When it comes to picking the right carpet for your home, simply having one that feels the nicest underfoot, or the one that best matches the rest of the room, aren’t the only things that you’re going to need to keep track of when renovating your flooring.
Many people might already be aware of this problem: After getting a new carpet fitted, sometimes after stepping on it, you’ll hear a faint squeaking noise, as the underside of the carpet rubs against the floor underneath it.
This is a result of poor or quick workmanship and is often a problem that occurs when corners are cut for money or time-saving reasons and can prop up in cases of carpeting alongside other issues like carpet rippling, or over and under hanging amounts of carpet.
If this problem has happened to you with your latest carpet refitting recently, then you’ll want to keep reading this guide, to see what can be done to solve this problem.
Flooring Underneath Your Carpeting
Generally speaking, the subfloor underneath your carpet is usually made from some kind of plywood, although other wood-based building materials are also often employed, such as OSM board, particle board, or simply good old-fashioned wood.
As we’ve already briefly mentioned, the main reason that squeaky flooring under your carpet occurs is due to a poorly fitted carpet being placed over an equally poorly fitted subfloor as well.
Generally speaking, squeaking occurs underneath your carpet and can happen when the joists that hold your carpet fastened to your floor start to wear and stretch out.
With no way to keep your carpets in place, it becomes much easier for simple motions like stepping to cause the carpet to move against the flooring, causing the sound of carpet squeaking under your feet.
The problem with the joist becoming loosened in many of these cases is that often, the joists are fastened down using nails.
While this works for a short-term project, as the wood is fastened into ages, it can shrink slightly if not treated properly, causing the nail to raise out of the wood, and potentially loosen the joist.
Fortunately, this issue has a relatively simple solution to it as well.
Instead of using a nail to keep a joist down underneath your carpet, using a screw that will have much more purchase will make it a tighter fit, keeping your joists secure for longer and avoiding squeaky floors.
Alternatively, making sure that your wood has been treated for aging correctly before attaching the joist can also reduce the issue of wood shrinkage over time.
When it comes to carpeting, one aspect that many people often forget is the underside of their carpet. Not surprising, considering it is supposed to stay out of sight once it has been fitted.
The underside of fitted carpets, to avoid damage to it when it is walked on, usually also has some kind of padding that makes contact with the subfloor.
The padding also provides some extra cushioning for walking on it, making it more comfortable underfoot, as well as extending its usable life.
However, padding for carpeting is made from a variety of materials, some of which have some unintended consequences. Padding that is too thin for your home may end up leaving air pockets underneath, which can make a squeaking sound when stepped over.
Fortunately, the answer to this problem is relatively simple and can be done when first fitting the carpet.
Simply discuss your options with your carpet supplier or fitter, and they will be able to give you the best advice possible to prevent this issue from occurring.
Humidity & Temperature Under Your Floors
We have already touched on the topic of wood shrinkage in a previous section. However, this can occur for several reasons, outside simply not having it treated.
One of the biggest factors that can impact the condition of wood subflooring is temperature and humidity under the floor when it is fitted.
In drier conditions, with less moisture, wooden planks can contract and shrink, causing gaps to form between the fitted planks, which can squeak when they rub against each other
This is especially the case for a good deal of hardwood flooring, which can be particularly susceptible to the effects of changes in temperature between seasons, shrinking and expanding with the time of year, shrinking in the cold, and expanding as the heat of spring and summer roll around, deteriorating as a result.
While this problem is hard to account for after installation, allowing your floorboards to acclimatize before fitting can help mitigate this problem.
So, whilst squeaky floors are a problem that no one wants to deal with, there are plenty of solutions that can help you out!