Floor: Fixing a Squeaking Wood Floor

Fixing a Squeaking Wood Floor

Step 1 – Identify the problem. Wood floors have two layers, the floor boards, which you see, and the subflooring which lies beneath the floor boards. Squeaks are most often caused by the floor boards rubbing against each other or the subfloor pulling away from the joist.

Step 2 – If the floor boards are rubbing against each other, sweep some powdered graphite into the cracks. Step on the floor to work the graphite down into the cracks. If you are lucky this will stop the squeak, albeit, temporarily. To permanently fix the squeak you will need to drive two spiral flooring nails or better yet, two trim head screws, down through the floor boards and into the subfloor at opposing 45 degree angles. Pre-drill the nail or screw holes to prevent the wood from splitting. Use a nail set or counter sink drill bit to assure the heads are beneath the floor surface. Once done, fill the holes with colored wood putty.

Step 3 – If you have access to the sub floor and joist beneath your wood flooring, pin point the spot where the subfloor has pulled away from the joist by having someone walk on the problem area while you watch from below. Use a 2×4 piece of lumber at least 20” long to brace the subfloor along the joist. Place the board flat against the joist in such a manner that the board extends 10” to either side of the problem area and the 2” wide part of the board butts up against the subfloor. Use a longer 2×4 board to wedge the brace up tight against the subfloor and secure the brace to the joist with at least six screws.

Step 4 – Remove the longer 2×4 board and continue the above process until all your squeaks are silenced or you are able to rationalize that the remaining squeaks are an endearing feature of your beautiful and lived in home… whichever comes first.

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