Ok so we have a unit in a 6 unit block built around 1935. We pulled up the carpet and found original hardwood (actually softwood). We refinished it, but after 5 years there's gaps here and there which traps dirt and boards were starting to fail and wood filler failing where we just decided easiest thing to do was just put down some new laminate flooring (floating floors) over top (I know I hate replacing original, but dust allergies etc, it was the decision we came to. I've installed these plenty of times as builder with no issues and was the simplest option to just go right over the existing 19 mm tongue and groove wood flooring. Mid install I noticed a lot of noise, almost a crackling noise almost everywhere we stepped on the new floating laminate. I had cleaned everything properly and checked for unevenness in the floors as I'm sure that's what everyone will think of first.
I halted the install and started to pull up the existing floor to look at what was underneath. I found that the builders ran many joists on their sides rather than on edge. So I'm thinking there is minor flexing in the floors that we just never noticed. The joists are floating above the concrete slab, in some spots you wouldn't even get a 2 x 4 on edge without having to raise the level of the floor everywhere. I have never seen this before and just seems like building 101 to have joists on edge. Trying to think of my options and hoped someone might have come across this and have advice.
Thinking, extra blocking under the joists - means cutting randoms holes everywhere pulling 1 to 2 pieces up and putting in the blocking.
Pull everything up and raise the levels of the floors and do the framing properly. Issue with this is it means pulling up our newly renovated kitchen cabinets, which isn't really an option.
Do away with the floating floors and go with nailed hardwood in hopes it doesn't make noises when the floor flexes. - hoping this would work because we have no issues with the original floors. Would also save a huge amount of time and effort.
Open to hear any other suggestions...
Oh the other thing I was considering is putting plywood overtop of the existing floor to add stability.
Welcome to the Workshop community @Mojo14. many thanks for your question, I'd be happy to kick-off the discussion.
Can I ask what type of underlay you are using with the floating floor? Presuming that there was no noise before I would then imagine the noise is now coming from the floating floorboards themselves. What happens if you put two layers of underlay down first? If you are not already using it, it might be worth trying QEP 110 x 850cm Laminate And Floating Floor Felt Underlay as it can be more forgiving than QEP Laminate Floating Floor White Foam Underlay.
The reason I'm asking is that it would be great to troubleshoot the floating floor and find a way to stop the noise before doing a great deal of work on the joists.
Thanks for your reply. We are using a 3mm thick white foam underlay with silver foil. I'll happily test out an underlay. The only thing is that I do know the noise is coming from the new laminate flooring joints. Would the 4 mm felt underlay stop the flex in the laminate flooring or just provide extra soundproofing if you were thinking the sound was coming from the original wood flooring underneath?
Either way I'll swing by and try to get some to test out as if it did solve the issue that would be the easiest and cheapest option.
I had assumed the noise was coming from the floating floor. I think it would be worth trying the felt underlay, not to soundproof but to cushion the boards. Hopefully, if the entire board has the soft felt underlay it might not put the same amount of force on the joints when stepped on which is causing the noise.
It would be worth a try and you can always return the felt underlay afterwards if it isn't suitable.
It looks like they have used wedges under the joists? Having floating floors myself and having seen other peoples I am less of a fan than I once was, Tasmanian Oak either overlayed or 19mm for me.