How to Locate Creaking Floor "Sweet Spot"

26 Mar 2016
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United Kingdom
I live in a basement flat. I'm having a real problem with a loud and very irritating squeaking/creaking bit of floor from the flat immediately above. It's just one spot - the noise it makes is identical every time. Upstairs it's laminate flooring on top of some kind of timber as a subfloor - which is then laid on top of the joists.

I imagined that the cause of the creaking noise would be a bit of the subfloor that wasn't properly fixed to a joist, allowing the whole thing to move around when stepped on. I cut two holes in my hallway ceiling to get a closer look (see attached photos). When I poke my head through the second hole (furthest from the camera), the creaking noise is very close by - I can hear it, but I can't see anything moving up there.

I did see one spot where there was a bit of a gap between the subfloor and one of the joists (although I couldn't see it moving when the creaking was happening). I got hold of some wooden shims and popped them into the gap (visible in the photo) as a test anyway, but it hasn't fixed the problem, so I guess I need to look elsewhere.

Is there a better way to locate the source of the noise? Not sure what to do, and trying to avoid the expense of calling someone out to do it (the owner of the flat upstairs is probably liable in theory, but getting him to actually sort it out in practice is another story...) if it's something I can sort out myself.

Or is this best fixed "from above" somehow? My fear is that that might involve ripping up the whole of the kitchen floor upstairs, which could turn into a nightmare job. Doing it from below seemed likely to be a neater way to go.

Thank you.


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Upstairs it's laminate flooring on top of some kind of timber as a subfloor - which is then laid on top of the joists.

It could be the laminate creaking, as weight goes onto it. Laminate is supposed to be laid with a gap all the way around, to allow for expansion and to prevent it bowing up. Bowed up, when you stand on it, it might well creak.

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