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Unread 01-13-2020, 03:08 PM   #1
Birdkkk
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Sub floor squeaks after bathroom remodel

We recently had a bath remodel done at a lake home. The floor squeaks, parallel to the Kerdi shower curb. Both inside the glass enclosure and outside the enclosure. My hunch is they did not get sub floor secured properly. I have a video that shows it but I don't know how to upload! There may be access underneath via a drop ceiling in the basement. What should I expect from my builder? I will meet with them in a month. Want to be prepared.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 03:49 PM   #2
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Welcome, Bird.

Squeaks in floors mean movement. Movement under a ceramic tile installation means almost certain failure of some sort, usually cracking grout or cracking tiles, neither of which is acceptable.

If that shower is in regular use, chances of seeing such a failure in a month are pretty high, but not guaranteed. That does not mean the problem shouldn't be addressed then or sooner.

What should you expect from your builder? Well, I don't know him, so I've got no idea what you should expect, but what he should do is take a substantial interest in your finding and do whatever is necessary to fix the problem. Without knowing exactly how your shower was built and how your floor structure was built, I can't speculate as to what that might entail, but you should have no squeaks in an area where ceramic tile is installed. None. Ever.

I can't help you with uploading video to your post on accounta I'm new here, but I do know it can be done. More helpful would be photos of the floor and shower under construction and some detail on your floor structure in that area. For sure you can use the paper-clip icon above the Reply dialog box to attach photos from storage on your computer. And that might work for your video, too, but I've never tried that.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 06:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comprehensive answer. I am afraid the remodel company owner will do a slow walk to fix the problem, making excuses and trying to convince me it's normal. In the event there isn't easy access from below the bathroom floor, how much demo should I expect them to do to get at the problem? I addressed other tiling concerns as the project was moving forward only to be made to feel I was micro managing. Welcome opinions.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 07:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird
...how much demo should I expect them to do to get at the problem?
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Originally Posted by CX, Post #2
Without knowing exactly how your shower was built and how your floor structure was built, I can't speculate as to what that might entail, but you should have no squeaks in an area where ceramic tile is installed. None. Ever.
Gotta stick with that, but possibly a lot.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 07:04 PM   #5
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Well, it could be the entire floor structure including the joists are deflecting, but more often, they failed in the prep of the subflooring. Ideally, you want the subflooring installed with construction adhesive on the tops of the joists and ring-shank or screws to hold it all down. Once the adhesive sets, the fasteners aren't a big issue. Prior to any of that, they should have verified that the actual joist structure was adequate for a tile installation.

If you know the construction of the floor, you can put your numbers into the 'Deflecto' tool in the blue bar above, and see. If the structure is not up to minimum tiling requirements, that's even worse.

Movement will tend to break the cement bonds between the tile and the subflooring or whatever they're attached to. THe weakest link breaks first, which tends to be the grout joints, but eventually, with enough movement, the bonds holding the tile down will break as well. If the movement is excessive, the tile could crack.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 07:30 PM   #6
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Could it possibly be that the install was done in the Fall then with the Winter things dried out, creating a void whereby the squeaking started? Trying to get the video loaded to illustrate better. Thanks.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 09:02 PM   #7
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I suppose someone who wanted to get away from having their feet held to the fire could make an excuse like that. But that’s an excuse. Not a legitimate reason for accepting a less than acceptable installation. Since the builder built this installation, they accepted the condition of the room and the floor and the joists and....everything else. The builder is the expert and a customer has a reasonable expectation of getting an installation that meets at least minimally acceptable standards. Squeaky floors are almost always caused by an unacceptable amount of vertical movement.

Don’t worry about the video. We know what squeaks sound like.

Sorry for that last bit of sarcasm. I couldn’t resist.
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Unread 01-13-2020, 09:18 PM   #8
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In the days of sawn board subflooring and nail-down hardwood flooring, that might be a consideration, Bird. But with engineered wood subflooring, properly installed, you shouldn't have any such problem. Once again, though, if you can't tell us what you've got, we can't guess very well what the problem might be.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-14-2020, 09:15 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! As I said, this is a lake home and I am not back there to take a look at the underside of the floor. I am hoping to have access via the drop ceiling. Will examine further when I go back in a month. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the process pertaining to the floor. The house is about 30 years old. I can't stand the thought of tearing everything out and I doubt they would go for that. But as you said, I need more information. Hopefully it can be resolved by shoring up from the underside. Thanks again for your thoughts.
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