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If you have a second floor to your home, you may find some areas that squeak when walked on.

Some new home buyers may feel this is a structural concern, however, in almost all cases, this is really just cosmetic. However, I do see that it can be quite bothersome!

What causes a second floor to squeak?

As mentioned above, this is typically not a structural concern. The squeak is usually caused by a loose nail in the floor joist.

joist is a horizontal structural member used in framing to span an open space, often between beams that subsequently transfer loads to vertical members.

Diagram of second floor joists and plywood

You see, a second floor has floor joists, or trusses. A piece of plywood is placed flat against the floor joists and then nailed down to give you space to walk on.

On top of your plywood, in most cases, is your carpet padding and carpet.

The squeak then happens when you step around the loose nail and the nail rubs against the wood.

How To Fix Your Squeaky Second Floor With Carpet

In order to fix the floor from squeaky, you just need to secure the floor from moving.

Things You Will Need:

  • Hammer
  • Drill with Philips attachment
  • Wood Screws

To do this, follow these steps:

Find the area that is squeaking and pull back the flooring (carpet/padding).

If you pull back from the corner of the room it makes it easy. Do not worry, you will easily be able to lay the carpet back down after you are done.

Find the area of the plywood that is loose.

Locate the loose area, then use a hammer a lightly tap on the plywood to find the floor joist in the area. If you hear a hallow sound, you are in-between two floor joists. A solid sound would mean you are right on top of the floor joist.

Secure the loose plywood into floor joists using wood screws.

If you use screws, this practically guarantees that the floor will not become loose again. Screws have more grip strength than nails.

Place the carpet back in place.

Another Way To Fix Squeaky Floors

Here is another way to fix squeaky floors from This Old House. In my personal opinion, you do not need to buy the special screws or tripod.

I find it much easier to just move your furniture real quick and pull back the carpet instead.

However, this will give you a good idea on how to better find the floor joists.

How to Fix Squeaky Floors With Tile, Hardwood, or Vinyl Flooring

These types of flooring do not make it as easy of a fix.

With tile, you would need to remove the tile, add your screws, then replace the tiles.

With vinyl, the vinyl would have to be redone, and the same with hardwood flooring.

You might want to think about if the squeak is worth living with due to the hassle it would take to redo the flooring. However, if you plan on redoing the flooring anyway, then you might want to do it.

Summing Up

A squeak on your second floor is quite common, especially in a new construction home.

If you have carpet, the solution is simple, but with other types of flooring the fix can be more of a hassle than it is worth.

If you have questions, be sure to comment below!