How to Stop Squeaky Floors

How to Stop Squeaky Floors

Repair noisy floors and eliminate stubborn squeaks and creaks. Floors and stairs squeak when wooden floorboards or structural elements rub against each other, when the bridging between joists flexes under traffic, or when floorboards have not been properly nailed to the subfloor.

Skill Level: Beginner
Time:
  1. Step 1 Shimming the Subfloor

    Shimming the Subfloor

    If floor joists are not tight against the subfloor in the area that's squeaking, shimming may solve the problem. Wedge shims between the joist and subfloor and tap them into place. Don't pound the shims because they could lift the floorboards and cause more squeaking.

  2. Step 2 Cleating the Subfloor

    Cleating the Subfloor

    Where several boards in the subfloor above a joist are moving, securing them with a cleat works better than shimming the boards individually. A piece of 1x4, wedged against the subfloor and nailed to the joist solves this problem.

  3. Step 3 Reinforcing Joists

    Reinforcing Joists

    Squeaking over a large area may indicate that the joists beneath the floor are shifting slightly and inadequately supporting the subfloor. Steel bridging, nailed between joists, keeps the joists from moving side to side and stabilizes the subfloor.

  4. Step 4 Driving Screws From Below

    Driving Screws From Below

    Drill a pilot hole through the subfloor, then a smaller pilot hole into the finished floor. Have someone stand on the raised boards while you pull them tight with a wood screw.

  5. Step 5 Nailing From Above

    Nailing From Above

    When you can't get access to the floor from below, drill pilot holes and nail through the surface. Locate the floor joists and nail directly into them for a fastening job that won't work loose. Countersink the nail heads.

  6. Step 6 Anchoring Stair Treads

    Anchoring Stair Treads

    Driving flooring nails at opposing angles assures they won't come loose again. With hardwood treads, drill pilot holes for the nails, drive the nails into the risers, and countersink the nail heads. Fill the nail holes with wood putty.

     

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