Creaky floorboards

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by DanielQ, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member


    Some of my floorboards are really creaky when I step on them. They were installed in the 60s using secret nails.

    Solid oak floor will be screwed or nailed with a possible 5.5mm plywood sheet in between lo level it up.

    If I have the opportunity now, should I put screws on the floorboards where they meet the joists? I did a row of screws to know the time it would take me to do this. Please see the photo attached.

    Or should I just put screws where on the creaky areas? I would be really disappointed if i had creaky floor after laying the solid oak.

    I know all the cable runs and pipes in my house so I'm quite confidence I could avoid this areas.

    Thank you guys!

    Attached Files:

  2. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    You need two screws per board per joist not one, for peace of mind I'd do the whole floor not just the squeaky areas, and use decent 60mm woodscrews not chipboard screws, or a good brand like spax flooring screws.
  3. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    I was thinking more using one screw every two joist to prevent squeaky areas later on..

    The hidden nails are still holding the floor in place.

    Would you still do the whole floor with 2 screws per board every 40cms? It would be hundreds of screws.
  4. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Being as you don't want any squeaks once you've laid oak on top, yes I certainly would screw as I suggested, but you do what you want, your house, your choice. If your oak is 18mm thick or more and standard lengths you could remove the softwood planks and lay the oak directly onto the joists instead, would make for a better job.
  5. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    Thank you for your advise.

    The oak floor planks are small and only 18mm thick with tongue and groove so I will need to lay them on top of the floorboards, with or without 5.5mm plywood (still to be decided).

    Can you please recommend good screw in specific no more 50-55mm long? Is there any screw which doesn't need pre drill? It would save me so much time if I go ahead with your plan.
  6. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    how flat is your floor ? Depending on how uneven the floor is you may want to sand it first. If it is really uneven the plywood will eventually follow any dips and so will the oak strips
  7. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    The floor seems pretty even. The new floor will be installed in the same direction as the floorboards.

    Would you also put 2 screws on each intersection of the floorboards with the joists?
  8. WillyEckerslike

    WillyEckerslike Well-Known Member

    The trouble with adding extra screws is that you don't know that you're not going to hit services under the floor.
  9. sospan

    sospan Well-Known Member

    Yes absolutly, depending on the size of the room you can get a couple of hundred screws from our host and put them in. The Turbogold screws don't require a pilot hole.

    The main issue is checking for any pipes or cables where you are putting in the screws.

    It is always better to put the flooring at 90 degrees to the floor boards but it does depend on the aesthetics of the room - which way would look better
  10. 14th edition

    14th edition Well-Known Member

    Would never fix a floorboard without being 'certain' whats under, I have seen some of the most stupid and unlikely cable/pipe/gas runs and the potential disaster that is going through one of them does not bear thinking about.....
  11. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    I screwed all the floorboards downstairs as suggested.

    1200 screws and 3 evening were enough to complete the work.

    I used 60mm Spax flooring screws. Well worth the extra money.

    I think I will get a joiner to install the solid oak floor. I'm considering to lay the 5.5mm plywood myself to save some money. Or is this usually done by the joiner as part of the job?
  12. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    It would be an extra. Do it yourself to save money, it's straightforward enough.
  13. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    Thank you.

    Is there any minimum thickness for the plywood? The floorboards are pretty even.
    3mm or 5.5mm?
  14. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    1/4" or 6mm at least.
  15. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    So 6mm will be. Do I need to keep gaps in between the boards and around the perimeter?
  16. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Around the perimeter 10mm gap or so, no gaps between boards, screw down every 150mm or thereabouts.
  17. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    I would like the perimeter gap of the oak floor and the plywood to be covered with an standard 12-14mm skirting board. Is this doable? I wouldn't like to have trims in between the floor and the skirting.
  18. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Yes that's the standard finish, though you will want a thick skirting board of at least 18mm or so, as the recommended expansion gap for oak flooring is 15mm, personally I'd go for 22 or 25mm thick skirting board, gaps will be covered easily then.
  19. DanielQ

    DanielQ Member

    The door facing is 14mm thick. Wouldn't it look strange with thicker skirting?
  20. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member

    Yes, so you either change the architrave, cut the bottoms of the architraves and fit plinth blocks but this can look odd in a modern style house, return mitre the ends of the skirting neatly into the architrave, chamfer the ends of the skirting into the architraves, fit your skirtings and fix beading on the front, or fit your skirting and hope for the best that you don't have any gaps showing.

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