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Why do the upstairs floorboards in modern homes sound like a Victorian vicarage?

(17 Posts)
faraday Tue 24-Mar-09 22:03:50

We've looked at about 6 estate style houses in the 330k quid range and all of a 7-20 year vintage but, without exception, the upstairs tour is accompanied by creaks and groans from beneath the carpets.


Can anyone do anything about it, cheaply? And DOES anyone?

NotanOtter Tue 24-Mar-09 22:05:17

i live in a victorian vicarage!! wink

please tell me what my boards sound like!! smile

thumbwitch Tue 24-Mar-09 22:07:17

lift the carpets and screw the floorboards down. The creaking is the wood moving (of course) against the nails. Screwing them down will stop it happening. It might be because they have used cheapo wood that warps more quickly? (dunno)

Ponders Tue 24-Mar-09 22:07:18

I live in a Victorian terrace, & our floors all sound like that when you're on the floor below (they sound fine when you're the one walking about above hmm)

megcleary Tue 24-Mar-09 22:09:21

because the boards have been nailed in not screwed they have the ability to "play" which causes the noise
we didn't
you could pull up the carpets screw them down and hey presto
it may prevent the weird tiptoeing we do on occason to avoid waking dd

faraday Tue 24-Mar-09 22:54:12

So would you expect to find long narrow wooden floorboards under the carpets? Or sheets of chip/composite board in such a property?

And notanotter- come house hunting with me and I'll treat you to my impression of a Victorian vicarage floor!

Fimbo Tue 24-Mar-09 22:55:58

I live in a new build. It's chip/composite boards on the floors. Mine don't creak too much.

faraday Tue 24-Mar-09 22:56:44

I was also concerned that the problem wouldn't be that 'simple' to fix as we have looked at brand newly carpeted places with that creaky thing going on.. why didn't they screw the boards down when they were exposed??

megcleary Tue 24-Mar-09 23:07:53

my sad theory is nails are cheaper than screws

thumbwitch Tue 24-Mar-09 23:20:11

If it's creaking, I expect it will be floorboards under there. They are still probably better flooring options than chipboard/composite upstairs so that you can access the ceilings below from above, for light-fittings and electrical/pipework maintenance - easier to pull up a floorboard than a whole piece of chipboard!
Nails = quicker and (probably) cheaper.

NotanOtter Tue 24-Mar-09 23:25:27

we rented a new build before coming here and it had chip board floors

oddly now i think about it - our builder on a renovation we did wanted to put chip board and seemed surprised when i objected so maybe it is the norm

dp and i veiwed a house a couple of weeks ago that was being 'done up' and that had chipboard infilling

faraday - they will just need screwing down

jeanjeannie Wed 25-Mar-09 07:34:17

Been done cheaply - screwed down with smooth nails rather than annular ring shank nails or screwed.

Good half a day's work to screw/nail back down.

faraday Wed 25-Mar-09 08:01:28

And presumably the cost of a getting a carpet fitter in to relay the carpet properly?

jeanjeannie Wed 25-Mar-09 08:35:54

Not sure - never taken up a carpet and relayed it - sorry. Spoke to DP (builder) and he said if it's just chipboard rather than boards it maybe more complex to fix as it won't just be a simple case of screwing it down - so check first what lies underneath!

thumbwitch Wed 25-Mar-09 13:46:12

Whenever I've done it, I haven't taken the whole carpet up, just one corner at a time to get to the bits that creak. If you do it that way, it's not too difficult to re-lay it, because it doesn't need stretching again (like when it's new).

It is important if you do decide to have a go to get one of those meters that tell you where electrical cables run as well so you don't accidentally screw through one.

greenbeanie Thu 26-Mar-09 19:23:48

Our modern house had chipboard panels as flooring and they creaked terribly. They can be screwed down properly which will solve the problem.

Fizzylemonade Fri 27-Mar-09 15:59:03

Yes as above it's the nails they use. Screw them down and problem is solved.

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