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Popping Noise from Tile Floor

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Kimberly in Missouri is dealing with a noisy floor. Tell us what’s going on.

    KIMBERLY: I have a section in my tile floor. It’s the longer planks, wood-looking floor. It’s a high-traffic area and there’s various areas on it – when you walk over it, it makes a popping noise. And it’s not the same spot all the time. It’s probably within – they’re alternating so that they’re not all lined up together. So, it’s probably 8 to 10 different areas there that will pop from time to time.

    So, I don’t know – and it’s different times of the day; it’s not every time. But when you’re walking through an area, you don’t particularly pay right where you’re putting your foot every time you walk through, you know, so …

    TOM: Do you happen to know what the tile floor is on top of? In other words, what’s the underlayment under the tile floor? Is it a double-layer of plywood, by any chance?

    KIMBERLY: It is plywood underneath.

    TOM: Is it right on the plywood or is there an underlayment?

    KIMBERLY: There is a flooring underlayment underneath that, because we had parquet underneath that at one time, and that’s a solid plywood. And then they did put an underlayment board on top of that. But it’s like a ¼-inch or 3/8-inch or whatever that is.

    TOM: Part of that’s sandwiched. There’s probably space in there somewhere. And it’s the kind of problem that’s not really structural in nature. In other words, I don’t think this is indicative but it’s super-annoying.

    KIMBERLY: Yeah.

    TOM: One of the ways to solve this – and it’s a little bit of a pain in the neck – is by basically drilling out, from underneath a section of the floor, and then inserting a construction adhesive up into that to kind of close the gap.

    So, for example, if you had a hole saw and you set the drill bit on the hole saw to just barely be longer than the saw itself, you could, essentially, excise out a hole of the plywood – a circle of the plywood – whatever the diameter of the hole saw was. Let’s say it’s 2 inches. You can take that out up against the underlayment that’s against the tile and then you could squeeze into that space construction adhesive, like a LIQUID NAILS or something like that. And that can flow in there and take up the gap and help solidify the area.

    But it’s a very time-consuming, annoying process that’s not always successful. So unless it’s something that’s really, really, really bothering you, I would probably just accept it.

    KIMBERLY: OK, OK. Well, then we’ll just chalk it up as character then.

    TOM: Alright, Kimberly. Good luck with that project.

    KIMBERLY: Thank you very much.

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