How to Fix Squeaky Hardwood Floors

One of the most annoying issues that a home may have is a hardwood floor that squeaks when it is walked on. This can even become an issue during an initial inspection when a home is being prepared for renting. Although a squeaking floor is a good way to detect a sneaky child, this common issue should be repaired to prevent unintentional damage from occurring as a home is lived in. Here's how you can stop the squeaking for good in just a few minutes.

Go Below To Make Repairs If You Can

If you have a crawlspace or a basement that will help you access the subfloor above, then this repair won't take any time at all. You'll need to locate the squeak from below, so have someone walk on the floor above you. Look for gaps in the subfloor where the floor isn't flush with the support beams. Put in a shim and affix it with a drywall screw and you'll have solved the squeak immediately. Just don't shove the shim in too far because you might lift the floor up.

Sometimes a floor must be attached to a joist in a more solid way in order to secure it. In these instances, use a hold-down bracket to pull the floor snugly to the joist. Use a steel mounting plate, affix it to your subfloor, and then attach it to your joist.

Repairing Hardwood From Above

The reason why a hardwood floor tends to squeak is because the wood is becoming dehydrated over time and this causes the material to shrink. This shrinkage causes the flooring to become slightly loose and that's what produces the squeak to fix the problem quickly and easily, you'll need to affix the offending boards back to the subfloor. It really can be as simple as using a small nail, but some owners may wish for a permanent fix that doesn't alter the actual look of the floor itself.

If that is you case, you'll want to conceal the screw or nail that you are using. Drill out a pilot hole in the offending board so that the screw or nail head will be underneath the walking surface. Affix the board and then fill the pilot hole that you've drilled with wood putty that has been tinted to match the color of your floor. Let the putty dry, sand off any irregularities, and then you can put a varnish on top of the putty if necessary to match the quality of your hardwood floor.

Are Your Squeaks On the Stairs?

Over time, hardwood floors that are installed on a staircase expand and contract because of their high use and this affects the joints. To fix these loose joints, the easiest method is to coat some shims with glue and put them between the risers and the treads. You could also screw in blocks of wood to reinforce a squeaking joint. If you have no access from below, then you'll want to repair hardwood stairs from above as you would repair a floor.

With just a few minutes of sweat equity and a few spare parts, you can quickly repair that squeaking hardwood floor so it isn't bothersome any more. Use these tips today to get the job done fast.
Posted on Jul 19, 2014


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