View Full Version : Squeaky Floors Under Carpet

02-20-2007, 01:56 AM
Does anyone have experience fixing squeaky floors under carpet? I dont think there is a single square foot on our 2nd level that doesn't squeak. I'm assuming it's a function of moisture in the house (or lack of), becuase I dont remember it ever being this bad.

Of course I do not have access from below, that's our first level living space.

I read that small-headed screws (trim screws?) driven right thru the carpet might do the trick if I'm able to locate the joists. I'm just curious if any of you guys have any input or other suggestions.

Hurry, please, before these squeaky floors drive me to insanity!!

02-20-2007, 01:59 AM
One little trick I've heard is spreading talc/baby powder on the rug. In a few days, it'll work its way down thru the carpet and "lubricate" the floorboards underneath.

I think it's a quickie thing that homesellers do to 'remove' the squeaks.

02-20-2007, 02:34 AM
There's a kit called ' Quiet Floor' or something like that, Menard's, HD, Lowe's all have it, basically you run a special screw in with a power drill and the head snaps off and what remains is below the wood surface of the subfloor.

You run the screw right through the finished floor material, and the by screwing the floor down tight again the squeek is gone.

It's been hightlighted on Ask This Old House.

Oh, yeah, the dry winter air will cause more squeaks in a house, try running a humidifier or putting a pot of water on the stove, with the burner on low all the hours that someone is awake and in three-four days you may notice an improvement.

02-20-2007, 03:04 AM
pull the carpet up, screw down the floor, rent a carpet stretcher and put the floor back down ;) I've never heard of the screws woodchuck mentioned, they might be worth a shot though...

02-20-2007, 03:09 AM
woodchuck nailed it (so to speak) I've used these screws before and they do it every time! a good stud finder will help you find a floor joist, just be sure to make sure you get the screw in far enough and check it after breaking the head off, little bare feet will find them every time if they are up to high, if one is to hi a few taps with a hammer will get them down where they go.
Also as woodchuck said the humidity will improve it some, you could get a fish tank they work good too.

02-20-2007, 03:12 AM
Three different responses, 3 different fixes! Ha ha. Actually the research I've just done mentioned all 3 (powder, screws that break off, and pulling up the carpet). Pulling up the carpet would probably be the most correct way of doing it. And I do have a buddy that could put it back on, but it would take him months to get over here.

I might try the screws. Need to hit Lowes tomorrow anyway. If the screws dont work then the carpet is coming up. I can't stand it anymore.

Thanks guys.

02-20-2007, 03:19 AM
Glad I was a contender! Thought I was pulling that one out my butt! :)

02-20-2007, 07:19 AM
I fixed a few squeaks in a carpeted floor in our condo. I drove a few two inch trim-head drywall screws right through the carpeting. The tiny head of the screw went through the backing of the carpet and the under pad no problem.

My stud finder wouldn’t work through the carpet. I pulled the cover from the heating vent in the floor to find one joist. I just measured out where the next few joists should have been. With a bit of luck I got a few screws in the joists and the squeaks were gone. Then we sold the condo.

02-20-2007, 03:35 PM
Just picked up some 1 5/8" trim screws. I didn't see the other screws that break off. I think these will work, hope my stud finder works... stay tuned.

Thanks again.

02-20-2007, 04:38 PM
You probably already figured this cubfan, but if the threads on those screws go toward the head far enough that they'll catch in the flooring, you'd have to predrill or it won't suck the floor down. (that make any sense?)

Or you could just figure, like I have, that you have a built in alarm system for when the kids are teenagers. There's no way anybody could sneak into or out of our house, it's 100 year old floors are squeaky beyond hope. I improved it some when I refinished all the floors, but it's pretty hopeless for us.

02-20-2007, 04:44 PM
Riggs - yep, I've given consideration to where the threads end on the screws. (it's almost like I know what I'm doing!!!) Am I correct in wanting the threads to go all the way up to the head? I hope so becuase this is why I got the 1 5/8. The 2"ers had threads that ended about a 1/4 - 1/2" before the head. Please tell me I'm right!

