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How to Fix Creaky Hardwood Floors and Stop the Squeaking

Having a hardwood finish applied to your home’s flooring can instantly improve its appearance. Some companies allow a specific plan to be installed, allowing the surface to shine with a noticeable gleam. If you are a fan of home interior design, the quality of your hardwood flooring is especially important, in order to create the ultimate design.

However, not all flooring surfaces were created equally. Overtime, as the flooring ages, you may begin to notice audible squeaks with each, passing step. This may become a nuisance if you leave the creaky hardwood floors as is overtime.

Follow these seven steps on how to fix creaky hardwood floors and stop the squeaking in your house:

1. Acquire The Tools

You can only fix creaky hardwood floors with the requisite tools and supplies. If you plan on tackling a squeaky floor yourself, you’ll need to make sure you get the necessary pieces of equipment first. This job doesn’t require a lot of materials, but the ones you do need are important nonetheless.

For starters, a power drill, screwdriver, and a set of nails will be needed. You’ll also need to get a hammer, tape measure, and some construction adhesive too. Once you have acquired these materials, you can proceed to conducting the physical aspect of the job.

2. Shimming

As a preliminary step, you’ll have to shim the hardwood floor. A common source of creaky hardwood floors happens when the subfloor becomes separated from the floor joists. To begin resolving this underlying issue, you’ll need to shim the subfloor itself.

The best way to do this is by wedging a wooden shim into a gap in the floor. To effectively detect the source of a squeak, walk over the floor until you have reached the audible noise. If there is a gap in the part of the floor with the squeak, place the wooden shim in between the subfloor and joist. Don’t force it in; gently maneuver it until it is comfortably inside.

3. Conducting A Cleat

In some situations, a subfloor may have several boards that are loose and, subsequently, moving. If this is the case, you’ll want to secure them via a cleat. This is a more effective way of getting rid of a squeak in a floor, as you won’t have to individually use a wedge for every gap you correlate to the noise.

To secure the cleat, drywall screws must be nailed against the subfloor. Using a cleat is especially effective for large areas of the floor. This allows you to effectively kill two birds with one stone!

4. Working From Below

Sometimes, the source of those pesky squeaks may not be readily solved by working from the top. If possible, you may be able to solve the issue by working from below. In some situations, floorboards rubbing against nails may be the foundation of some of those noises.

To fix this, all you’ll have to do is drive screws through the bottom of the subfloor. This, by extension, once driven through the finished floor, can eradicate the noise itself. Just be sure that you use short nails, as larger nails can cause more damage than intended in the repair.

5. Using A Construction Adhesive

On the other hand, if there is a long gap that runs at the length of a joist, using a shim would actually be counterproductive. Instead, you’ll want to fill this long gap using an application of a fast-set construction adhesive. This works especially well, when trying to both detect the source of the squeak, as well as fixing it outright.

Through the use of a caulking tool, apply the adhesive directly into the applicable gap. This will usually be between the top of the joist and the base of the subfloor. Gaps can also be found on both sides of the joist; make sure all spaces are filled, to effectively fix the noise in the floor.

6. Lubricant

In some circumstances, you may have a hardwood floor that is effectively finished. This prevents access to the joists and subfloor. If this is the case, a dry lubricant can be applied between the floorboards themselves. The friction from the wood itself will be mitigated, allowing the resulting squeaks to be eliminated as well.

7. Fixing Squeaky Carpeted Floors

If your floors have carpet on the surface, there is still a possible fix for those permeating squeaks. All that is required is a knife, in which you can cut a small hole into the carpet itself. Peel this part of the carpet back, and drive a screw through both the floor and subfloor. Maneuver this accordingly, and you should be able to eliminate the noise soon enough.

The floors in our homes can come in a variety of states. Even though the inevitable squeaks may occur, this shouldn’t be cause for prolonged concern. With enough patience, solving this pesky noise will be relatively simple, and effective!