Creaky 1957 red oak floor, full access from below.

Discussion in 'Hardwood and Laminates Q&A' started by George_M, May 18, 2017.

  1. George_M

    George_M Pro Member

    Prior to purchasing my home, it sat vacant for probably 2 years with no HVAC.

    After purchasing I (think) I made the mistake of immediately ripping up the carpets and letting my flooring guys at it (NWFA certified) at it.

    They did a great job with the the refinishing and repairs where boards had been cut out.

    I don't recall the floor being creaky during walkthroughs or immediately after refinishing. What I think happened is the wood swelled slightly over those couple years, and once the moisture content equalized with the conditioned space equilibrium everything loosened up a lot. I think my mistake was not letting the floor hit equilibrium prior to refinishing, I dunno.

    The ceiling of the basement is completely open for a renovation. Is sending screws up through from underneath a bad idea to try and tighten things up? I can see that being an absolute nightmare if the floors were ever to be redone.

    I admittedly have not tried the graphite or talcum powder swept on the floor trick. And I really don't like the idea of face nailing every board, or using those break off screws.

    Current floor compositions seems to be:
    -T&G red oak probably min. 3/4" thick originally
    -sleepers/air space
    -roofing felt/tar paper
    -1x6 board subfloor
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    The 1x6 are spaced apart as a true sleeper system over a wood subfloor?

    I might want to let those NWFA certified Hardwood Floor Refinishers stop by to take a look/listen at their work.

    I believe HVAC operation throughout the recent months is part of their job for refinishing.
  3. George_M

    George_M Pro Member

    Maybe I wasn't clear enough, or I'm not understanding you. The 1x6's are the subfloor, visible from the basment, resting/fastened to the joists. There is penetration where the subfloor is cut out and I am able to measure to the bottom of the T&G flooring, the gap makes me think that the RO T&G boards don't have full contact with the 1x6 subfloor, and thus lay on sleepers.

    Refinishing was like 7 years ago, the ship has sailed on me really being able to get them to do anything about it. The flooring guy has contacted me in recent years for a recoat and I've brought it up and he's kinda brushed it off saying it wasn't something they did or was caused by moisture content.
  4. Dan Schultz

    Dan Schultz Certified Wood Floor Inspector Charter Member

    First things, first. Determine if the noise is coming from the flooring boards, or the subfloor. Could be the 1 x 6 subfloor baords are moving and causing the noises you are hearing.

    Since your basement ceiling is open at this time, have someone walk above. When you hear the noise, place your finger at the joist and 1 x 6. This also works along the 1 x 6 edges. You may feel movement you couldn't see. Try this and let us know.
  5. George_M

    George_M Pro Member

    That's a good point, I'll definitely double check as I think there are couple spots that I suspect are subfloor. I can feel the T&G boards shift ever so slightly underfoot, especially where two boards are butted together. Which is odd, because the top tongue should prevent that.

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