Dishes rattling in china Cabinet

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Dishes rattling in china Cabinet

Postby LindaAnn on Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:16 pm

Everytime I want past the china cabinet in the dining room the dishes rattle something awful. This is the only spot for the large china cabinet and it is on the way to the study so you have to pass in front of it. The house is built on a crawl space. What exactly should we do underneath the house to stop this? My husband is planning on fixing this over the weekend.
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Postby al_roethlisberger on Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:54 pm

Well, it may or may not be a "weekend fix" but it certainly is possible that you might be able to get it a bit better.

Almost every old house that has any void underneath and is suspended over piers is going to have some deflection of the floor as 100+ lbs of human pounds across it. Some spans are worse than others though, either by marginal design(too long an un or undersupported span) or through deterioration.

In some cases, simply sistering or cross bracing some joists will do the trick, in other cases adding a pier or similar new support will also help. But in many cases, a very large room will sometimes never be totally free of this type of issue, especially when paired with something high off the floor that has a propensity to "rattle" like dishes in a tall cabinet.

The worst case of this that I ever saw was(is) my parent's dining room which has an upright piano, and if you just stroll across that floor, any piece of furniture with any height noticeably moves :?

But in the end, if you can't get all the bounce out of the floor, you may just have to move the cabinet if it remains a nuisance.

Good luck!
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Postby lrkrgrrl on Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:00 pm

I agree with Al that bracing up underneath will help, I've found sometimes using shims or such to level the furniture can reduce wobble. My fish-tank stand, for instance, usually requires some fiddling to keep it steady. I've also bracketed large book cases to the wall to keep them steady.

But I'd take a good look at what's what underneath, first.
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Postby al_roethlisberger on Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:06 pm

...oh, and in case my point wasn't clear, adding more weight to these types of floors/rooms seems to make it worse not better. I guess this is because it stresses the floor like a drum head where it can't absorb anymore vibration, I dunno *shrug*

So if have a bunch of heavy furniture, like a china cabinet, that can exacerbate the issue.
Lewis D. Isenhour House
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Postby HB on Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:06 pm

I think the quickest way to fix it would be to place a bit of paper towel between the stacked dishes, and rearrange the glasses so that they aren't touching each other.

Trying to get the floor to stop moving at all may be maddening at best.

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Postby lrkrgrrl on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:33 pm

HB, you are one practical guy.
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Rattling dishes

Postby Candyshell1973 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:53 pm

Our dining room has the same problem with the china cabinet. We haven't fixed it yet, Just thought you'd like to feel so not alone. I kinda like the padding the dishes idea it's probably the only answer that won't cause me gray hair.
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Postby mkropp on Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:06 am


A lot of older homes have a problem with bouncy floors. If you have access to the floor joists from below you can try several things to reduce the bounce.

(1) Connect the floor joists together to help spread the load over several floor joists. This can be done by installing wood blocking tight between each joists. An easier way to go would be to install strapping - a 2 x 4 placed perpendicular to the joists and screwed and glued to the bottom of each joists.

(2) Strengthen Joists. This can be done by sistering larger joists next to the existings joists. Another way would be to screw and glue a 2 x 4 to the bottom of each joists. This makes the joist look like and I-beam and may reduce bounce.

(3) Add a support beam under the floor joists to reduce the span of the joists. This is probably the best way to reduce floor bounce, however it will be costly to add a new beam, new columns, and deep concrete footings for the columns.

Probably would be well worth it to have a contractor or engineer design a solution.
Mike K
Old House Remodeler
Aurora, IL
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Postby Raymond Pickard on Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:11 am

When we were in San Diego with the earth quakes I would use a got glue gun to secure items on shelves and in cabinets, this might help.
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Postby grantck1 on Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:55 pm

Try the DIY way first.

I would imagine cross bracing/sistering joists would fix the problem, as long as it is only rattling glasses. Anything else may indicate a bigger structural problem.

Judging from your description, you can do it yourself. Dont fall into some kind of trap where a so called "pro" tells you he can make everything level and true.
Thats part of the character of an old home

Keep us posted,
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