Silence Your Squeaky Floors

Silence Your Squeaky Floors

A very common issue that inevitably happens over the years after installing wooden flooring is the appearance of squeaks. They can drive even the calmest person crazy! However, there are plenty of ways to deal with this issue and continue enjoying your polished wooden floor without the annoying noises. Below you will find more information about squeaky floors and efficient solutions to the problem.

  • What actually causes squeaky wooden flooring? This can be a result of wood rubbing against other wood, a nail or a piping. Sometimes, finding the origin of the noise can be difficult. Fortunately, if the flooring is open from below, you have a couple of alternatives to stop the problem. In order to locate the source, flooring professionals advise you to find an assistant to walk on the offended area so you can listen and observe the subfloor movement from below. Don`t forget to check for any subfloor seams or nails that are rubbing against each other. A fact to consider it that when a building settles, there are always shifts in its constituent parts. Flooring experts explain that over time wood dries out which results in changing its shape. Some of the flooring components may come loose. When does a squeak occur? When the weight of your foot presses the subfloor and it rubs against the joists beneath it or when planks rub against the subfloor. A noise can also appear because of the wood grates against loose nail shafts.  
  • Let`s explain further what to do when you have underfloor access. If the ‘problematic’ room is located over crawl space or a basement so you have an access to the joists beneath it directly, you can solve the issue much easier. When you find any gaps, fill them by tapping a wood shim covered with some carpenters glue. Don`t hit too hard as you risk raising the level of the flooring – you will simply create more squeaks but in other places. After that, place a couple of heavyweights on the area above. Unfortunately, there is a scenario in which the gap between the joists and the subfloor is very large. What you can do is to employ blocking in order to support the weight of walkers above. Take a piece of scrap wood, coat one of the surfaces with carpenters glue and press it against the side of the joist. Make use of any pre-drilled holes so you don`t split the material. Taking care of your wood flooring is really worth it – such flooring can serve you for the years to come if you maintain it and eliminate such little defects on time.  
  • Another possible reason why your subfloor is squeaking is because the surface flooring may have started to fall apart. Yet, you can solve this issue – take small screws (make sure they are smaller than the width of the two layers combined) and drive them up. Another alternative is to drive longer screws at an angle to secure the elements together. If the gap between the subfloor and the joists is big, you might use a construction adhesive in order to fill the space. It is sold in tubes which can be applied with a caulking gun. Such glue can be shot up into the crevices and cracks – it will expand and harden which means that it will successfully fill up space. In order to achieve best results, flooring specialists say that you have to get as much as possible of it in the crack so there are no openings or bubbles left. Have in mind that construction adhesive emits toxic fumes – it will fill the air with harmful particles. Don`t miss to wear proper eye and hand protection while you are performing the procedure – this is especially important when working in enclosed spaces such as the basement. Always wear a respirator.
  • What to do when you have access above floor only? When you can`t reach underneath your wood flooring, there are still a couple of ways to solve this issue. Again, first, you should locate the squeak – walk around to find it. Using a stud detector, find the nearest joist. When you have done that, drive a 1¼” screw down through the flooring, subfloor and joist. This should resolve the problem. After that, cover the screw with wood putty to hide it. Another issue that may cause the problem is that the surface flooring and the subfloor have started to separate. Drive small carpentry nails down at the opposite ends of the offending area. You can hide the in the same way we mentioned above – tap them down and cover with wood putty.      

Squeaky floors can be really annoying! Sometimes the issue may turn out to be more serious than you thought but sometimes the reason behind it is superficial. For example, if the squeak comes from the surface boards rubbing against each other, you can solve that super easy – pour some powdered graphite or talcum powder to lubricate the spaces between the planks. Don`t forget that you can always seek professional help and advice from your local flooring contractor!

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