How to Make Wood Floors Not Squeak

As the wood floor becomes old and there is heavy traffic in some areas, there is more flexing in those areas than elsewhere.

Fixing Squeaky FloorsThe boards squeak at these places when someone walks over it. The following tips can help you stop wood floors from squeaking.

Causes

There are several causes of squeaking in the wood floors.

You need to localize the areas where you get the squeak and need to identify the real cause and make a suitable remedy.

  • The main cause of wood floors squeaking is wood shrinkage around the nails. The nails holding it may become loose or there are not enough nails to hold the wood board to sub-floor. The boards move and rub on with each other in the spongy areas. Or, the floor may rub with sub-flooring or nails holding them causing squeaking.
  • There are gaps between the subfloor and joists and cause sound due to rubbing.
  • Improper installation of the cross bracing beneath the subfloor. There is the X-pattern of braces between the joists that keeps them from twisting. If the braces are not fixed correctly and there is a gap between the braces, the braces can rub against one another causing a squeak. It’s also important to choose the right type of wood floor to install.

Remedies

Finding the right solution can be a bit tricky. It is important to find the reason for the squeaking and locate the area before making the decision to fix it. You need to locate the exact problem by trial and error and use an easy and permanent fix.

 

Using Powder for Lubricating

You can use talcum or graphite powder as a lubricant between the boards and subfloor to prevent squeaking. However, it provides only a temporary solution till you find a permanent remedy.

If you can access the sub-floor and see the floorboards, ask someone to walk across the squeaky areas and you can exactly find the reason and locate the gaps or rubbing by looking at the underside of the floor areas causing that squeak and make the following repairs.

Using Wedges

You can buy some wedges or shims and hammer them in the gaps where the wood is rubbing the subfloor. That should take care of most squeaks.

Using Screws from Bottom

You can fix the loose boards by driving the screws into them through the sub-floor. Make sure that the screws are long enough to reach into the wood and not too long that may protrude out through the floor. Square-drive or drywall screws are the most appropriate screws.

Re-fixing

Another permanent fix for surface flooring material would be to pull it up, and reset it and fix it.

Using Squeak Ender

You can also use “Squeak Enders”. These are J shaped brackets used under the wood floor to quickly fix the floor to the subfloor.

Bridging

The floor can also squeak if there is insufficient bridging . You will need to install additional supports or nail blocks that will provide additional support and prevent the sagging of the subfloor or floorboards.

Repairing the Braces

It is possible to check the cross braces. These can be sanded or chiselled to set right.

Using Squeak-Relief

These are aluminum brace that can fix to hold the subfloor tightly to the joist.

If you have carpeting, it may be necessary to strip the carpet off first.

If Your Subfloor is Not Accessible

You may not able to access the subfloor due to ceiling below it. It will require the repairs from the top of the floor

Fixing Screws from Top

The easiest way is to fix thin screws through the floor into the subfloor right into the joists. In this case you have to fix the screws or nails at right angles and over the wood joists.

You can also use the special screws called “Squeeeeek No More”. They have such a design that you can break screw heads after fixing them. These screws are very thin and mostly invisible through the carpet.

In case, you have tried fixing screws from the top and the squeaking has not stopped, you will have to tear apart the wood floor to locate and fix the problem.

Related Article: A Simple Guide to Finding the Best Wood Floor Vacuum