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A List of Solutions For Squeaky Hardwood Floors

Nothing like a squeaky floor to drive you nuts on a fine sunny Sunday. If the squeaks didn't spoil your Sunday they're sure to spoil your secret midnight snack. This way or the other, what realtors like to call "character" is in fact a true nuisance. Let us help you with a list of quick solutions along with some in-depth solutions to the creaky floor problem. 

Why Do Floors Squeak?

Fix Squealy Floors
In order to solve this problem, we need to understand its source. Most floors in the USA are built the same, with some variations between hardwood and softwood. There's the flooring, be it PVC, a carpet, or floorboards and beneath it is what's called the subflooring which is plain wooden boards. All this is laid on top of wooden joists, which run perpendicular to the subflooring. As a standard, they are 16 inches apart. The subflooring is attached to those joists with nails. 
These nails are the usual root of the problem. Unlike screws, they have a smooth shaft. When the wood expands and contracts with weight, temperature, and moisture changes, it rubs against itself or the nails producing a squeaky sound. This occurs usually in older houses (around 1990 and older) that don't have glue between the floor layers. Over time the nails loosen, and this is what we want to solve. 
Related Article: How to Fix Squeaky Shoes

How to Solve This

Fix Squealy Floors

You can either treat the problem from above the floor or from beneath it.

  • To treat the problem from above, we recommend purchasing a "squeak no more" kit which includes proper screws and has everything you need to locate the joist safely. This video demonstrates: 
This kit is something you can easily use yourself at home.
  • If you'd like to call a professional, you can sprinkle baby powder between the floorboards and step on the back and forth a little to help the powder in the cracks. This will act as a temporary lubricant until the professional arrives. 
  • If the squeak is small you can slide a wood shim underneath and between floorboards to secure them into place. 
  • Fixing your creaky hardwood from beneath is the method you'll choose when dealing with multiple squeaky areas. When going down to the basement or the crawlspace, take with you:
    1. Small wooden blocks
    2. A drill
    3. Subflooring adhesive
    4. Some wood shims
    5. Screws
    Have someone from above step on the floor back and forth to help you identify the locations of squeaks. 
    On both sides of the joist, drill in some screws through the subflooring to secure it to the floor. Next, put some glue where the subflooring and the joist meet. Using a wood shim, push the glue in beneath the subflooring. Fill every gap.
    Your last step is gluing your small wood block in the same corner where the joist and subflooring meet. Once you've finished, let the glue cure for a minimum of 12 hours. During that period do not step on the floor!
    This video demonstrates:
H/T: LifeHacker
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