You have an impeccable floor that confers warmth and authenticity. Until one day when walking around, you hear a short, sharp, and high-pitched sound. You step back and on just to confirm your fears. So, how do you stop floor squeak?
Every homeowner at one point has experienced the dreaded sound of a squeaky floorboard that makes itself heard when stepped on.
While it can be an annoyance, the thought of safety is always at the top of the mind for those concerned.
Luckily, you don’t have to put up with this irritating noise. In today’s post, we’ll identify some common causes of squeaking floors and explore some easy fixes to stop floor squeak and make your home blissful as before.
Common Causes of Squeaking Floors
It’s important to keep in mind that just about any floor can have those squeaks. But the most common culprits are hardwood floors.
This is because wood contains some moisture during construction. As it drys out there’s some contraction which causes the floorboards to rub against each other, against the nail casings or subfloor.
If this is the case, the creaking is likely to resolve itself when the humidity and moisture level increase in the atmosphere. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t intervene since there could be other causes as well.
In most cases, squeaky floors are usually caused by loosened or worn-out floorboards, dry joints and gaps in the subflooring, or even humidity levels that are too low. In some cases, nails may become loose over time due to everyday foot traffic.
The combination of these elements can all contribute to a squeaking floor. Therefore, the first step is to know for sure what’s causing the noise before taking remedial action.
11 Fixes to Stop Floor Squeak
1. Increase the humidity
As mentioned above, dry air can cause floors to contract and this could lead to a squeak. This is common during winter months. The low humidity in your home can cause wood floors to become brittle and create gaps in between boards which contributes to squeaking.
To resolve this issue, it’s best to invest in a humidifier. The ideal humidity level should be between 40% to 60%.
2. Use a wood-safe lubricant
When floorboards rub against each other they create some form of friction. Breaking that friction causes a sharp, loud sound when you step on the floor.
If this is the case, getting rid of the friction could be a temporary solution to eliminating the creaking. There are many wood-safe lubricants available, such as WD-40, furniture polish, or a silicon spray, that can reduce friction and stop floor squeak.
Besides, you can apply powdered graphite to silence the floorboard movement. While powdered graphite is the ideal solution, you can also use talcum powder or baby powder.
3. Apply carpenter’s glue
In some cases, the creaking may be caused by floorboards that have come loose from their original fastenings. If you can access the area between the floors, use a carpenter’s glue to secure it in place.
Carpenter’s glue is one of the best ways to treat squeaky floors at the source by filling in any gaps between floorboards.
To do this, simply apply a small amount of glue to the gap and spread it out evenly with a putty knife or similar tool. The glue will fill the gap and in no time you’ll have rid yourself of any squeaks for good.
4. Add finish screws
Areas that are prone to vibrations such as entryways or living rooms may be caused by screws that have become loose over time.
In this case, adding finish screws to the floor joists and cross-bracing could help fix the issue. To do this, use a drill to insert a finish screw near the squeak every few inches.
This will help reduce vibration-related sounds and secure the floorboards in place.
5. Reattach floorboards
If the floorboards are coming apart or have been lifted due to temperature fluctuations or everyday foot traffic, simply use a pry bar to reattach them and secure them with screws.
This will help keep them in place and reduce squeaking caused by loose boards.
6. Add weight
Sometimes, adding extra weight can help reduce movement and eliminate squeaks.
Adding a rug, furniture, or even an area rug on top of the squeaky floor can distribute weight and reduce noise.
7. Change nails
In some cases, using different types of nails may help stop the creaking. Instead of using standard round-headed nails, use flat screws for better security.
You should also use longer and thicker nails to ensure that the boards are held securely in place.
8. Reinforce joists
If the squeaking is coming from below, it could be due to weak floor joists caused by age or wear and tear. To fix this, adding extra cross-bracing between the joists will help to keep them in place and reduce movement.
9. Replace boards
If the floorboards are significantly damaged or warped, replacing them may be your only option. To do this, use a pry bar to remove the old boards, then replace them with new ones and secure them using nails or screws.
You should also make sure to use a wood-safe glue or adhesive for added security.
10. Hammer and screw
In some cases, the floor squeak may be caused by loose nails that are no longer fastened to the joists. To fix this, simply hammer in the nail and then add a finish screw on top of it to keep it secure.
This will help reduce squeaking and movement from the nails.
11. Use a floorboard gap filler
If there are large gaps between your floorboards, using a floorboard gap filler can help to reduce noise and fill in any cracks or holes.
Floorboard gap fillers come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure to choose one that’s appropriate for your particular situation.
When taking on any DIY project, it’s important to keep safety first by following these tips:
• Wear protective gloves at all times;
• Make sure you have adequate ventilation when using any lubricants or solvents;
• Always wear safety goggles and a dust mask when dealing with materials such as sawdust;
• Always observe the safety instructions of any tools you are using.
If you are using power tools, make sure they are unplugged and follow all manufacturer instructions for proper use. Be aware of any exposed nails that could potentially cause injury.
Squeaky floors can be a nuisance in any home, but luckily there are some easy DIY fixes that can help make it a thing of the past.
Increase the humidity to reduce dryness, use a lubricant to get rid of friction, apply carpenter’s glue to fill in gaps between boards, and add finish screws near the squeak.
Always remember to take necessary safety precautions when dealing with DIY projects such as these. With these 11 fixes, you should have no problem getting rid of that annoying floor creaking sound!