How To Eliminate Floor Squeaks: In Hardwood Floors

What You'll Need

Floor squeaks are one of the most common problems you can encounter at home. The cause of floor squeaks is most likely a loose area in the hardwood flooring. Do not worry about the noise because you can solve the problem quite easily.

Step 1 – Check the Floor

Check the floor for squeaks by letting someone else walk over the floor while you inspect the movement below or at ground level. If you have access to your hardwood flooring from the underside, solve the floor squeaks from there. If you do not have a crawl space or a basement in your home, you will need to work from the surface of the flooring. You can start thinking about the solution when you find the location of the cause.

Step 2 – Fix the Bridging

You may discover that the source of the squeak is somewhere between one joist and the one next to it; if so, the bridging is probably loose or not fixed properly. The looseness will cause the joist or the subfloor to move. In order to rectify the bridging, fix it again securely with nails and place a piece cut from a board into the space between the two flooring joists.

Step 3 – Inspect the Subfloor

Check whether the subfloor is arching in an upward direction or dipping downward. If you see the subfloor is heading down, put a solid piece of bridging into the space between the two joists to bring the subfloor back up and secure the flooring joists with nails from all sides.

On the other hand, if the subfloor is in an arching position, put a solid piece of bridging between the two joists and cover a shim with glue. Put this shim in the space between the subfloor and the bridge. Keep pushing the shim until you notice the subfloor is not moving anymore.

The cause may be the subfloor again if you hear squeaking noises coming from the floor and when you look down, you notice light between the joist and the subfloor. Place a straightedge on the joist; if it shows the floor is straight, coat a shim with glue and put it in the gap below. If you notice the joist heading down, use a 2-by-4-inch piece of wood and cut it at a length a bit longer than the space. Fix it against the joist securely with screws or nails.

Step 4 – Use Wood Screws and Flooring Nails

You may have problems with humidity in your home, and humidity can cause your flooring to expand in such a way that it separates from the subfloor. In this case, you will have floor squeaks because the hardwood and the subfloor are not fixed together.

Fix some 1 1/4-inch wood screws against the subfloor until they penetrate to the flooring. Use washers so the screws cannot be pulled out of place. You may also need to fix the floor with flooring nails and hide the holes with wood putty.