For questions generally relating to the structure and construction of floors in buildings, including designs, materials, support mechanisms, load-bearing calculations, etc. For questions specifically about the top-layer covering of a floor (tile, carpet, hardwood) see the "flooring" tag.

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30
votes
6answers
38k views

Should I use a subfloor for a finished basement's floor?

We are refinishing our basement and have not yet decided what to do for the floors. Part of the basement will be tile, and we are all set. However, the rec room side is going to be carpet. The ...
15
votes
2answers
17k views

How do I fix a squeaky floor below my carpet?

I have a squealy floor below my carpet on the 2nd floor of my house. It sounds like the subfloor under the carpet is moving up and down a little and makes this awful load squeak when I step down on ...
14
votes
6answers
5k views

How do you reduce floor sound transmission?

How do you reduce the sound transmission through a floor? Using "green glue" between a couple layers of plywood subfloor seems to work well. Are there any other tricks or suggestions?
12
votes
4answers
8k views

How do you stop the floor from squeaking?

I have a home built in the 1940's. The main floor creaks a lot and more squeaking and creaks seem to spring up in new places all the time. Is there an easy way to stop the squeaking and creaking? I ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I meet the 7 feet high ceiling requirement after finishing the basement?

My basement ceiling joists are exactly 7 feet above the concrete slab. The requirement for finished living space is 7 ft from the finished floor to the finished ceiling. Since I'll loose a couple of ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I fill in around waste pipes?

Broke the concrete in my basement to run new pipes for the basement bathroom. The plumber put sand under the pipes to support them at the correct angle. I asked him not to glue the vertical sections ...
10
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I do a minor grout repair properly?

I've got grout between some floor tiles that is cracking and coming out in small chips, over time. The tiles and remaining grout are otherwise in great shape. I suspect this is just a problem ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I remove a single cracked floor tile?

How can I remove a single damaged floor tile without damaging the surrounding tiles? Is there anything that will help the replacement tile from cracking in the same way?
8
votes
3answers
6k views

Is a radiant floor enough to heat the room?

I would like to know if an electric or hydronic radiant floor is enough to heat the room or if it's just to have a warm floor. And if yes, what is the efficiency (the time it take to warm the room, ...
8
votes
1answer
30k views

How can I level a sloped floor?

I have a 10x13 first-floor room which used to be a porch but at some point was closed in by the previous owners, and sheet linoleum was glued down to the plywood subfloor. Unfortunately they didn't ...
8
votes
1answer
580 views

Which is least likely to crack due to high traffic, large or small tile?

Consider a kitchen on pier-beam flooring with two doors allowing traffic to flow through it. The floor is 10x10 feet. I plan to tile and would like to minimize risk of cracking. Which size tile would ...
8
votes
2answers
519 views

Is a sagging floor possibly detrimental?

I live in a house built in the early 1900's. The dining room, which is in the center of the house, sags enough to where you could set a marble in the middle and it will always roll to one side. The ...
7
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the easiest way to stop a door from catching on the floor?

When I open and close my bathroom door, it catches on the floor. This makes it hard to open and close it, and also makes a really annoying sound. What is the easiest way to stop the door from ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

What kind of wood should be used to replace a sub floor?

I live in a British late 1900s semi detached house that I assume would have had floorboards originally. However it seems that these have been replaced by Chipboard. This doesnt seem very sturdy and I ...
7
votes
3answers
954 views

How can I cheaply refresh parquet in an apartment?

We've recently rented an apartment with seriously damaged parquet. Since the deal is "take it or leave it", we've decided to "mend" the parquet ourselves. Dictionary :) Sorry for my bad english, I ...
7
votes
2answers
20k views

How can I build a cheap, do-it-yourself dance floor?

I would like to make a cheap DIY dance floor and I attained a roll of 3.5 ft x 6 ft vinyl linoleum for free. Can I use this in making a dance floor? Has anyone built their own cheap DIY and what ...
7
votes
2answers
343 views

For a small building, should joists or girders run the long dimension?

