Apartment blocks can be one of THE worst places for transmission of sound, period. From lifts, to slamming doors, they can all play their part in disturbing your comfort. However, by far, the floors can often be the worst intrusion of your privacy.
Over the past years of solving squeaky chipboard floors, a relatively new phenomenon has appeared. It’s something that had us stumped for quite some time! Cracking noises coming from ceilings when someone walks above. A very intrusive problem, that cheapens a property as well as proves to be extremely irritating for the occupants.
What exactly is it?
(Click on the video at the bottom of this article to see a cracking noisy ceiling in action)
A lot of blame for squeaky creaky sub-floors can be attributed to chipboard, and rightly so. Chipboard is a chronic and consistent problem in our day and age. Although chipboard can be associated with approximately 90% of the typical squeaks and creaks, over the years we’ve found several areas that also add to the noise..
One of them being mid joist support noggins and/or perimeter noggins. Often the solution is to remove and replace them, remove them all together (where allowing – Certain placement of some noggins being incorrect or serving no purpose), or inject adhesive between the noggin and joist as to act as a gasket and re-fix with adequate screws.
There are three typical reasons for these noggins to create noise. The first, being loose nails or nails that have become loose as the noggin and/or joist have shrank due to them having a to high moisture content during the initial installation and now have dried. The second, poor installation i.e. not enough fixings or poorly located fixings. The third, warping of the joists, which narrows the point of contact between the noggin and joists. Essentially creating a highly pressured rubbing point.
The video below illustrates the potential noise a noggin can produce. In this instance, you’ll hear a very metallicy sound as a loose nail rubs against the wood as well as the rubbing of the noggin against the joist. It’s clear this noggin was being pulled from left to right, but it was making similar noises when walked across. The video is merely for demonstration purposes.
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Bedroom floors are by far one of the most common of all floors to squeak and of course, it’s really not the ideal place for this to happen. The floors never seem to be squeaky in an obscure part of the room. Always just where they have most chance of waking the house up!
Landing floors are often ground zero of the noisy flooring world. They are the epicentre. A place where heating pipes converge as they branch off into each individual room and the boiler. For retrospective work, a place where direct access to pipe fittings i.e. Elbows, straight connectors, reducers, and ‘T’ sections, are often priority. Pipe work aside, landings are a place of extremely high use, where one of the main thoroughfares of a house is found..
Over the last four years we’ve had emails and jobs booked in all over the country. The problem of squeaky creaky floors is and always will be nationwide. If you’re sat there wondering if it’s only ‘your’ house that has this problem, well, by virtue of this article, it certainly is not!
Confusing floorboards for chipboard is an easy and common mistake to make. Generally it’s simply the terms used that are incorrect and not the actual visual image of what people are describing. If you’ve ended up here because you’re on a quest to solve noisy flooring, then it may be helpful to understand the difference. Floorboards and chipboard are two very different animals and can require a unique approach to resolve noise. If you’re just here to find out the difference for another reason, then stick around…
We’ve been fixing squeaky creaky chipboard noise now for some time. We originally thought our target audience (so to speak) was going to be new style properties build from the 90’s on-wards. However, since we started, we’ve found a lot of our work has also been solving this issue in new extensions. It would seem the go to flooring for builders is chipboard…
Yep, pretty powerful title. Chipboard flooring is rubbish! I have absolutely no problem sharing my honest opinions with people. I’ve been crawling around floors for a long time. That kind of work tends to remove any traces of pretence from ones character!
Over my time in the flooring trade, I’ve had one thorn that has never left me alone. You guessed it, CHIPBOARD!