I am going to install some ceramic tile on my kitchen floor, but the plywood subfloor squeaks in a certain area when I walk on it. I've used a stud finder to locate the floor joists and then drove in several new screws, but the floor still squeaks. What can I do to stop this problem before I lay the cement backer board on top of the plywood subfloor ?
Rhonda Garner ~ Lithonia,Georgia
Rhonda, unfortunately it can be very difficult to locate the exact cause of a squeaky floor. Although the cause of the problem may be that your plywood subfloor was not glued to the underlying floor joists before it was attached with nails or screws, the source of the squeak could also be the floor joist itself. If the floor joists in your home were incorrectly sized for the given span, then the joists could be bowing under pressure, which could cause them to squeak as well.
In a perfect world you would be able to evaluate your home's floor joists and subfloor from below, which might give you a pinpoint location and cause of the squeaky floors. Of course, if the floor joists are inaccessible because the underlying level has a finished ceiling, then you are going to have to try something else. One option could be to drill several small holes in the plywood subfloor directly over the floor joist, and as close to the squeak as possible, and then inject some Gorilla glue into the holes. (Gorilla glue is very strong and expands a little when curing). The newly added glue, and a few additional deck screws, might be just enough to securely bond the plywood subfloor to the underlying floor joists, which could hopefully be the solution to your squeaky floor problem. Good luck!