Fixing Squeaky Floors
Creaky and squeaky wooden floors add character to every home. However, we are sure that given a choice, every homeowner would prefer to enjoy a beautiful and durable wooden floor that is not that noisy and annoying. A quiet floor is not just a matter of comfort and minimal disruption and squeakiness of the wooden floor are not just annoying.
Sometimes noisy wooden floors show signs of an actually deeper and more serious problem you need to deal with on time in order to prevent expensive repairs or even replacement of the floor. In addition, if you are planning to list your home on the estate market soon or later, homebuyers would not be happy to hear the noisy flooring as it often is a sign of an older house that needs some attention, which means you may not be able to get the price you are looking for.
So if enough is just enough for you and you want to forget about the squeaky flooring sharing your best-kept secret that every night you are crossing the kitchen to have a late-night snack from the fridge, it is about time to take care of the annoying squeakiness. Fortunately, noisy wooden floors are almost always a subject of repair and fixing. Thankfully, repair techniques utilised for fixing noisy floors are much easier, time-saving, and inexpensive than tearing your entire floor up and having it re-installed.
Why Do Wooden Floors Squeak?
Before you rush to call your local reliable wood floor repair service provider, you are recommended to learn more about what actually causes wooden floors to be noisy and how you can prevent time or at least postpone it for as long as possible. When it comes to squeaky floors, the underlying reason is almost always friction. In almost all cases, wooden floors are noisy because of two flooring elements rubbing against each other. These could be:
- Nails or staples that have lost their power to hold the floorboards tight. If nails and staples get loose, they start rubbing through the hole in the floorboard. Most of the creaks on wooden floors are usually traced back to this problem.
- Two floorboards that are loose and rubbing against each other will also create a creaking sound. Perimeter floorboards may also rub against other flooring elements such as a stud.
- Another reason for the creaking sound could be also subfloor fasteners pulling in and out of the underlying joist.
- Metal ductwork may also start rubbing against the hole in the flooring that brings the duct up to floor level. However, this is rarely the reason, because the metal ductwork is located around the perimeter of the room and this is the area of the flooring that does not experience the main traffic and people do not walk too much there.
- Another reason for the squeaky noise could be uneven or bowed joists rubbing against the subfloor.
As you can tell, almost all the reasons for your floor to get squeaky and noisy are caused by different elements of the flooring system getting loose over time and starting to rub against each other. In most cases, once the friction is stopped, you will be able to get rid of the creaking sound too. This usually involves controlling all these elements and making sure that at least one of them is fixed and prevented from moving so the friction is stopped too.
Repairing Squeaky Floors From Below
Many of the issues causing the creaking noise can be fixed from below the floor if there is access to a crawlspace or a basement. In these cases, the repair will be easier and quicker. In many situations, it will be invisible too. In case of space if fixed and there is a ceiling, removing a part of the ceiling may be considered and replacing it, so the wood floor repair professionals could gain access to the floor.
This situation is better and often recommended instead of repairing the floor from above. Compared to repairing the floor from above, drywall removal and replacements might be messy, however, it is usually more affordable, easier, takes less time and guarantees that specialists will be able to get directly to the heart of the noisy floor issue.
Locate the Creak
The easiest way to determine the location of the creak is by having someone walking on the floor from above. This means you will be able to pinpoint exactly where the sound is the strongest from below. Once you pinpoint it, make sure to mark it. Next, some of the methods below could be used for fixing the squeaky floor issues.
Shim the Floorboards
Use a wood shim to tap between the joist and the floorboards or the subfloor. Does it work? If yes, remove the shim, apply some wood floor adhesive and insert the shim again far enough to make the squeaky noise stop.
Pull the Floor Layers Together
Wood shims are used for separating different wood flooring elements and this stops the friction between them that creates the squeaky noise. However, a product called Squeak-Ender could be used instead for helping you fix the issue too. The Squeak-ender does pretty much the opposite thing and it pulls the flooring layers together, bringing them back to their initial shape and state and by stopping the friction between them. This is often a preferred method by wood floor repair specialists as it prevents the bowing effect that wooden shims may cause.
Another method for fixing the squeaky floor issue is by sistering a two-by-four along the joist then butting up against the subfloor or the wooden floorboards. This method works particularly good when the joists are bent, twisted, or malformed and damaged in another way.
Glueing the Floor
Another efficient way to make sure all wood floor elements are in place and no friction is created between loose elements is simply by running a long bead of wood flooring or construction adhesive in the seams between the joists and the floorboards or the subfloor.
Lateral control is often as important as vertical control and it could be particularly efficient for stopping the friction between wood flooring elements. All that needs to be done is putting two-by-eight boards to fit between the joists' midpoints, then tap them into place and hammer into the joists with nails. This method is useful for fixing joists that lack blocking or when the current blocks are not doing their job properly.
Repairing Squeaky Floors From Above
In case you don't have access to the bottom side of the flooring or gaining it is difficult, you can opt for fixing the squeaky floor from above. Wood flooring repair specialists can utilise a few different options for top-side repairs of noisy floors:
- Solid or engineered wood floorboards may cause creaking noise by rubbing against each other. It may help you squirt powdered graphite between the boards as it will help to decrease the friction by filling up the empty space. Make sure to lightly rub the product into the seams with the help of a cloth or a soft brush. Vacuum the excess and it is all done.
- One of the most common reasons for a squeaky floor is when the floorboards are dried out due to decreased humidity levels, especially in wintertime and with the heating on. Therefore, it is recommended to invest in a humidifier that will gently raise the indoor humidity levels and by this prevent the squeaky problem.
- The floor covering could be pulled back for gaining access to the heart of the problem. The minimally attached types of flooring that can be easily pulled back are wall to wall carpeting, edge-stapled resilient flooring, and floating wood floors. Once the squeaky sound is located, one-inch screws could be driven into the joists and through the subfloor near the problem areas.
- Squeaky solid wood and engineered wood floors can be fixed by drilling a pilot hole at an angle through the floorboard and directly above the joist. Then using a hammer, a one-inch finish nail is driven down through the pilot hole. The nail is then countersunk with a nail set. A matching wood floor filler is used for filling in the tiny whole. An exact colour match should be chosen for blending the treated spot with the rest of the floor.
Our flooring service comes with obligation-free site visit, quick quotations and free advice. Give us a call on 020 88309782 to speak to a member of our staff, who can arrange for a free assessment of your floor sanding or wood floor fitting service at a convenient for you time.