A squeaky floor is one of the most irritating problems in any house. No matter how new or old your house is, it is always possible to find a squeak or a creek in your floorboards. They can give us a fright in the night and wind us up on a relaxing day. Fortunately, you don’t need to live with it much longer.
There are a few different methods you can take to fix a squeaky floor, and none of them are more work than a bit of DIY. If you have a bit of spare time and you are willing to get to work, this article will show you how to make the little home improvements that can give you some well-earned peace and quiet. With just some blocks of wood, some screws, or some construction adhesive, you can eliminate the squeaks in your house in no time.
How To Quiet A Squeaky Floor
Locate The Squeak
The first step to eliminating your squeaky floor problem is to find where the squeak is actually coming from. Anybody who has been trying to avoid a creaking step or doorway in the middle of the night will know that this isn’t as easy a task as it seems. Really, it is a two-person job.
The best way to locate a squeak is to have a friend or family member to walk around the house for you while you can listen to find out which steps are causing the noise. To be most effective, try to get into the room underneath the offending floor. This way, you can make a better judgment as to where the squeak is, and see how to solve it straight away. Otherwise, you will find yourself running up and down the stairs trying to find it again and again.
Once you hear the noise, call for your partner to stand still and test it again. Looking up at the joists under the flooring, you should be able to see a gap, in which case you just need to fill the gap in order to stop the problem. If not, it might be time to get out of the drill or glue.
Fill Gaps Between Joists
Noticing a gap between the joists under your floorboards is the easiest way to solve a squeaking problem. It doesn’t mean there is anything more serious going on with your flooring, and it is a problem that can happen regardless of how recently your home was built. There is nothing more to worry about, other than how to fill that gap.
For a small gap, all you need is a wood shim. If you stick some wood glue onto your shim, you can push it into the gap and let it settle in place. It is important that you do not try to force the shim into the gap too hard, as this could result in a bump sticking out of your floor. An uneven floorboard would end up only annoying you more than the noise.
While using a shim seems like an easy fix, it should only be used for those smaller gaps. If you find that the gaps are much longer, you should fill them up with construction adhesive instead. Using a lot of shims would be a waste and probably wouldn’t get you very far. Always check to see if there is a gap on the other side of the joist, too, in case more work is needed.
Repeat this for any other gaps you find and, once any adhesive has settled, you should have a squeak-free home.
Straighten Warped Joists
Sometimes you won’t be able to spot a gap, and normally this means you should take a closer look. One common problem can be that the joists under your floorboard have warped or changed shape in some way. Again, this is nothing to worry about as it can happen in any home dependent on the conditions.
If you find a joist has been warped, the best way to deal with it is to push it back into place with another piece of wood. An out of shape joist means that there is a gap between it and the floor because the joist no longer fills the space it was designed to. By taking a board of 2×4 or 2×6 wood and nailing it against the offending joist, you can force it back into position and close the gap.
It’s a good idea to start with some simple adhesive to stick the new length of wood down and then use nails to keep it in place. The support this piece of wood provides should stop the floor from squeaking the next time you walk across it.
Fill Joists With Blocks
Another method for fixing a squeaking problem is to stick full blocks of wood in between the joists. This may seem like more effort, but it can save you from having to look for a gap and it will be a very secure way of putting pressure on a warped joist.
To do this, you should cut a block of wood, which is the same size as the gap between the joists under your floorboards and then stick it in with some construction adhesive. It is important to get the dimensions right, or it will do very little to solve your problem. Once the block has been stuck down, some drywall screws are ideal for keeping it in place.
Screw Through The Squeaky Floor
Finally, you can also solve this problem with a drill. Drilling screws through the joists and into the floorboards above is a great way to ensure there are no gaps between the two. In turn, this should prevent any irritating noises.
When there is a gap between the joists and the floorboards, the wood tends to move around and the two parts rub against each other when you stand on them. This is the main cause of annoying squeaks. By drilling screws through the two pieces of wood, you prevent this movement from occurring.
Of course, you should be very careful when drilling into the floor from below, as you need to make sure that the screws won’t be protruding through your flooring when you have finished. If you think you have the right length of the screw, try drilling it somewhere hidden first to make sure it isn’t too long.