LESLIE: Carolyn in West Virginia needs some help with some squeaky floors. I bet it is just driving you crazy.
CAROLYN: Absolutely. (Leslie chuckles)
LESLIE: So tell us about the squeak. Is it just in one area? In a whole room? Describe it.
CAROLYN: We have a great room and two bathrooms and a laundry room. (Leslie chuckles) Well, and the bedrooms but we have just put in hardwood floors in the whole main area and my husband is a little stout so every time (Tom and Leslie chuckle) he walks, it squeaks. I can walk on it and it’s pretty good but …
CAROLYN: … mostly it’s around the heat pump and plumbing area.
CAROLYN: We’ve had people go in under there, trying to shimmy up little shims in there.
TOM: Alright. Well, let’s talk about why floors squeak. They squeak because there’s movement in the floorboards and the best way to eliminate the movement is to secure the floorboards down to the floor joists from above. Now, with hardwood floors it’s a little trickier because, of course, it’s a finished floor.
But what I would do is this, Carolyn. I would identify the floor joists under the floor. You can do that with a – like a stud finder or something of that nature.
TOM: You can do it by sort of measuring it out but you definitely want to know where the floor joists are. And then what you’re going to do is drill into the floor and you’re going to screw the hardwood boards right down through the subfloor into the floor joists. You’re going to have to put a wood plug in, sand it, refinish it when you’re done but that is absolutely the solid, permanent way to quiet your squeaky floor.
Now there’s another way that you can do this; it’s a little less disruptive but not as effective but it might do the trick. And that is instead of using a screw – which you have to sort of pile a drill and countersink below the floor surface …
TOM: … you could use a finish nail. And the way to do that is to take a finish nail and probably a number 10 or a number 12 – pretty heavy finish nail – and you’re going to use that finish nail as the drill itself by putting it in the drill chuck and sort of spinning it into the floor. The reason I say to do this instead of a drill bit is because when you use the nail as the drill, it separates the wood fibers.
In fact, Vermont American had a product actually called a nail spinner that was used for this very, very job but since you’re only going to do it once or twice, I wouldn’t tell you to go buy this nail spinner. Just put the nail right in the chuck of the drill, spin it into the floor and then finish it off, you know, with a hammer and sink it right below the surface. That won’t be as permanent but it could quiet the floor as well.
CAROLYN: OK. Alright. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
TOM: (overlapping voices) You’re welcome, Carolyn. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
Carolyn calling from West Virginia on behalf of her stout husband. (Leslie and Tom chuckle) Nicely put, Carolyn. Nicely put.