Chicago flooring specialists explain squeaky floor fix
The floors in my 29-year-old house have areas that squeak, and there seem to be more every day. Most of the flooring is carpeted. What can be done to correct this problem? - Mary Jane Pfuetze
Mike Calame, owner of highly rated Flooring Concepts by Design in Gilberts, Ill., says the problem is usually loose subfloors moving up and down on the joists. This can be difficult to repair depending on how hard it is to access the subfloor.
He most frequently fixes squeaks when replacing an entire floor by resecuring the subfloor with screws. "I don't charge for this, because I feel it's part of the overall flooring job," he says. "If you're not replacing the floor, though, it can be very time-intensive and costly. Most people just live with it until they're ready to have their floors redone."
Carpeted floors are much easier to fix, though. "You just need to pull up the carpet, screw the subfloor down, and resecure the carpet," Calame says.
Barbara Nelson, secretary at highly rated Precision Flooring Inc. in Bartlett, Ill., adds that potential solutions depend on where the squeaks originate.
"If it's in the first floor and you have a basement, you can go in underneath and place a shim to level the subfloor or screw it in," she says. "If not, there's not a lot you can do. You can put in new floor and screw it down. You can pull up hardwood and place screws underneath, but that's going to take a lot of time.