Squeaky floors are a result of either the sub-floor sheets or the floorboards rubbing against each other. The friction created causes vibrations, which as interpreted as noise.
Many people either choose to ignore the noise or accept to live with it. However, a significant squeak can primarily affect the value of your home, especially if it’s in the market.
Fortunately, you can fix it with the right equipment and know-how.
Repairing a Noisy Wood Floor from the Underside
1. Locate the Origin of the Noise
Stand in the basement and look up at the sub-floors as another person walks around hunting for the source of the squeaks. Listen and look out for the problematic area(s) so you can isolate the problem.
2. Add Weight on the Squeaks from Above
Weighting the floor from the upper side helps in compressing the floorboards, and this mainly increases the effectiveness of your repair.
Therefore, consider using some pieces of furniture, heavy books, hefty objects, barbell weights, or even asking someone to stand or sit on the squeaky area to keep the floorboards compressed as you work.
3. Attach Braces Between the Joists and the Sub-floor
If the squeaks are resulting from loose joists and subfloor, the best option to fix it is to attach a brace to help secure things and get rid of the annoying noise. By contracting with local home remodeling Houston tx experts you can find the right expertise at your doorstep.
Squeak-Ender is one of the best brands of joist-support. It is readily available at home repair stores for a few bucks – it is a metal brace that can be used to connect between the noisy sub-floor and the joist.
4. Fix Wood Shims Between the Joists and the Subfloor
Shims are small and thin wood pieces. They are used for squaring up carpentry projects, filling up the gaps and preventing things from squeaking and swelling. Shims can be used to repair squeaky floors caused by small spaces that don’t need a brace.
- Once you have identified the origin of the noise, but the only negligible play between joists and the subfloor, buy a packet of small shins and use them to fill up the gaps that make the noise. Apply carpentry glue on the shims and slide them ingot the gaps.
- Avoid forcing the shims into smaller spaces or forcing the floorboard up since this will only make the noise worse or transfer it to a different area. Therefore, weight down the floor from the upper side first before inserting the shims.
5. Screw Down the Subfloor into the Floorboard
When looking for a quick fix, wood screws can be used to tighten the floorboard yourself. Even though this is a first approach in quieting a noisy floor, it works instantly by connecting the floorboard and the subfloor and thus giving more stability with wood screws. Just drill in a pilot hole with a power drill the estimated size of the screws.
Repairing a Noisy Wood Floor from the Upper Side
1. If Necessary, Take out the Carpet from the Affected Area
This step is not necessary if you have a hardwood floor. Therefore, you can skip it and proceed to find the joist. If your floor is carpeted, you can either cut small strips of it or consider screws that are carpet-friendly.
- Use kits such as Squeak-No-More with carpeting.
- If you insist on taking out the carpet, stay close to the squeak area and keep it secure and clean for easy reattachment with carpet adhesive. Consider pulling a segment near a seam as opposed to cutting the middle part. Working along a natural seam will ensure easy cover-up for your work, thus giving out a clean finish.
2. Find the Joist that is Nearest to the Noise
Walk around the squeaky area until you can positively identify the noisy spot. Then, try to locate the joist closest to the noise using a stud-finder or any heavy object like a hammer to tap the floor. Joists sound flattered while the other parts sound deeper.
3. Install the Loose Floorboard to the Joist
Drill some holes through the subfloor and the noisy boards and attach them to the beam to securely fix it. Some kits have break-away screws which always give a clean finish since they are less detectable, especially through a carpet.
4. Get a Clean Finish by Filling the Holes using Wood Putty
When working on a hardwood floor, consider using wood putty to maintain a smooth and clean spot. Wood putty (or plastic wood) is putty made by mixing sawdust with a binder. It is most effectively used to fill the holes around nails. Just apply a little amount and sand the area. Wood putty can be purchased from most home repair stores at an affordable price. Also, try matching the wood putty with the rest of the floorboard.
5. Sand Down the Spot to Smoothen It
In some cases, you might consider smoothing over the installed screw to give a smooth finish. Consider using sandpaper with excellent grain, and also don’t go overboard with it.
There are various ways on how to quiet a noisy floor. The equipment and skill needed for the repair depending on the extent of the damage. For example, if the squeak isn’t that bad, it can be easily fixed by applying baby powder, talcum powder, powdered graphite, or powdered soapstone. You can even try spraying WD-40 on the affected area(s). However, if the whole floor squeaks, or moves under the foot, it might be an indication of a more significant problem in the structure.