Subfloor Noise (Deflection)

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Posted by: from Stouffville
2/27/2009 at 3:06:51 PM


I have a problem with a second level bedroom floor which causes some noise when walking due to deflection of the floor. Currently the subfloor is OSB and I would like to know if installing Plywood over top of the OSB would make the floor more stiff and prevent the deflection noise. The room is about 16 feet by 14 feet and closet is about 4 feet by 4 feet. The noise is not from loose OSB subfloor as it has been re-screwed quite a few times by the builder and i've had a few contractors as well as builders advise the noise now is the deflection.

Will the Plywood over top of the OSB prevent the deflection noise?

How much will it cost to glue and screw plywood over top of the OSB and then reinstall the carpet back?



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Date/Time2/27/2009 at 5:09:08 PM

Shaheed- hard to say if just glueing/screwing ply over the existing floor will help the deflection. Depends on span, joist size/spacing. Are the floor joists TGI's or conventional 2x lumber? I'd guess the span at 14', so another layer of 5/8 might help a little & take away some of the noise, but with that span you will always have a little deflection.

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Shaheed in Stouffville
Date/Time2/27/2009 at 5:32:41 PM

I believe the spacing is either 14' or 16' apart for the joist. The noise is not dramatically loud but still noticeable. Its mostly in the front 1/3 of the room and another siding of the room.

What are my options to make the floor stiffer or dampen the sound so either there is minimal movement or the noise cannot be heard?

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Bill from Dr. Reno in Toronto
Date/Time3/1/2009 at 3:19:44 AM


Unfortunately, the only way to solve the problem would be to remove the existing sub floor and inspect the floor joists. There could be a few reasons for the noise. The joist in the problem area could have been installed with the crown down causing a small gap between the sub floor and the top of the joist. I've also seen the joists with a gouge out of the top which created the noise. Who knows. If the problem is that bothersome to you, I suggest removing the sub floor and inspecting. This is assuming that the ceiling below is finished. If not, then you can possibly avoid removing existing sub floor.

As far as installing ply over the existing sub floor - It may or may not solve your problem. It will cost you and you will most likely run into a problem with matching floor height with adjoing floors. Also, the existing sub floor may not have been glued. This can make a difference.

Hope this helps. Good luck.


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Bill from Dr. Reno in Toronto
Date/Time3/1/2009 at 3:34:31 AM

Shaheed, the advice above is in addition to Bill's advice re. joist size and span. This could be the problem. However, it sounds like this is a new home, so there should not be a problem with a span if framed properly.

Hard to say without looking at the project. If it is a newer home and the builder is sending men over to add screws - they should inspect and fix it properly.


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Date/Time3/1/2009 at 11:44:23 AM

Guys you dont understand ?? these people just want to find what is wrong,, to fix it THEMSELF.. My advise - do not give any ADVICE to home owners.. Just loosing from this

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Date/Time3/1/2009 at 3:46:44 PM

K, I think you are missing the whole point of this site. Shaheed has already had the builder back to look at this problem and the problem STILL exists. He came here looking for other ideas, which Bill & I have kindly offered. Shaheed can take our advice, or leave it. He has not hired us, but in the off chance he tries to repair it himself and fails, he may contact a contractor who had offered him sound advice previously.

I'll always offer free advice, but if you want me to get my hands dirty, it'll cost you.

One other thing Shaheed- in a subdivision I do a lot of work in (about 10-12 years old) I have removed carpet/pad in 2 homes in the last year & put down laminate. Both clients complained of squeaky/creaky (technical names) floors. 1 creak was heard about 8' out from a partition wall as the client walked the floor. Upon further investigation, I noticed that H-vac folks had put their cold air returns on this wall, cutting away the walls bottom plate between studs to allow for the cold air to drop. By doing this, the strength of the wall was compromised, causing the creak. I glued & pounded cedar shims under the studs and what little bottom plate remained, and screwed the studs to the floor. Problem solved- but I wonder how many more homes are experiencing the same noise unaware of the cause? This may not be your case, but check it out- the cold air return may be in the hall outside of that room. Take care Shaheed, let me know how you make out.

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Tradesmen in Georgetown
Date/Time3/5/2009 at 7:59:37 PM

That`s some great advice Bill, you sound like you know a thing or two, lol After all, Shaheed did call back the builder a time or two so your experience really shows.

K, the site wont be any good to anyone if you scare all the clients away.


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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time3/18/2009 at 10:39:01 PM

good advice bad advice. should I shouldn't I yes k may be right but You can not get jobs without explaining things to people what you are going to do. I have been email back and forth with a customer that needs some help out in Calgary I live in Ontario. She is having a hard time finding a good contractor there that knows what they are doing. in Fact The problem she tells me I would be able to fix it probably in about an hour or 2, The problem I live here she lives there. should I not give her advise if she can not get anybody! Think about it for a minute. If she told one person that I tried to help her and I wanted to move out there to calgary I would have a client already. in fact there are customers on this site you should not give so much info to In fact if you are going to help them tell them to send you a personal emails that would be better and it may land you the job also. Proven to generate some business but a little bothering sometimes. Make your company look good. K tone it down with the customers. we and them are all having tuff times it is just the way you go about it. Don't comment on things you don't no! If you don't know ask someone else that does I always say. that is for everybody and not every contractor knows everything! not me not bill not brad or anybody! period.

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Blueprint Contracting in High River
Date/Time3/19/2009 at 1:32:43 AM

Michael, I live just outside of Calgary and would be more happy to help this customer out.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time3/20/2009 at 3:36:48 PM

I live in Ontario and if they lived here I would help them out feel free to have them email me maybe I can give them some good advise at the very least. Or maybe i can pass there name on to some one in there area that I know is good!

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time3/20/2009 at 3:41:04 PM

Hi Stacy I will pass your name on! K with your attitude You would be best advised to talk normal on this site there are other contractors that might wish to send you some work. In fact I might be one of them. I just landed a big contract and I have been in touch with contractors. About it I am sure that there are a couple of contractors that will tell you about it. If you yourself need work I personally may be able to help. But I will not help people that I feel will damage my rep! and believe me my rep is good.

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