I'm planning to frame a 12' x 16' floor. Should the joists be 12', and the beams 16'? Or vice versa? More detail: 4x4 posts on concrete piers; 12' x 10' will be enclosed; 12' x 6' will be a covered ...
7
votes
3answers
456 views

What is the recommended technique for refinishing hardwood floors

I have old hardwood floors in my home that I'd like to refinish myself. I'm ok with all sorts of manual labor, but I'd like to know the preferred method for refinishing them without damaging my walls ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I stop new solid oak floor from squeaking?

really hope someone here can come up with an idea to get me out of this one: I recently laid a new floor in my dining room, it's solid oak and it actually looks quite good considering I put it down! ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the pros and cons of various hardwood floor finishes?

Trying to decide how to stain/finish some new oak hardwood floors. What are the pros and cons of various options like stain+poly, tung oil, etc. I'm wondering about lifetime cost, durability, ability ...
6
votes
3answers
14k views

What are these spongy/soft spots on my hardwood floor?

The house I recently bought has hardwood floors, but I've noticed that some spots are spongy when I walk over them. There is visible downward flex in certain spots to an observer of someone walking ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I make a manhole?

I have a 100+ year old house with wooden floors. At the moment, access to the subfloor is difficult, involving a long 25 meter crawl under the deck. I'd like to install a manhole in the floor. Is ...
6
votes
2answers
215 views

How do I add in-floor heating to a small area?

I get extremely cold feet, and have radiant heating in some rooms of my house, and I love it. I spend a few hours a day in a room without radiant heat. Is there a way to heat about two square feet ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

How can we fix bouncy floors?

Our floors are somewhat bouncy, especially in big rooms with long joists. I think that the main cause is that they used 2x8 joists on 15-20' spans. We are going to replace/install hardwood in ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I level a basement floor but not the slab underneath?

I'd like to install laminate floor on top of Delta FL in my basement. The basement slab is not level, it slopes (from all directions) towards a floor drain (that, via a pipe, leads to a sump pump) ...
6
votes
2answers
724 views

Can I sand bamboo floors?

I have prefinished bamboo floors in the kitchen and they are not in a good shape. I was wondering if i can sand them. Somebody told me that i can't send prefinished floors (oak or bamboo), somebody ...
6
votes
3answers
962 views

What should go between a wood plank sub floor and a hardwood strip floor

I am about to install a hardwood floor into a room in my 1905 farmhouse. The subfloor is 8-12" wide 1" thick planks. The floor I am installing is 2-1/4" prefinished solid hickory tongue and groove. ...
6
votes
2answers
233 views

Is the back section of this house salvageable or should it be knocked down?

My grandfather's house is getting to be in bad shape after years of neglect and more so the back section of the house is falling apart. Now the back section of the house, if I remember correctly, was ...
6
votes
1answer
721 views

Our vinyl floor install will need to be redone — will new vinyl need to be used, or can the existing vinyl be reused?

I had a company (whose name will not be mentioned unless they refuse to fix the job) install a new vinyl floor. I'll spare all the ugly details except the one that's relevant to this question which is ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I prepare an interior cement floor for painting?

I have an enclosed carport that serves as 4th bedroom/den in a 30 year old house. This room has long been used as storage, etc, and is in fairly bad shape. I'm rehabbing it to serve as a home office, ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I use drywall screws to stop floor squeaks?

I've got an old squeaky hardwood floor with access to from below. I can feel the hardwood boards moving under my feet when they squeak so I just plan to drill up through the subfloor into the ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Any ideas on how to keep a refrigerator from moving without wheel locks?

I've got a frig on a tile floor without any wheel locks, and it likes to slide forward every time I open a refrigerator door quickly. So far I have tried: toilet shims shoved under the wheels. ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I make my floors more stable?

