View Full Version : Correct way to use wedges for creaky floor
7th Jan 2012, 09:45 AM
I've been trying to remove the creaks out of a kitchen in a weatherboard house. After doing a bit of research I thought I'd try to use some wedges and a bit of caulk b/w the joist and the floorboard. So underneath the house I go and I start trying to locate gaps between joists and floorboards. I then insert the wedges but what I didn't know is how hard to put the wedges in because if you go too hard then a gap opens up near the wedge and then you have to wedge that etc. In short I didn't solve the problem but created more creaks. So my question is how hard do you need to push the wedge in and is there an optimal angle for a wedge/shim? One other question I used No more gaps as that's what I had for caulk, is it appropriate and how do you get it in b/w the joist and floorboard when it's such a small gap?
7th Jan 2012, 10:30 PM
HI Tiger, first before you do anything, you need to determine where the squeek is coming from. A squeek can come from several locations within the timber floor members and framing. I would first not use any wedges at all. They will only cause you more problems. best thing to do is to identify whether the squeek comes from board movement between joists or if it comes from on top of the joist.
The squeek can come from a board riding up and down a nail as you walk on it, That squeek will come from on top of the joist. The other squeek is normally located somewhere in the center between the joist and it is timber flexing and the tongue is rubing against the grove. Friction is caused and the vibrating is amplified through the flooring, and what you hear is the amplified sound. If the squeek is from a nail and board movement, then it can be a simple matter of punching down that nail to tighten the board down. No need to bang another nail in, the existing one will be fine, It may just need to get a fresh grip into the joist.
On the othe hand, if the squeek is coming from the center of the board between the joist, then there is not much you can do except lubricate the squeeky bit. First and best method is to grab your wifes baby powder and sprinkle heaps at the squeeky section. Then keep walking omn that section and work the powder into the edge of the board. What it does is coates the rubbing surfaces and acts like graphite powder. This works fine and will stop the squeek for years.
Let me know the outcome. If it persists, then there is an alternate method to use. But first try the methods i just mentioned first.
8th Jan 2012, 10:15 AM
Thanks Larry for that in-depth response. Having been under the house I can actually see the movement, there was a gap of approx 3 mm b/w the floorboard and the joist so I assume it's the former situation that you described. The floor covering is one big sheet of lino, I assume it's been glued down so I can't get at it from the top without ruining the lino, how would I get the talcum powder into the joint?
8th Jan 2012, 11:02 AM
Ok thats a small challange , but easly overcomeable. First i am going to ask a couple of questions: Go and stand on top of the vinyl and tell me if you can see any imprint or evidence of timber flooring under the vinyl or is it completly flat and smooth and you cant see any imprint of T/G through the vinyl. What i am trying to determinte is if they have laid the vinyl directly over the floor boards or they have installed Hardboard underlay down first. If they have not laid down Hardboard underlay, then there is a good chnce that the vinyl is floating over the floor boards. Then it will be easy to remove any beading around the walls and roll the vinyl back to get at the nails to punch down. That might seem a lot of work, but its not and it is the best way to stop the squeek. If you cant get at the floor boards to bang down the nails then the next best thing to do is to inject a flooring glue or liquid nails into the gap between the joist and the board. The glue will act as a packer and a wedge without over packing it and causing problems that a timber wedge will do. You will need to get it right in the gap and put as much as you can in. using a narrow paint scraper to push the glue in will help to get it all the way in. Clip the nozel on the tube to the smallest opening. You want it to be like a syringe and inject the glue in. I would use a 300 ml glue cartridge and a chaulking gun. It is easer to force the glue in with a chaulking gun. They are cheap from bunnings. Much easer than trying to do it with a small tube of glue. You need construction adhesive simular to "No more nails or Liquid nails" If you can get Flooring glue in the cartridge , then that is even better, But flooring adhesive mostly come in 600ml sausages and require a bigger despensing gun.Construction adhesive will do the job if you cant get flooring adhesive. Spend time to make sure that the gap is fully glued. make sure that nobody walks on that area untill the glue cures. Walking on it will squish the glue out and it wont have an effect. That should do the trick.
8th Jan 2012, 11:36 AM
Thanks again Larry, there is an underlay under the vinyl so I'll go with your second option. So it sounds to me that wedges are never an appropriate solution even though all the diy books say to use them. Your help is much appreciated.
16th Jan 2012, 07:43 PM
You've had excellent advice from Larry.
One thing I'll add is that if the tongue and groove in the boards are rubbing and you can't get any talc in from above you can buy some 15mm x 6 gauge screws and screw them into the joint between the boards from underneath, through the tongue and groove, the flooring should be at least 19mm so the screws won't protrude above the floor.
Wedges and packers are normally used to fix bouncy floors, not squeaky ones, the wedges or packers are placed between the stumps and bearers or bearers and joists.
18th Jan 2012, 12:48 AM
I have had success using talc on floors. Smells nice and may discourage ants.
The other thing I have done is punch down nails and if required insert additional nails or screws. Screws are less likely to work loose. Should mention that the floors I have worked on had the floor covering up and new covering was going down.
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