
You get yourself – first of all, you need a stud finder because you’re going to basically search through the carpet to find the floor joist. So once you identify where the floor joist is, then you’re going to take some #10 galvanized finish nails and you’re going to drive them through the carpet at a slight angle into the subfloor and then of course into the floor joist below. Do that in two or three places where it’s squeaking.
Now, after you drive the nail through the carpet and you look at the nail head aghast at the damage that you’ve just done to your carpet, don’t freak out. Grab the nap of the carpet and pull it up so the nail disappears below the carpet. Smooth the nap with your hand and you’ll never know it was there. Just don’t do it while your wife is working (ph). (John and Leslie laugh) Because she could have an objection.
JOHN: That’s the same way you said to fix a finished floor and that’s the reason I even called in with that question. And I had mentioned to my brother, who is a carpet layer, and he said that that might work on carpet as well.
TOM: Yeah, it will work on carpet as well. With a finished floor, you just have to fill in the nail hole but with carpet it’s actually even better because you can pull the carpet through the nail head and then sort of brush it and it’ll disappear. When you finish driving the nail, it’ll look like a dimple in the carpet and you just grab the nap and pull it up and it works.
Now by the way, that doesn’t work nearly as well as pulling the carpet up and screwing the subfloor down to the joist. And if it’s a really, really bad squeaking area, you have to do that. And by the way, if your brother’s a carpet layer, why doesn’t he just put the carpet back down for you?
JOHN: He said he’d do that.
JOHN: I was just – I’d have to take all the furniture out. I have a computer station in there. I’d have to take everything out.
LESLIE: Got to fix all those wires again.
TOM: Yeah. Well, go ahead and do this first and if it – you know, it might solve the majority of those problems and then perhaps when it’s convenient you can do it the right way.
JOHN: Well, that sounds great.
TOM: Alright, John. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Our website is MoneyPit.com and you can find a story there on how to fix a squeaky floor if you’re experiencing that problem yourself.