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Tips To Keep Your Subfloor From Squeaking

8 Min Read June 22, 2023

By using AdvanTech subfloor, AdvanTech subfloor adhesive, deformed fasteners such as ring shank nails or screws, and an engineered floor system such as I-joists or trusses, we're able to provide a strong and stiff subfloor assembly, which at the end of the day is going to ultimately result in what we're all striving for, which is happy clients.

Video Transcript:

Tate Hudson - Huber Engineered Woods

What's up, everybody? It's Tate from Huber Engineered Woods coming at you from a job site in Clemson, South Carolina to talk to you about why builders do what they do and how they choose what they use to accomplish the goals on their build.

Dean Sibley - Stillwater Group

Good afternoon. My name is Dean Sibley. I am the Project Manager for The Stillwater Group. We build luxury homes in the Lake Keowee area of South Carolina. We are building homes between $1 million and $5 million, and we use the AdvanTech product as a non-negotiable in our specifications. Our clients love it. They don't ever call us back for squeaks. They actually comment how rigid their floors feel when they walk across it.

Why Do Floors Squeak?


Nobody likes a squeaky floor. It's the number one callback for builders, and it's a constant reminder for homeowners of a poor installation. Floor squeaks are generally caused by movement within the floor system, especially at the subfloor-to-joist connection. Floor squeaks over time can also result in damage to the finished floor, whether it's hardwood, tile, or whatever else is going down.

Because a subfloor is difficult to remove, you want to make sure you take an upstream approach to reducing floor squeaks and reducing movement. So we're going to walk you through a few steps in order to get a 10-year Squeak-Free Guarantee.

Subfloor Assembly Choices

The floor joist is the support system for the entire subfloor assembly, and there's a few options available. Due to the natural variability of dimensional lumber floor joists, they are the most prone to floor squeaks. Therefore, Huber Engineered Woods requires engineered I-joists or engineered floor trusses be used in order to achieve the 10-year squeak-free guarantee.

Why Is Subfloor Adhesive Important?

After the floor joists are in place, the next piece to a squeak-free subfloor assembly is the subfloor adhesive. The subfloor adhesive is what's going to bond the subflooring panel to the floor joists. This bonding increases the strength and stiffness of the entire subfloor assembly through what we call composite action.

Through composite action, the panel and joists are bonded together, acting as one unit to carry the entire weight of the floor. Along with increased strength and stiffness, this also is going to reduce the movement of the entire subfloor assembly, which will reduce squeaks.

A major source of squeaks is fastener movement within the subfloor assembly. Using a consistent bead of subfloor adhesive will bond the panel to the joist reducing movement and the potential for friction with the fastener, resulting in a possible floor squeak.

And that's why it's extremely important to use AdvanTech subfloor adhesive in all of your subfloor assemblies.

How Is AdvanTech Subfloor Adhesive Different?

So what makes AdvanTech subfloor adhesive different than any other adhesive really first comes down to the way it's applied. You'll notice that we use an aerosol-based cartridge system that allows the adhesive to release from the can as opposed to having to squeeze out of a caulk tube.

So with less effort required to get AdvanTech subfloor adhesive onto the floor joist, that results in a more uniform bead and a more consistent bond between the subflooring panel and the floor joist.

The greater control in releasing the adhesive also results in less waste and less mess on the job site. Once the trigger is released, AdvanTech subfloor adhesive also will not ooze out of the can.

Another unique feature of AdvanTech subfloor adhesive is the polyurethane-based, foam-to-gel technology, which results in a moisture-cured adhesive, meaning it can bond to both wet and frozen lumber.

Loading Subfloor Adhesive Gun and Can

One question we get often is how to load and maintain the AdvanTech subfloor adhesive gun. The first step to doing so is getting the AdvanTech subfloor adhesive can onto the gun itself.

You want to make sure that the valve on the back of the gun is closed all the way to the right before you load the can onto the basket.

Putting the can on the basket, you want to make sure it's lined up properly. That way, there's no airflow coming into the can, and you can screw it tightly onto the basket.

Then you want to shake the can for about 30 seconds in order to activate the adhesive within the can.

