Has anyone suffered the cracking noises from the floor of a timber frame house when someone walks on the floor, as can be heard from the following link

It is two years since construction.
Is there a solution to this problem?
The boss of the supplier of the timber frame, Target Timber Systems” says “you get what you pay for”,
As if there was a choice?
Is this a problem with timber frame construction, as currently I wish I had stayed with brickwork?

  • Stephen Groves


    I am no expert but this sounds to me like timber movement rather than cracking.
    This is often caused by the surface that has the pressure on it flexing against a non moving part.
    Once the pressure is of it it snaps back into place.
    Easiest description is its the same sort of sound often found on solid wood stairs that flex against their support joists.
    Do you get two cracks from the same point? ie. put weight on if theres a crack remove your weight and does it crack again?
    This maynot be much help but maybe what is causing the noises as have seen this in wooden chalets that creaked and cracked far louder than your video but was simply movement and nothing actually breaking.

  • Vince Holden - Construction Project Manager Holden

    There are two possible reasons for this problem.
    If the first floor deck is nailed down then it will probably be the board rubbing against the nail. Additional screws would cure.
    Secondly and most probable, cos if I am not mistaken Target use timber joists as opposed to TJI or Easy joist, the decking boards have been glued not only together (correct) but also to the joist which is a wrong but often made mistake. This glued together platform should only occur where both materials are man made.
    The noise you can hear is no doubt the glue cracking where the deck is moving differently to the joist when walked on. Only one cure and that is to lift the boards, breaking the glue joint and then fix down again mechanically.
    Vince Holden.

  • D Stone

    Thanks for your comments.
    The cracking does seem worse at the perimeter where the joists are fitted into the more rigid external frame or where there is a partition wall, which again would be more rigid. Though there is not a double crack.
    Target were persuaded to fix screws between the floors and the Steico I-joists in addition to the original nails and glue but that did not sort the problem and they gave up after that. Would the glue still crack with that amount of fixing?
    I have read though that a flexible glue should have been used as opposed to the standard glue that was used.
    It is not possible to lift the boards due to running under partition walls on the first floor and underfloor heating fixed on the underside of the deck.
    Is this and issue with timber floors supporting a partition not directly over a support below as well as the fixing into the external frame?
    Any further advice would be appreciated.

  • Stephen Parker

    I’ve had this issue on a refurb of a house, as follows:

    Original floor was between kitchen and bedroom, timber joists nailed on top, T&G timber cladding nailed below. Cladding stopped just short of plastered walls with a quadrant trim all round.
    In this situation there were no cracking noises.

    Two internal walls were removed and replaced with steels. With no ceiling on there were no cracking noises.

    New plasterboard and skim installed (screwed), beam boxed out in timber frame and plasterboard, cracking noises started at this point

    As part of our works I’m also having the bedroom floor replaced as it’s been up and down that many times for services and props etc it’s a mess. I initially thought this would resolve all the noises ( there were plenty of other squeaks and creaks aswell). The floor has now been replaced with 22mm T&G chipboard glued and screwed. All noises have gone with exception of the cracking sounds.

    It’s now easier to trace where the cracking sounds are coming from. With the floor insulated there are not now audible in the bedroom yet downstairs can be clearly heard. They emanate from the junction between the ceiling and the plastered bulkhead around the steel beams.

    With the advantage of being able to isolate any issues with the flooring above it’s clear the cracking is caused by the plaster on the underside of the joists. Specifically it seems to be the junction between vert and horizontal. I think that as the floor flexes under load it’s rubbing against the top of the bulkhead and causing the noise. I’ve seen a study on t’internet that also indicates this is the culprit, ie no gap between floor structure and vertical plasterboard.

    Next action for me is to run a multi tool blade along the junction of ceiling and bulkhead to see whether this releases the friction and solves the problem, we have a bit of water ingress where some flashings hadn’t been installed so it’s not a problem to make good after, it needed doing anyway. I’ll report on the results of this in a few days.

    From my experience of other recent building projects it’s rarely the junction of the floor and boarded floor that is an issue with squeaks. It’s joists hangers being installed loose, badly cut joists in hangers, poorly detailed timber to steel detailing, no noggins allowing joists to rotate etc etc. These issues don’t usually get detected till the owner moves back in and all is quiet!

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