Your Detailed Guide to Quiet SubfloorsSqueaky floors are a common complaint – just do an online search on floor squeaks and remedy after remedy from homeowners associations to This Old House come up in search results. A recent Builder magazine article listed floor squeaks among the top 11 most common callbacks. To help avoid a squeaky floor callback, here’s a few subflooring secrets to consider, to reduce the chance for squeaks on your next build.
Luxury you can’t see is quality.
Current building code standards are designed to make sure floor systems can adequately resist weight of a given design. However, they are not necessarily written to specifically eliminate squeaks, bounce or uneven floors. Proper installation plays an important part in flooring performance, as does choosing materials. When it comes to selecting the support for your finished floors, typical plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) subflooring satisfy minimum standards in current building codes, but builders and their clients have a choice to use high-performance materials in critical unseen places that can affect long-term flooring performance. Choosing subflooring with above-code strength, stiffness and fastener-holding power values can help reduce construction delays and the risk of callbacks for squeaky, bouncy floors.
What's Important for Subfloor Panels
There’s a homeowner tendency to scrutinize cosmetic details of the home during a build to make sure the overall design and function convey luxury. Spending time discussing the importance of high-performance materials in unseen places, can be a little trickier, but can make a long-term difference in the comfort of a home. Remember, luxury you can see can be pretty, but luxury you can’t see is quality.
Here are four qualities you should look for in subflooring panels to help ensure quiet, stiff floors:
- Strength: How much weight a panel can hold.
- Stiffness: How much the panel will deflect up and down.
- Fastener Holding Power: How well subflooring holds nails, screws or staples.
Choosing screw shank or rink-shank fasteners over smooth shank nails can also help reduce the chance of fasteners loosening and allowing for movement that can lead to squeaks over time. Choosing a panel with a fastening guide to help make sure the appropriate spacing and to avoid “shiners” or misplaced fasteners that may miss the joists, is another best practice.
- Moisture Resistance: Standing up to jobsite conditions.
Not all engineered wood panels are the same. AdvanTech® subflooring is the only structural engineered wood panel with documented design values above code minimum requirements (PS 2-10). Evaluation Service Report ESR-1785 reports AdvanTech panels have better strength, stiffness and fastener-holding power than commodity OSB or plywood panels of the same thickness. In fact it was AdvanTech subflooring that introduced this “third category” of subflooring that performs distinctively differently from commodity OSB and plywood 20 years ago.
How to Adhere Your Subfloor Panels to JoistsTo glue or not to glue? The answer: Glue. Although using a subfloor adhesive is not required by code, it is a standard practice that can help prevent floor squeaks by reducing the chance for movement at the panel-to-joist connection. A quality subfloor adhesive will also increase the overall stiffness of the floor.
A quality subfloor adhesive will also increase the overall stiffness of the floor.Weather can play a major role in how well traditional cartridge-applied adhesives work. It’s important to store glues at the correct temperature, especially during the colder months. Adhesives should be kept warm during the winter, because when cold, they do not adhere as well and become difficult to use which can lead to bad application. Traditional cartridge adhesives can be harder to use during cold weather – slowing down the installation process and making the job harder than it needs to be. But using a polyurethane spray-foam adhesive like AdvanTech™ subfloor adhesive is quick and easy to use. It can adhere to wet and frozen wood and cover up to eight times more panels per can.
AdvanTech subfloor adhesive starts as a foam and settles into a high-strength gel adhesive. It creates a bond that goes beyond industry performance standards and is so strong that when used with AdvanTech subflooring as part of an AdvanTech™ Subfloor Assembly, it’s backed by a Squeak-Free Guarantee.
Before applying an adhesive, make sure the surface doesn’t have any standing water and is free from oil and grease. Apply only enough adhesive for 2-3 panels at a time. With AdvanTech subfloor adhesive, you have a 20 minute open time to install panels. AdvanTech subfloor adhesive is fast and easy to install. This is important because easier installation means better application which leads to stiffer floors. The unique blue color of AdvanTech subfloor adhesive lets you see exactly where the adhesive is and how much. It’s a great feature for ensuring proper and sufficient application. Watch the full application instructional video at AdvanTechSFA.com.
Last, but not least
Double check your work. Before frame inspection, walk subflooring looking for missing fasteners and any possible inconsistencies.
Taking the best steps towards building a quiet subfloor means you can give homeowners peace of mind of avoiding squeaks and creaks that can disturb everyday life’s tip-toe moments.
 Limitations and restrictions apply. See
 See">www.huberwood.com/advantech/re...Evaluation Service Report published by the International Code Council Evaluation Services Office, ESR-1785 for details.
 Coverage: One 24 oz. can of AdvanTech subfloor adhesive yields approximately 400 linear feet of gel adhesive at ½” bead compared to applying a 28 oz. cartridge adhesive at 3/8” bead. Coverage varies based on bead size and weather conditions.
 Exceeds ASTM D3498; dry, wet, frozen and gap filling adhesion tests
 Limitations and restrictions apply. See Squeak-Free Guarantee for details on AdvanTech Subfloor Assembly requirements.