Tools & Materials
In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows a homeowner how to silence squeaks in a carpeted room.
1. Tap the carpeted floor with a hammer and listen for a dull thud sound, which indicates the location of a floor joist.
2. Drive a long screw from the kit through the carpeting and subfloor to confirm that there’s a joist below.
3. If the screw misses a joist, back it out and try again until you hit a joist. Leave the screwhead sticking up an inch or so.
4. Once you’ve located the first joist, measure over every 16 inches to find the other floor joists along one wall.
5. Drive one screw into the floor every 16 inches across the room to mark the joist locations. Again, be sure to leave the screwheads protruding a little.
6. Transfer the location of the screws across to the other side of the room.
7. Repeat Steps 2 through 5 to pinpoint the joists along the opposite wall.
8. Tie a nylon string to the first screwhead and stretch it across the carpet and around the screwhead protruding from the floor at the opposite side of the room.
9. Loop the string around and stretch it along the next joist. Continue in this manner until you’ve stretched the string back and forth across the room, indicating the position of each joist.
10. Remove the special screw-driving bit from the floor-squeak repair kit and chuck it into a cordless drill.
11. Stand the kit’s depth-control fixture over the string and directly over a floor joist.
12. Insert a scored screw from the kit into the center hole in the fixture.
13. Push down on the fixture, then use the drill to drive in the screw until it bottoms out.
14. Slip the protruding screwhead into the slot in the fixture. Then rock the fixture side to side to snap off the screw.
15. Move down the string 12 to 16 inches and drive in another screw. Use the fixture to snap off the screw.
16. Continue in this manner along each joist, spacing the screws 12 to 16 inches apart.
17. Pick up and discard all the snapped-off screwheads.