Squeaky floorboards

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  • Squeaky floorboards

    Hi all, back again with another question....

    Our home (that we rent) has seriously squeaky floorboards. We did notice them when we moved in but either they have gotten worse in the past year or my tolerance of them has decreased and they really need sorting. My husband getting out of the bedroom on an early shift wakes our daughter in the room next door because of the noise of the floorboards (they are better than any burglar alarm!!) but really, they need fixing.

    My question is this: as landlords, would this be something that would fall under repairs you would deal with or would you ignore the tenant and literally think they have to get on with it, squeaky floorboards and all.

    If it's a case of get on with it, again as landlords, would you have any objections to the tenant paying for them to be fixed? (Obviously only knowing this after you've decided on the first question)

    We have laminate in all the rooms and carpet on the stairs but everywhere creaks - on the landing, it sounds as if there is metal cluncking underfoot and in the living room, if you step on a certain spot, the floor dips!

    Many thanks in advance for your help

  • #2
    If the laminate flooring weren't there, you could just screw the creaky boards down to the joists beneath them and the problem would cease.

    As it is there,I think you have to keep complaining to the LL although he may respond (shortsightedly) that the floor boards creaked when you viewed the property, you accepted it as viewed and that he's under no obligation to remedy them.

    How easy would it be to take up the laminate flooring and re-lay it after screwing down the boards? Are the sections of laminate flooring glued ,or just 'clicked' together?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      It could even be that the laminate itself has been poorly laid. It needs to have expansion gaps where it meets the walls, door frames etc otherwise as it swells and shrinks with different moisture contents and temperatures, it can tighten and loosen against the walls and cause creaking. This may also account for the dipping floor when you walk over it, as the laminate planks are too tight together and rise and dip as they are fighting for space.

      Do you know when it was laid? Did LL do it themselves, or was it a professional job? If it was recent it may still have a guarantee in place.

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      • #4
        That's a very good point. I was assuming the creaking was from the original floorboards, but as you say,it might be the laminate itself.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        • #5
          You dont screw down floor boards,encase you need to get them up fast,Example gas leak/water leak.

          Use "Lost head nails" nailing down at the edge of the floor boards(not the middle)taking care not to go throught cables/gas and water pipes
          Thunderbirds are go

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          • #6
            Morning,

            Our landlord is a builder and the previous owner of the house we rent did a part exchange with the landlord.

            The laminate was down before the landlord bought the house but there doesn't seem to be any gaps in the laminate at all and it creaks with every step we take.

            I will speak to the landlord again about it, I did ask for carpets putting down as we have a young child just walking and the laminate can be quite cold on her feet (no, she wont entertain slippers)

            Thanks for you help

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 45002 View Post
              You dont screw down floor boards,encase you need to get them up fast,Example gas leak/water leak.
              Never heard that as a reason (how many seconds are you going to save finding, fetching and using a crowbar as opposed to a screwdriver?) Traditionally tradesmen never used nails due to the time it took to fit them ('never use a screw when a nail will do'), but in the days of power tools and pilot-hole-free screws that's largely not the case any more.

              Furthermore, these days, builders more often than not use large sheets of tongued-and-grooved chipboard flooring which are utterly horrendous ever to lift (I shudder to think of doing it in an emergency situation!).

              Chipboard flooring is the worst for sqeaks, even when screwed down at very short intervals as is reccomended. You're supposed to glue the joints to prevent movement between the sheets, which causes the noise (making it even harder ever to lift). I have it (unfortunately) in one room at home, and following an internet recommendation I finally fixed the squeaking for good (which had been driving me mad) by lifting the chipboard sheets, and laying down strips of heavy-duty polythene sheeting along the joists and along the tongue-and-groove joints. The sheeting acts as 'lubrication' between the slightly moving wood. 100% sucesss.

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              • #8
                Really..

                Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                Never heard that as a reason (how many seconds are you going to save finding, fetching and using a crowbar as opposed to a screwdriver?) Traditionally tradesmen never used nails due to the time it took to fit them ('never use a screw when a nail will do'), but in the days of power tools and pilot-hole-free screws that's largely not the case any more.

                Furthermore, these days, builders more often than not use large sheets of tongued-and-grooved chipboard flooring which are utterly horrendous ever to lift (I shudder to think of doing it in an emergency situation!).

                Chipboard flooring is the worst for sqeaks, even when screwed down at very short intervals as is reccomended. You're supposed to glue the joints to prevent movement between the sheets, which causes the noise (making it even harder ever to lift). I have it (unfortunately) in one room at home, and following an internet recommendation I finally fixed the squeaking for good (which had been driving me mad) by lifting the chipboard sheets, and laying down strips of heavy-duty polythene sheeting along the joists and along the tongue-and-groove joints. The sheeting acts as 'lubrication' between the slightly moving wood. 100% sucesss.
                What a complete load of rubbish...

                Traditionally tradesmen and builders I know always used Lost head Nail

                Last edited by 45002; 01-10-2011, 15:53 PM. Reason: Really..
                Thunderbirds are go

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 45002 View Post
                  What a complete load of rubbish...

                  Traditionally tradesmen and builders I know always used Lost head Nail

                  Apologies, what I meant to write was "Traditionally tradesmen never used screws due to the time it took to fit them ('never use a screw when a nail will do')..." (though to be honest I'd have thought that was fairly obvious as my original sentence didn't actually make any sense...

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                  • #10
                    Different types of flooring are lifted in different ways, and the type of nail / screw makes little difference to how easy that is initially done. In my house the floorboards are long length tongue and groove, some pass under brick partition walls between bedrooms making them impossible to lift without cutting, the type of nails used do not make that any quicker. In my last house the boards were large sheet tongue and groove chipboard, even harder to lift. It seems to me that in many cases, floorboards are laid without any intention of making it easy for them to be lifted later.

                    http://www.diyfixit.co.uk/building/f...ng-boards.html

                    After I have cut and lifted a section of floorboards in some cases I have replaced the section with a sheet of thick plywood, with felt along the joists under the new board which is screwed down, there’s no squeaks whatsoever and the panel is easily and quickly lifted after removing the screws. I use metal protectors where cables and pipe pass through cut joists where necessary, and mark the boards from above with electrical / water warning tape, no gas pipes run under the boards in this house.
                    I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 45002 View Post
                      What a complete load of rubbish...

                      Traditionally tradesmen and builders I know always used Lost head Nail

                      I'd just like to say there's no need to be rude - and it's not rubbish at all. I have just spent a morning screwing down creaking floorboards in a house I'm working on and there are definite advantages to using screws rather than nails in my experience:

                      1. The creaking is often fixed more effectively with screws as lost head nails do not actually anchor the floor boards as well as screws do - the wood can still move around the nail.

                      2. It is much easier to remove a screwed-down plank than a nailed-down one.

                      3. It is quieter and less annoying for the neighbours than hammering down nails.
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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