Ways & How

How to Fix Floor Joists

How to Fix Floor Joists

Floor joists plays a vital role in strengthening the flooring in a home. Once floor joist gets damaged from rot or termites, they must be immediately repaired in order to not affect the stability of the house. The intricacies involved on how to fix floor joists may be difficult to think about, especially if you are neither a carpenter nor a civil engineer who has the skills to get the job done. Nonetheless, for a neophyte like you, there are simple steps you can follow to repair or fix a damaged floor joist. Installing floor joists properly is a must and should not be taken lightly. The spacing measurement and the proper placing of the joists to the beams of the floor are important factors to consider in making the repair. Otherwise, the floor will be on an uneven plane, which is dangerous. Also, the incorrect spacing of floor joists may cause a portion of the floor to bend, which can eventually cause structural failure. Here are the step-by-step procedures on how to fix floor joists. Just get your hammer, power drill, cold chisel, circular saw, deck screws, replacement joist, and pry bar.



  1. Assess the damage. Inspect the area so you have firsthand knowledge about to the extent of the repair needed. Your assessment will help you make an intelligent decision whether to proceed with the repair all by yourself or hire a carpenter or a contractor to get the job done. Further, you can have an estimate as to how much money and materials you would need to buy to repair the affected area.

  2. Buy your materials. If you have some of the above-mentioned materials at home, then the better. Take specific measurements of the sister joints and buy the replacement joists in the lumberyard or in any home improvement store. Purchase also the rest of the materials needed

  3. Purchase safety gadgets. Your personal safety should not be put in jeopardy. Always take safety precautions at every stage of the repair. Since you will be handling and lifting lumber, it is best to wear leather working gloves. Also, use a safety mask and safety goggles every time you use a power drill, chisel, or saw to keep away dust and wood chips from getting into your eyes.

  4. Prepare your materials. Bring all you materials to the working area. Keep their placement well-organized so you do not waste time looking for each item you need during the repair.

  5. Remove the flooring. With the pry bar, cold chisel, and hammer, slowly remove the flooring starting in between planks. If your floor is made of hardwood tiles, then use your tools to remove the tiles. For safety reasons, set aside the removed wood planks or tiles and protruding screws or nails.

  6. Remove the damaged floor joist. Again, with the use of pry bar, remove the damaged floor joist. The damaged floor joist must be carefully removed to avoid further breakage on the girders and the header joist.

  7. Measure the removed floor joist and cut the replacement accordingly. Using a circular saw to cut the replacement floor joist to match the damaged one.

  8. Put the replacement joist in place. The replacement joist should be placed in a perpendicular position with the girders with equal distance in between floor joists. Using your power drill, screw the replacement joist to the header joist with deck screws at least 3 inches in size. Place the screws in a triangular shape on both ends of the replacement joist.

  9. Replace your sub-flooring. If your floor has sub-flooring, you might as well consider replacing it if there is also damage to it.

  10. Replace the flooring. If your main flooring is made of tiles, use tile grout. For hardwood floors, use super strength wood glue.

In any home construction and building design, the plumbing and electrical wiring systems are placed underneath the floors, especially when the structure is made up of several floors. Hence, with repairing the floor joist, it must be done with extreme caution and with considerable precision. The steps and safety precautions on how to fix floor joists discussed above are not hard to follow. But in case you are still doubtful of the process, call a pro to help you out.  

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