Squeaks in the wood or plywood subfloor under carpeting are usually caused by loose nails in the subfloor or joints in the subfloor rubbing together.
How to stop squeaks under a carpeted floor:
- Remove Carpet: Carefully pull back the carpeting from the tack strip on a wall near the squeak.
- Find Floor Joists: Determine the location of the floor joists under the wood or plywood subfloor near the squeak by the location of the nailheads in the subfloor or by using a stud finder.
- Secure Subfloor: Drive 2” to 3” long screws through the subfloor and into the floor joists as needed to stop any squeaks. If the squeak is in the joint between two pieces of subflooring, apply wood glue to the seam and then drive screws in the subfloor on each side of the joint.
- Reinstall Carpet: After making sure there are no more squeaks in the floor, have a flooring professional restretch the carpet.
Watch this video to find out more.
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Danny Lipford: One question I hear a lot is how do you cure a squeaky floor?
If there’s carpet over the floor, it can be a pretty simple fix. Begin by pulling the carpet up from the tack strip along the nearest wall, so that you can roll it back. Now, it may be necessary to separate seams at doorways to allow this rolling. If you do this, be careful not to tear the carpet fibers.
Once the carpet and pad are clear, check again for squeaks and mark the location on the wood subfloor, then look for nails in the area. Several nails in a row indicate where the floor joists are located. Connect these points with a line, and you’ll know where to drive screws.
Two- or three-inch long screws with countersink heads should solve the problem because they won’t pull out like nails do over time. The flexing plywood rubbing on loose nails is what produces most squeaks.
Sometimes seams squeak when the two sheets of plywood rub against each other. Screws on either side of the seam, along with a healthy dose of wood glue in between them should cure the problem right on the scene.
When all is quiet, have a flooring pro restretch and reseam the carpet as necessary.