Trying to fix squeaky hardwood floor in small hallway, think joists run parallel to floorboards on sides, near or under the walls on either side, can't find any with stud finder that run at 90 degree angle to floor.

Any ideas what to do?

I know about those kits with the scored screws that snap off, but will they work if just screwed into subfloor?

  • 2
    The squeaking is wood rubbing during movement. You have to identify what is moving and stop the movement. Could be hardwood to hardwood, hardwood to subfloor, or subfloor to joist. Either fasten what ever it is together or wedge it so it cannot move or both. The hard part is access and identifying what actually is rubbing. Good Luck.
    – Damon
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 6:05

3 Answers 3


I'm going to skip over the likelihood of this parallel joist situation actually being true (I have a deep mis-trust of stud finders), and attempt to just answer your question.

Answer part 1 - can any of this floor (+ subfloor) come up without causing damage/serious inconvenience to you or the property? If so, then I would strongly suggest pulling up a couple of boards and having a look around. I (unfortunately) had to do this in an old bathroom because we needed to move a sink, and after tearing up some plywood subfloor and 3 floorboards found a half-disintegrated joist holding up one end of the room.

I don't think your situation will be the same (water damage less likely in a hallway), but if it isn't obvious where to screw in to stop the squeaking this should help you out.

Answer part 2 - you aren't likely to get much long-term improvement from just screwing through to the subloor. A long term fix will require knowing where those joists are (parallel or otherwise!)

Addendum In an older property of mine, we regularly encountered the situation where a joist would be located directly underneath an internal wall, making affixing the boards to them pretty difficult. If you can't find recognizable joists close to the walls - this could be why. We solved that one by sistering another joist to it to give us something to screw into.


I haven't done this before, but I've seen it done in an my previous home and it worked for at least two years. Note this is not the best way to fix this, the right way is to lift all the boards. If this is an impossible hassle, likely to result in just more damaged areas.

identify the moving boards, using a very small bit (like 1/16) drill through the floor at ~ 45 degree angle just under the flooring's sound and/or moisture barrier. Using a syringe and 12-guage needle, inject glue to fill any gap that is causing squeaking. Glue serves as a means to fill the pockets causing the squeaking and also lock everything together. Now if this is laminate, laminate floods should be floating flanked by expansion gaps. using glue threatens the integrity of this expansion of the wood and could very potentially cause buckling later down the road.

Put some heavy weight onto the area being glues.


Stud finders are usually unable to find wood joists under thick wood floors. They are for drywall.

Friction noises depend where noise really comes from, not where you step.

In one house with plywood then oak hardwood, it was the joist & X pieces . Polyurethane tube of sub-floor adhesive to an open basement ceiling joist edges applied like sealant fixed all those.

In my present house parquet oak 1x5” pieces glued to subfloor had spots that squeeked but we’re caused by wall tightly touching floor. Anything to cut a gap under the wall moulding to floor in area near interfere noise fixed those.

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