How to Fix Squeaky Floating Wood Flooring
Fixing squeaky floating wood flooring is much different than fixing squeaks in normal wood flooring. Unlike traditional wood flooring, floating wood flooring is not directly attached to sub-flooring like concrete. Instead, the top-most layer hovers over a thin layer of interlocking tongue and groove joints. Installing this type of flooring is made much easier because of this; it can be installed on a thin foam-rubber pad, or even on top of tile or vinyl. Unfortunately, this characteristic also makes floating wood flooring more challenging to fix should it start to squeak. In fact, the only permanent fix is to replace the wood that is squeaking. It's a fairly straightforward task, and if you've got home repair experience, it can be accomplished in 1 to 2 hours.
Step 1 - Remove the Squeaking Section
Using your straight edge and pencil, draw a square or rectangular box around the part of the floor that is squeaking. Before using chisels, hammer, power tools, make sure to put on safety glasses or goggles. Use a circular saw to cut around the box you've drawn, making sure to leave at least 1 inch of space between your cut and the seam of the floorboards you intend to keep in place. If the flooring is the kind that clicks together it should come out easily. If it is glued together, take extra precaution when removing the cut piece. Gently wiggle the cut piece until it comes free, being careful not to affect the adjacent floorboards.
Step 2 - Remove Smaller Chunks
A few small pieces should remain. Using the hammer and chisel, loosen these smaller pieces until you can pull them free. Again, be careful when loosening these smaller chunks of wood as any excessive force can chip or ding the adjacent flooring.
Step 3 - Clean Grooves and Tongues
Cover the head of the slot cutter with blue masking tape to avoid damaging the surface you're working on. Move the slot cutter along the edge of the flooring that was cut out. This is to clean glue and other debris from the groove and tongue layers. The area above the tongue must be cleaned using a utility knife.
Step 4 - Cut Out New Flooring
Place the cut piece on top of your new floating wood flooring. Use the straight edge and pencil to trace the perimeter of the cut piece onto the new floorboard. Use the table saw to cut out the correct size strip of new flooring.
Step 5 - Attach New Flooring
Apply wood glue to the edges of the flooring that is already set. To fit in the new piece of the floorboard, connect the tongues on either side of it with the grooves of the flooring already in place. Slide the new piece in at an angle for the best results.
Step 6 - Wrap-up
Use the cloth to wipe away excess glue. The glue will need at least 24 hours to dry. To ensure the boards don't warp, place a piece of wax paper over the area with a granite block on top. The wax paper will soak up any wood glue that seeps out. 24 hours later, remove the wax paper and the weight. Wipe away any remaining glue and check for warping.
Repairing floating wood flooring is not as simple as performing repairs on traditional wood flooring. It's a process that takes patience and a moderate degree of home repair experience.