Walking from one side of the room to the other shouldn’t be noisy, but if you’ve got squeaky floors, it can be. This is a fairly common—but fixable—condition of older or poorly installed wood flooring.
What Causes Squeaky Floors?
Floors and stairs will squeak when the wooden floorboards or structural elements rub against one another, when the bridging between joints flexes under foot traffic, or when floorboards have not been properly nailed to the subfloor.
Thankfully, it’s just a minor nuisance that isn’t likely to be damaging if you don’t fix the squeaks. But fixing squeaky floors is a fairly inexpensive project.
How to Fix Squeaky Floors
1. Locate the Squeaks
This sounds simple, but it can be challenging to locate the actual source of your floor’s squeaking. Carefully walk around on it until you feel you’ve been able to pinpoint the squeak. You may want to put sticky notes or some other marker wherever you hear a squeak so you can keep track of them all.
2. Shim the Subfloor
If you’re able to get under the subfloor, such as going to the basement if the squeak is on the first floor, you can shim the subfloor to see if that fixes the issue.
To shim, you’ll wedge a thin piece of wood between the joist and subfloor underneath the squeak, using a claw hammer to tap them into place. Do not pound on the shim, just tap gently, as driving the shim in too hard can lift the floorboards and cause more squeaking.
3. Cleat the Subfloor
For larger areas of squeaks, you can install a cleat underneath the floor to provide support.
Use a 1×4 board wedged against the subfloor and nailed to the joists, cutting the block to fit snugly against the joist. In most cases, you will need to hire a skilled carpenter to tackle this task.
4. Drive Screws from Below
Sometimes, you’ll have floor squeaks if the floorboards are rubbing against nails or the floorboards themselves. To alleviate this, you can drive short screws through the bottom of the subfloor into the finished floor. Or, a professional hardwood flooring company like Atlas Floors can help you with this task.
Be sure you use short screws to avoid damaging the finished floor if the screws break the surface.
5. Drive Nails from Above
If you’re unable to access the subfloor, you can drive nails into the finished floor from above to stop the squeak. Because of the risk of damage to the floors, however, it may be best to bring in a professional for this job.
We typically do not recommend this method as it can create new squeaks and cause more visible damage to the surface of the floors.
Beautiful Hardwood Flooring Installation in MD
At Atlas Floors Inc., we love helping you get the beautiful hardwood flooring your home or business needs. From custom designs to installing pre-finished boards, we’ve got what you need to get the look you want. Call today for a quote!