Noisy Floor: How to Quiet Squeaks and Creaks
LESLIE: Nate in Utah needs some help with a home office. What can we do for you today?
NATE: I’m building (AUDIO GAP) and I’m building an office. I got the walls all up and I drywalled the outside of the walls but I’m noticing a really annoying cracking, popping, creaking sound in my floor that wasn’t there before I put this wall up.
NATE: And I don’t really want to (AUDIO GAP) side of the wall if there’s something I can do to get rid of that noise.
TOM: Where did you put the wall up?
NATE: Right in the middle of my living room, so …
TOM: OK, you sort of divided it in half?
NATE: Yeah, I divided the room in half.
TOM: I see. OK. And so now you’re getting a cracking sound in the floor.
TOM: Well, you didn’t do anything that affects it structurally. This is just a partition wall. If you tied that wall into the floor, you may be impacting the expansion and the contraction of the flooring products; that could be causing that noise. What kind of floor is it?
NATE: It looked like it was waferboard when I put the 2x4s for the wall down.
NATE: And underneath it it’s wood and like I-beam joists that are about 24 inches apart.
TOM: Oh, yeah. You know, there are actually sound-control products that you can use to quiet a floor like that. It’s essentially an underlayment, Nate, that goes between the waferboard floor and then you would put a second layer of flooring on top of that. There’s a number of them available from manufacturers around the country. You can find them online. One product is called Quiet Curl and I think something like that would give you the silence that you’re looking for. Because you have a waferboard floor or an aspenite floor on top of those plywood-beamed joists, you’re always going to have a lot of movement there and that’s always going to result in a fair amount of sound.
What was your finished floor plan for this? Was it going to be carpet or what?
NATE: It’s carpet. The carpet is there.
NATE: I mean this is – I cut my carpet down the middle where the wall was going to go and I put the wall up.
TOM: (overlapping voices) I see. Yeah. Well, unfortunately, this is a solution that would require you to pull all the carpet up; so you really have to decide whether or not it’s that important to you.
NATE: OK. Well, I will look into that. Thank you.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.