We mentioned before that the valve is on the gun. So once the can is loaded onto the basket, you want to make sure not to take the can off until it's empty.

Turning the valve to the left controls the amount of adhesive that's going to come out of the gun. We're aiming for about a quarter-inch to a half-inch bead. So open the valve a little bit to the left, lean over your joist and pull the trigger in order to get the proper bead.

When you're finished using AdvanTech subfloor adhesive, you'll turn the valve closed all the way to the right. As long as the valve is closed when you're not using the AdvanTech subfloor adhesive applicator gun, the AdvanTech subfloor adhesive can can stay on the gun for up to 30 days.

Subfloor Adhesive Storage and Cleaning

Whether the AdvanTech subfloor adhesive is in a case or it's on the applicator gun, you want to be sure not to store it near a heat source. Since it's a pressurized aerosol can, storing it next to a heat source can lead to some very unwanted situations.

For every sixth can of AdvanTech subfloor adhesive used, or if you're going to leave the can off of the gun for a while, we always recommend to run some AdvanTech subfloor adhesive cleaner through the applicator gun.

The AdvanTech subfloor adhesive cleaner screws onto the applicator gun the same way as the AdvanTech subfloor adhesive can. You'll screw it onto the applicator basket, open the valve to the left and spray the cleaner through the nozzle of the gun until it comes out clear.

The AdvanTech subfloor adhesive can also comes with a nozzle that you can use to spray the cleaner around the basket of the gun, on your hands, or anywhere else the AdvanTech subfloor adhesive might get that it's unwanted.

AdvanTech Subflooring Panel

After AdvanTech subfloor adhesive bead is applied to the engineered I-joist or the engineered floor truss, the next step of the system is the AdvanTech panel itself.

AdvanTech subfloor panels, including AdvanTech X-Factor, are engineered with a higher wood density and a special resin technology that achieves superior strength and stiffness, superior fastener holding power, and a superior moisture resistance as opposed to the standard subfloor panels on the market.

The higher wood density in resulting strength and stiffness reduces the potential movement or deflection with AdvanTech subfloor panels and reduces the opportunity for squeaks.

The fastener guide printed on the panel helps ensure that every fastener hits the floor joist or the floor trusses, and this also reduces the opportunity for a missed fastener to create a squeak.

Advanced Moisture Resistance

The advanced resin technology of AdvanTech subflooring panels increases the moisture resistance of the panels. This also reduces the potential for edge swell, which is very common amongst traditional OSB or plywood panels.

AdvanTech subflooring also comes with a 500-day no-sand guarantee. Without having to stop and sand a swollen subfloor, we're able to speed up the timeline of a project and allow the crews to keep progressing on the job.

AdvanTech X-Factor, which you see here, is a new class of premium subflooring panels with a built-in protective surface that's designed to enhance surface durability of the subfloor.

Fastener Considerations

The final component of a squeak-free subfloor is the fastener.

So Huber Engineered Woods recommends using a screw to bond the AdvanTech subflooring panel to the floor joist. And what that screw does is it actively brings the two products together, reducing any possible movement or gaps in between the AdvanTech subflooring panel and the floor joists.

And although we prefer screws, you can also use a deformed fastener such as ring shank nails in order to qualify for the 10-year squeak-free guarantee.

So all this combined guarantees a squeak-free panel-to-joist connection for a period of 10 years. By using AdvanTech subfloor, AdvanTech subfloor, adhesive, deformed fasteners such as ring shank nails or screws, and an engineered floor system such as I-joists or trusses, we're able to provide a strong and stiff subfloor assembly, which at the end of the day is going to ultimately result in what we're all striving for, which is happy clients.

So I want to give a big thank you to Dean and the entire team at the Stillwater Group for allowing us to spend some time on their beautiful lakefront job site here in Clemson, South Carolina, and understanding some ways that they use AdvanTech subfloor adhesive, and AdvanTech subflooring panels in order to achieve a 10-year squeak-free guarantee for them and for their clients, as well as a lifetime guarantee for the AdvanTech subflooring panels.

Be sure to check out our website,, our Instagram, @huberwood, or head over to our YouTube channel to check out some of our other content there. We'll see you next time.