How to Fix Squeaky Wooden Floors

Squeaky wooden floors are annoying. About the only thing they are good for is telling when the kids come home a little too late. Squeaky floors happen for a couple of reasons.2013-q3-sep-p2-1

Two Reasons That Wooden Floors Squeak

  1. Loose subfloors. This usually emits a higher-pitched sounds and can happen with solid board or plywood types of flooring.
  2. When you walk across wooden floorboards they can rub against each other or slide against nail shafts to cause a myriad of squeaky, creaky floor sounds.

Now that you know the reasons that squeaky floors happen, let us share our best tips on how to quiet them.

How To Fix Squeaky Wooden Floors

As squeaky floors come about because of looseness between floorboards and subfloors, the best way to save your ears is to button the floors down. Here are a few ways to do that.

  1. Quiet the floor from below. When the floor is above a crawlspace or basement, this is the best option. Have someone stand on the floor and find the squeaky spots and indicate where they are by tapping. When you’ve pinpointed it, tap a wooden shim covered in carpenter’s glue in between the floor and the subfloor. Be careful not to go too far, or you will raise the floor.
  2. Quiet the wooden floor from above. With some flooring, your only option is to fix it from above. You will need a hammer and long finish nails. Locate the squeak and drive a long finish nail into the floor so that it goes into the floor joist if possible. Use a stud sensor to find the joists. If the sound is from the floor separating from the subfloor, then you’ll want to drive two nails into the floor at opposite 45-degree angles. You can use a nail set to drive the nails below the surface of the floor, and then fill the hole with wood filler.
  3. On stairs. Stairs have a lot more wooden joints which is why they are generally much louder over time than the wooden floor itself. If you have access to underneath the stairs, use a variation on method 1 to quiet the stairs from below with a shim placed into the joints between the horizontal treads and vertical risers. You can also screw wood blocks into the corners where the risers meet the treads. If you can’t get under the stairs, take several very thin wood shims and tap them into any loose joints that you find from the top. Then neatly trim off the shims to make everything flush. Another way to reinforce loose parts is to glue and nail a length of quarter-round molding along each step.

At Simply Sanding, we consider ourselves industry experts in wood flooring and hope these tips are useful. Supplying great tips like in this post is just part of the fun of our industry. See more tips in our previous posts.

We work throughout London and the Southeast including Essex, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, and surrounding areas. Call us with any questions about wood floor sanding, installation, or maintenance.
Image courtesy of twobee /