My builder did (what seems to me) a cut rate job on my floors. When I walk around in my house my table and entertainment center (and other such things) shake as I walk past them. (Heaven help me if ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I tile over a floor where hardwood is attached directly to joists?

My condo building in Boston was built in 1905, and converted from a hotel in the 1950's. Repairing some damaged hardwood in the livingroom the contractor found that the hardwood was nailed directly to ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Can I lay down solid wood planks on top of my basement concrete floor?

I live in Oakville, Ontario and have a detached home with an unfinished basement with concrete floor. I would like to put hardwood flooring in part of the basement. Instead of tongue and groove ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

How do I use 'surface shims' to level out a sloping floor?

Asked a question about leveling my floor here earlier this week, and one of the options suggested sounded appealing, but didn't contain enough detail for me (a not-too-handy, ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I level an unlevel floor?

The second floor of my house is not to level. The walls are, everything is straight but the floor has a slight pitch. I'm about to remove the current glued vinyl tiles and replace it with a regular ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I use just molding to hold down a floating floor or must I use quarter-round?

I am installing a floating floor (click-lock). The molding is all coming off anyway. Can I use just molding to hold the floating floor down or must I use molding AND quarter-round??
5
votes
4answers
12k views

Where should I start laying nail down hardwood flooring and how do I make it straight?

I'm planning to install tongue and groove hardwood flooring in my living room, dining room, kithcen, hallway, and powder room. The longest unbroken length of floor runs from the front bay of the house ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What can be done to fix a squeak in stairs?

This might be better suited as a community wiki, what do you think? My parents house has very squeaky stairs. The house is over 100 years old, so it's to be expected. What can be done to fix a squeak ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How to finish dirt floor in a basement?

The floor of the basement of our house is half a flat area with a concrete floor where the washing machine and so on are, and half a semi-flat, slightly sloping dirt area, with the dirt area being ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Soundproofing a floor: How about cement backer board w/ Green Glue and mass-loaded vinyl?

I've been researching soundproof underlayments for floors, but the selection seems to be very paltry. It appears that you're pretty much stuck with mass-loaded vinyl (MLV), QuietWood, and a few other ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I hang a hammock from basement joists?

My basement is what I assume is a typical setup, built in the 1970s. 2x8 joists run from the outer cinderblock wall to the center beam with an approximate 11 foot span. I'm thinking about hanging a ...
5
votes
2answers
215 views

Can I have underfloor heating with solid oak floor?

I've seen that many underfloor heating mats (the electric ones) specify the need for tile or stone floor and I'm wondering if it will work as efficiently under a solid oak floor? (or any wood floor ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

What can I do about mild water/moisture damage to laminate wooden flooring?

Yesterday, I accidentally left the window open while it was raining heavily. Some rain poured in for a while (maybe a half-hour or so) before I noticed. After I had wiped off the floor, some dark ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I clean a very dirty concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has been made amazingly gross (thank you, cats) and I'd like to get it really clean. Is there an option other than scrubbing on hands and knees? Are there cleaning solutions that ...
5
votes
2answers
239 views

What do I have to do to prepare my garage floor for paint?

I'd like to paint my garage floor, possibly with textured paint. What do I have to do in order to get my garage floor, which is currently dirty and somewhat oily, ready for something like an ...
5
votes
2answers
250 views

Will internal waterproofing solve my moisture problems?

We've been working on our water problem for awhile now. Here's the deal: There is black drain tile under the home (all the way around) tied into a sump crock. Water was only coming in one side. A ...
5
votes
1answer
692 views

What should I do to level an uneven floor with a potential load bearing wall above?

I'm trying to level the first floor in my 90 year old house. The floor joists are held up by a wooden beam composed of 5 2x8s, which is held up by two steel columns. In the middle of the wooden ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What do I level a 2" slope in my concrete basement floor?

I want to finish a 12'x36' part of my basement. The trouble I am having is that it is sloped to a floor drain. I was told that DRIcore and shims would work but the drain is a 2" slope down from the ...