Six months ago my wife and I moved into a 2-story pre-owned home, custom build in 2015. We noticed over the last few days there is a spot on our 2nd floor master bedroom that makes a popping sound when we walk over it. The floor may have creaked before, but only in the last few days has it become an audible pop.

Here is a short link to video so you can see/hear.

It has recently started getting hot here (western pennsylvania) and we're wondering if this is seasonal (ie. just the house adjusting to changing humidity) or a more ominous sign. The popping does occur over/near a metal duct.

Looking for advice on what the problem could likely be and the recommended course of action. We're getting in touch with the original builder to see if floor repairs would be part of our home warranty for example.


  • 1
    If you have a home warranty that will cover this, I'd suggest that's the best way to go. It's even possible that attempting to fix it yourself could void the warranty, and that would be a Bad Thing™! You'll have to check your warranty paperwork to make that determination. Barring that, this is a good article about the causes of some floor squeaks and remedies for them. No affiliation, just the first result of a DuckDuckGo search for "floor pop fix". I hate to refer people elsewhere, but...
    – FreeMan
    Jun 3, 2020 at 14:24
  • Thanks - that article is helpful - as it mentions a metal popping sound around duct work which seems to be similar to our situation. Jun 3, 2020 at 15:06
  • @Freeman , These can be tough but with your description of the article it could be an answer. Throw a couple more of the highlights in and I will up vote.+
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 3, 2020 at 18:42
  • Feels kinda weird copy/pastaing someone else's work, @EdBeal, but I've given credit where credit is due.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 4, 2020 at 11:03
  • This is good information sometimes being good at repairing things is knowing where to look, giving credit is important but providing it will help others + I hope it is useful for others and gets accepted.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 4, 2020 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


If your home warranty covers it, that would be the way to go - get the builder to get it right as it should have been the first time. It's even possible that trying a DIY fix may void part or all of your warranty. That's something you'll definitely want to check into for future reference, too.

If your warranty won't cover it or you want to tackle it on your own anyway, this article lists several causes for noisy floors and some suggested solutions:

Hardwood floors

If you already have hardwood flooring and your floors squeak and pop, you might try the old remedy…baby powder or powdered graphite. Placing these powders down between the planks helps to eliminate the squeak in some cases but is typically not a long term fix. You can also eliminate major squeaks by having a friend stand on the squeaky board while you drive a screw up from below (if you have access) through the subfloor and into the plank. Make sure your screw is of the proper size…you don’t want it to come up through the floor (and potentially into your friends foot). You can determine the depth of your hardwood by removing one of the floor registers.

Floor pops or oil-can noise

If your floors squeak only when you walk across them and sounds like an oil can (a metal flexing sound), you probably have an HVAC duct that is deflecting when the floor moves...

All ductwork in the basement should have a 1” gap between the sheet metal and the joists. This allows the joists to deflect without rubbing on the metal. If you don’t have access to the heat runs because the ceiling below is drywalled, you need to decide how bad you want the noise to go away.

Squeaking floors

This is typically either a nail rubbing or a loose subfloor panel. If you have access from below, locate the squeaky area as someone steps on the floor from above. Check to see if any nails missed the joist in the location of the noise. Sometimes a nail that misses a joist will rub on the framing below as the floor deflects.

If you don’t have access and you know there are no plumbing or electric wires in the location of the squeak, you can try driving trim nails through the carpet into the joists below. Use a trim nail with no head. Be careful not to catch carpet fibers under the nail. This type of repair works about half of the time from my experience. If your flooring is something other than carpet, you are out of luck.

Squeak or tick at a wall

Sometimes a floor will deflect and the wall stays in place...

This can sometimes be repaired by removing the basemolding and driving 3” long screws through the base of the wall into the subfloor (make sure you don’t hit any mechanicals). This secures the subfloor to the bottom of the wall preventing the nail rub and resulting floor squeak or tick when the floor deflects.

  • What is an oil can noise..? Jun 4, 2020 at 13:33
  • 1
    @AdamHughes it's the squeaking/popping noise made when an oil can is compressed. You'll have to turn up the volume some, but this very short YouTube video (audio only) is an example.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 4, 2020 at 13:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.