Squeaky floors? A Boston area expert explains the fix
My first and second floors have areas that squeak, and there seem to be more every day. My house is about 29 years old and has carpeting all over except in the kitchen, foyer and under some tub areas. What can be done to correct this problem?
— Angie's List member Mary Jane Pfuetze
Squeaking originates in the subfloor when it becomes detached from the floor above over time, says Ed Griffith, owner of highly rated Edward J. Griffith Wood Floors in Newton, Ma., which also services Boston. "On the first floor, you can easily get rid of squeaks by adding new plywood in between the joists from below and screwing it in," Griffith says.
Fixing squeaks on the second floor isn't as easy, because there's no direct access to the subfloor from below, he says, adding that the best approach would be to lift up the carpeting or remove the wood floor entirely to reglue and screw in the subfloor beneath.
Such a project could cost upwards of $1,000, he says, whereas fixing a simple squeak on the first floor could range between $200 to $300.
"Pre-installation of a floor is the best time to ensure floors won't squeak by screwing in as many screws as you can into the subfloor and then covering them with the new floor," Griifith says. He strongly urges homeowners not to take the easy way out by screwing or nailing down floors from above. "It's unprofessional and unsightly," he says. "You want your floors to look like we've never been there."