Common Subfloor Problems Explained

August 16, 2010
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Sunken and or uneven floors are a nuisance at best and in some serious cases can become downright dangerous. To troubleshoot shoddy flooring in the home, you will probably have to look to the subfloor for answers. A poor subfloor is often the cause of many of these annoying (and sometimes costly) issues. Here are some common subfloor problems and solutions to help restore the floor:

Sinking Floor – A sinking floor often means that the original subfloor was simply not installed correctly. If your floor feels “spongy” or seems to have too much give to it may also just mean that the subfloor is old and not what it once was. Water or excessive moisture may have started rotting the joist, causing certain areas of the floor to sag. The best course of action is to call in a professional to have a good look at your floor rather than just living with the problem. If left alone the floor may eventually even give way and that really would be a nuisance.

Creaking Floor – It is quite common for an older home to have a floor or two that creaks or makes other strange noises when walked on. Many homeowners just ignore the sounds, thinking them just a quirk of the house, but that can be a big mistake. A creaking noise can mean that the subfloor is not secured to the underlying joists. It could also indicate the wrong thickness of plywood or OSB was used. A good flooring professional will be able to tell you exactly what the problem is and the best way to go about fixing it.

Uneven Floors – As a home’s foundations settle floors can become uneven even if they were originally perfectly even. Excess moisture in the air can also damage the floor joists and lead to the same problem as well. Dealing with an uneven floor may involve all kinds of framing and joist work so it to is a job best left to a professional.

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