02-20-2007, 05:20 PM
I think those would work fine, I'd think you would just need to predrill the thickness of the flooring, and subflooring, if there, so that it sucks it down tight. Big enough hole so the threads don't catch. If there's 2 layers of 3/4 inch, then you'd have to get longer ones of course. You could drill a hole where there's no joist to see how much is there.

I'm no expert or anything. It could be that just screwing them in would hold the flooring up, keep it from squeaking?? Never hurts to try, can always unscrew. Might be squeaking between two layers of flooring too.

02-20-2007, 05:30 PM
the 2" would have worked better, no pre-drilling, with the threads not reaching to the top the threaded part is able to thread itself into the joist, and the non-threaded part allows the decking to be pulled tight. The 1 5/8 should still work fine if you pre-drill the decking as riggs mentioned, might be worth a trip back to the hardware store though and exchange them...

02-20-2007, 05:35 PM
huh, i thought it would make more send to have the threading go all the way to the top... oh well.

at any rate, I'm not having much luck. Still LOTS of squeaking. I dont think I'm finding any joists. Time to pull up some carpet... damn.

02-22-2007, 10:16 PM
If you guys are putting screws down through carpet, and there's a hardwood floor (very prone to squeaking in the dead of winter) under it, forget about refinishing it later on in life. Screws with the heads broken off can't be counter-sunk like a nail. And running over metal fasteners (screws, staples, or nails) that are not counter-sunk plays hell on sandpaper/sanders, and leaves nasty stripes in the floor. It also causes Floor Guys to want to beat you with a piece of rusty tack strip............

JimP of Jim Parriott Hardwood Floors

02-22-2007, 10:47 PM
No, this is a traditional 2 story house. Upstairs are the bedrooms, carpet over subfloor over joists.

Thanks tho. I have some other squeaks under tile and a few more under hardwood. The tile squeaks are going to be another issue. The ones under the hardwood I have access to from the basement so I'm not too worried about that.

Update - I wasn't having luck finding the joists, so I went back out and tracked down one of these kits that was mentioned earlier. It might be a gimmick, haven't tried it yet. It comes with a "joist finding screw" that I'm trying to figure out how it works. It's a long screw (about 5 inches) that has only about an inch of threads on it. It tells you where the joists are by the way it backs itself out when in reverse. It's kind of weird: if it doesn't back itself out when in reverse than you haven't found the joist? Something like that.

By the way Jim, you gotta find these threads quicker! I'm going insane over squeaky floors and all the while we have a flooring professional among us?!?! :wink:

02-22-2007, 11:35 PM
You shouldn't need a stud finder as you should see a line of nails or screws in your floorboards. I used screws to fix this problem at my last house and just screwed the screws in past flush. Didn't break anything off. Worked like a charm. You can also buy a carpet kicker. I have one and they are easy to use. Not quite as handy as the proffesional types, but work well.

02-23-2007, 01:13 AM
You shouldn't need a stud finder as you should see a line of nails or screws in your floorboards.

yeah but the whole point was to not pull up the carpet. Maybe it's not as big a deal as it seems. I dunno... Just seems to me that pulling up the carpet would be last resort. I think I'm going to have to anyway.

02-23-2007, 04:22 AM
I've found that as difficult as the right way might sound, in the long run had you done it from the beginning it would have saved you time and money ;) oh and you can rent a knee kicker for carpet at home depot for 10-15 bucks..

02-23-2007, 05:20 AM
By the way Jim, you gotta find these threads quicker! I'm going insane over squeaky floors and all the while we have a flooring professional among us?!?! :wink:

Gimme a break- I have 5 knuckleheads to look after............I can't follow every thread.............but I'd be glad to answer any wood flooring questions.

02-24-2007, 02:51 AM
I just read about this in "Popular Science".


This is a good video to watch about the product. (http://squeaknomore.com/Squeek.wmv)

A friend of mine used the same thing in his house and he said it worked.

02-24-2007, 04:47 AM

This is a good video to watch about the product.

Yep, that's the 'kit' product I just bought the other day. I just haven't had a chance to get back to it. The key to the whole thing is that "joist finding screw". I tried it for a few seconds and didn't have any luck. The kid keeps interupting my projects!