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I just bought a new house, and the subfloor is very squeaky. The subfloor is 3/4" tongue-and-groove OSB which has been nailed down on 19" spaced joists. Luckily, I am changing the carpet to wood flooring so I am free to fix the subfloor prior to installing the wood flooring.

I complained to the builder about the squeaking, so they screwed down the OSB using deck screws everywhere at 6" intervals. It definitely helped the squeaking, but unfortunately many small squeaks remain. The superintendent tells me that wood structures will always squeak and that this is normal. I don't believe that; there has to be a way to fix those squeaks. Besides, the squeaks are quite noisy and I think it's unacceptable.

I really hope the problem isn't in the joists themselves as this would seem a difficult problem to fix. Is it possible that the squeaks come from the tongue-and-groove joints between the joists? I've read somewhere that it's possible that the T&G joints have not been glued properly and that this can cause squeaks. If that is the problem, is it possible to simply push glue down the joint over the subfloor, or do I really have to remove and replace the subfloor?

What else could cause these squeaks?

Thank you!

  • Did they remove the nails, or simply add screws? – Tester101 Jul 4 '17 at 4:56
  • They simply added screws. – Kevin Jul 4 '17 at 5:12
  • If the floor squeaks then there is movement in the joists. – ratchet freak Jul 4 '17 at 13:11
  • Is it common for joists to move like that or is this sign of a problem? – Kevin Jul 4 '17 at 17:14
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    If they didn't remove the nails, it's still possible for there to be enough movement to cause a squeaky nail. – Tester101 Jul 4 '17 at 22:35
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Do you have basement? If you can get to the joists, you can use shims and glue to stop the movement.

see: http://monkeysee.com/fixing-floor-squeaks-from-the-underside/

  • I found that using toothpicks instead of shims is sometimes easier and cheaper. They can reach into very tight spaces. – ajeh Jul 6 '17 at 15:26

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