I'm in the middle of a remodel of my downstairs master bath. There has always been a squeak in the floors and I knew when I started this project that was something I definitely had to fix. There is one particular piece of subfloor that when I put a foot on each side of joist and move back and forth, I get a terrible squeak. That piece of subfloor goes a couple of feet from a wall and the next piece goes into a closet and from inside the closet, I can make the same thing happen. So basically these two sections are the main culprits.

Originally, it was nailed and glued, then after the fact it was screwed (a matter of fact the framer made an extra point about it saying he was going to make sure that the floor would never squeak). I went through and put in screws -- the more screws I put in, the more it didn't seem to change it. Now I'm about maybe screws 4" apart all along the joists.

Next I read shimming might help from underneath. Having someone squeak the floor above, I tried to wedge shims underneath with wood glue. The glue that was already there made that difficult and I tried using a mulitool tool to work out some of the original glue so I could shim. I tried a few places but I didn't get any improvement with that either.

What do I try next? I had two directions I was thinking -- one is to just cut out the subfloor on both sides and replace or run support blocking across each joist. Which is the mostly likely to fix this or even worse, if I'm having this much of a problem is it a sign of something else? It looks like a legal span so I don't think its a problem there but I'm not sure.

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    Don't think it is a major problem, like weak joists. Usually squeaks are cause by movement/rubbing of two pieces of wood or wood against nails/screws. It could simple like one joist is a touch lower/higher than the others, so there is movement of the sub floor. One reason builders like those I-beam joists. Stepping on each side of a joist to make the squeak might mean blocking is the answer.
    – crip659
    Jul 31, 2023 at 22:23
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    I had a similar problem on a re-model. It squeaked all the time, after thinking the sub-floor wasn't well anchored . Not knowing better I re-screwed the entire sub-floor. It still squeaked. A LOT of work. A friend of my who is a contractor said it was probably loose joist hangers. So we went into the crawl space and re-screwed the joists to the joist hangers. NO MORE SQUEAKS . Jul 31, 2023 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


Cheese and crackers! So I figured out the problem and it turns out putting shims under the wall is what did it. I started off with putting some blocking and that seemed to help a little bit. I was down on the floor having someone walk across so I could hear where the worst squeak was still coming from when I noticed there was a bit of a gap under the wall. I said, I wonder what would happen if I put a shim under there? Sure enough, as soon as I did the squeak cut in half. Looked for any place I could stick a shim and did it from both sides and that took care of the squeak completely!

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    Good on ya for figuring this out! Do be aware that some shim material might compress over time and the squeak might return.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 4, 2023 at 13:21

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