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I have a thick carpet but my floor still squeaks. It’s not the plywood under the carpet; it’s the floorboards themselves.

What’s the best way to lift the carpet so I can screw down the floor boards then put the carpet back down again? It’s the full room floor that squeaks, and any help would be appreciated.

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    Can you get to the underside of the floor at all?
    – gnicko
    Oct 11, 2021 at 10:47
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    Are the "floorboards" an additional layer of subflooring below the plywood, but above the joists? How was the plywood attached? How do you know it's not the plywood?
    – FreeMan
    Oct 11, 2021 at 12:12

2 Answers 2

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For completeness, I'm going to mention that there are products that allow you to screw down floorboards without removing the carpet such as the Squeek no more kit. This isn't the only such product, but the basic idea is that the screw makes a tiny hole in the carpet and once its tight, the head breaks off, leaving no trace. I think I've seen a version that has screws with very small heads that go all the way through the carpet as well.

through carpet screw

The tuft of the carpet (even short pile) is enough to completely hide a small hole in the backing. The downside of these kits is they are a bit hit-or-miss because you can't see the subfloor like you can when the carpet is removed.

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    I've used this product to eliminate squeaks from my carpeted floor, and it gets 4 stars from me. As noted, it's a bit hit-or-miss, but because of the carpet the misses aren't at all noticeable. With some educated guesses (joists are typically 16 inches apart) and a bit of trial and error, you can reliably find the joists (and even easier if you have access to the floor from below). And if you miss, you'll never know it from above the carpet. I subtract one star because I had one screw for which the head broke off before it should have, and there was no clean way to extract it.
    – Paul Price
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:09
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    @PaulPrice Good to see a review from a user. I've known about these over the years, but I've had a chance to secure my squeaks when changing carpet. Your explanation matches my expectations pretty well. Glad they worked for you.
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 11, 2021 at 19:31
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    The other downside is they seem like they would be a nightmare if you ever need to get the floorboards up. Oct 12, 2021 at 1:17
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    I would also note that (obviously) you need to be very careful of services running through the joists. I waited until a recent carpet replacement to fix the squeaks rather than doing this and I'm glad I did, as it was a rats nest of cables and pipes running through the joists.
    – Paddy
    Oct 12, 2021 at 10:54
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    @DarrelHoffman Find the stubs by moonwalking around your floor, and then get down on your hands and knees, use a small dremel-like tool to shorten the stub, and hold a vacuum cleaner near to suck up the dust. You can use a sacrificial spoon with a hole drilled through the bowl as a shield to protect the carpet. Its fixable.
    – Criggie
    Oct 13, 2021 at 0:09
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Most carpets are fixed with grippers at the edges.

Unhook and roll the carpet back, then deal with the floor.

Roll out the carpet and stretch it to re-hook it onto the grippers. Carpet fitters have tools for this - not something you can do just by hands alone.

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  • Aye I get that, just wasn’t sure if it would be a nightmare trying to get the carpet back down once sorted the floor would it be better to get a carpet fitter to re lay the carpet maybe ? Oct 11, 2021 at 10:36
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    You can probably rent the carpet tools to refit, but carpet fitters will do it.
    – crip659
    Oct 11, 2021 at 11:51
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    @TerryMunro I'd suggest paying someone to redo the carpet. It has to be stretched in place or it will pull up or bunch up making ridges that not only look bad but are tripping hazards.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 11, 2021 at 12:54
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    Maybe get away with buying a carpet kicker then and lifting one half then fix the floor then kick it back into place then lift other half and do the same ? Thanks for the information Oct 11, 2021 at 15:09
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    I can usually refit carpet by hand I think. Maybe if it's older and stretched out it's easier?
    – rogerdpack
    Oct 11, 2021 at 18:10

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