How to Fix a Squeaky Floor Through Carpeting
LESLIE: Sometimes when people call in to The Money Pit, they want to know about a product that they saw perhaps on TV and that’s exactly what Joe wants to talk about.
Joe, tell us about this product you saw.
JOE: You screw it into this – into the floor and it had some kind of mechanism that then broke the head off the screw so you could do this through the carpet and yet it would shred the head and keep the floor from squeaking.
TOM: Yeah, I’ve seen those screws before and I don’t recall the name of them but you don’t necessarily need them. You can do the same thing with a finish nail. What you need to do is identify where the floor joist is underneath the carpet, underneath the subfloor. You can do that with any type of electronic stud finder that has a deep scan feature, which most of them do. And then what you simply do is you get probably a #10 or #12 finish nail. And the galvanized ones that are hot-dipped work best because they’re kind of rough and they tend to hold more. And then at a slight angle, you want to nail right through the carpet, right til it’s flush with the carpet, through the subfloor and into the joist in a couple of places where the floor is loose. And then you grab the carpet sort of by the nap and pull it up through the head of the finish nail. The nail will disappear below the surface of the carpet. Sort of brush the carpet with your hand and you’ll never know that it was there. And that’s an easy way to fix a squeaky floor through the carpet.
JOE: Now if I walk on that carpet, will I step on that nail?
TOM: No, because it’s a finish nail and it’ll be flush. You will not feel it. OK? And if it’s a really severe squeak and you want to pull the carpet up, that’s clearly the best way to fix it. And if that’s the case, you simply use a drywall screw, about a 2-1/2-inch drywall screw, and just screw the floor down. Because the reason they squeak is usually one of two reasons – either the nails are pulling in and out of the floor joist or the boards are rubbing up against each other – and either way, if you tighten that up, that’ll stop it.
JOE: Well, that’s why I go to the master.
TOM: (chuckling) OK.
JOE: Because I’ve called you once before and every time I’ve ever asked for information was always the best.
TOM: Well, thank you so much, Joe. We appreciate your call. 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.