Old houses are fantastically beautiful and full of original features like fireplaces, picture rails and high ceilings. For some of us the sturdy well-made thickness of the walls cutting out neighbour noise and the quirky detailing from Victorian or Edwardian days means a new build is simply out of the question.
However, old houses do come with their disadvantages – and some newer homes too. If you find that walking through your home is beginning to sound like something from a horror movie, it could be time to do some repairs. Squeaky doors and floorboards might sound spooky but it can be the norm for those of us with older or just plain creaky houses. Even if, when you had flooring or carpets fitted, the subfloor was screwed down to within an inch of its life, over time it can loosen or the floorboard beneath can move again causing the familiar squeak. But what can you do? Is there a way to fix this issue once your carpet is in place? The answer is yes and the solution is pretty straight forward.
Hearing a creak at the same spot every time you walk across a carpeted space can make your heart sink. Floorboards can only be repaired by pulling the carpet back up, right? Wrong. There is a way to repair a floor beneath carpet whilst keeping it in place and you’ll need a carpet repair kit.
Here’s how it’s done:
Fixing a squeaky floor under carpet
- Keep your ear to the ground and ask a trusty assistant to walk across the floor. Mark the spot you can hear the creak with masking tape or a sticky note. Don’t stop there! Where there’s one creak the chances are there are more so repeat this process a few times.
- Next you’ll need to find the joist. Tap the floor using a rubber mallet to and listen out for a dull thud. This will tell you the position of the floor joist.
- Just to check you have the right position, drill a test hole through the carpet to where you think the joist is. If the drill bit jolts and sticks, you’ve hit the joist. If not, move an inch or so across and try again.
- Repeat on the other side of the squeak. In order to repair the floor, you’ll need to secure the boards all around the squeak. Joists are usually located around 40cm apart.
- From your carpet repair kit, take the three pronged alignment and depth control device and push it into the carpet directly over the squeaky spot.
- Use a screwdriver to push one of the snap-off screws from your kit into the hole in the centre of device. It will stop once it reaches the guard. The top of the screw should be visible above the carpet.
- Lift the device off and once turned on its side you’ll see a slotted end. Slide this over the screw.
- Break off the head of the screw by tilting the device toward the floor in a sudden, snapping motion. This will break the head off the specially designed screw keeping the screw level invisible below the carpet.
- Repeat the above every foot or so along the joist on either side of the squeak.
This process will get rid of your squeak with no visible marks or holes leaving your carpet as good as new.
For more information on caring for your flooring, visit our advice centre where you’ll find care guides, videos and more.