Squeaky hardwood floors: 5 Steps Stop Squeaks From Below Now!


Stop the squeak today!

Squeaky hardwood floors are a nuisance and can be difficult to deal with. Whether it’s your first time dealing with squeaks or you’re an old pro, there are 5 quick steps that will stop the noise immediately. The solutions come from both professionals and homeowners who have lived through their own squeaks and found success in just one of these methods.

Squeaky floors are a very common problem in many homes (not just old homes).

If you have an open basement and access to the subfloor and joists you can easily fix the problem in just a few minutes. I’ll show you the exact steps you need and the tools to quickly get it done.

If you want to fix the squeaky floors from below then here are some tips to help you do it.

Best Solution? Use a partner to help locate the squeak, use shims fill the gap, use glue to secure the floor so it does not move anymore.

Process & tooltips

Step #1. Get Shims

Place shims in the gap above the joist and the subfloor. You may need to use several depending on how big the gap is. You can get wood or plastic shims. The plastic ones are notched at segmented locations on the shim making it easier to break off.

Step #2. Partner Up

Partner up. Have a partner or friend walk on the floor above you. Use your phones so you can easily talk and quickly locate where the squeak is coming from. Chances are your subfloor will have multiple squeaks and will need to be fixed in several locations.

Step #3. Break them off

Cut them off. Once the shims are in place you can snap or break them off.

Step #4. Glue It

Glue gun. Press glue into the gap. Use a quality construction glue like Liquid Nails Subfloor & Deck Construction Adhesive Low VOC to secure the subfloor in place and it will not move again. The low VOC is important since you won’t have the VOCs polluting your indoor air quality.

Step #5. Gixing your squeaky floors on stairs

The same principle applies to the stairs. However, in most situations, you can see underneath the stairs and see if there is any structural issues. In most cases it is the same problem as on your main floor.

Flip the drill.
Instead of drilling down into the hardwood from above you can take advantage of the space under the stairs to drill upwards into the bottom of the OSB and then into the hardwood floor. You can use the same breakaway screws or save money with using smaller drywall screws to screw up into the stairs.

What causes floors to squeak and crack?

The problem of squeaky floors is generally seen in older homes. There is a finished floor in every home, the floor we can see. But there is a floor beneath the finish floor that no one can see.

That floor is commonly called a subfloor. Below the subfloor, there are joists which perpendicularly run to the finish floor. They all are nailed together.

Over time, the wood leads to expansion and contraction and as it expands and contracts, some of the nails become loose. When they become loose, there is a gap created and therefore, they squeak when you walk on them.

Sometimes, the nails squeak in and out of the board and sometimes the boards squeak against each other if they are warped. Therefore, this is the reason causing squeaky floors.

Further, the floors can crack if the floor joists, which is embedded, below the subfloor, twist or shrink.

Are squeaky floors safe?

Yes. This is the most common question that people ask. Builders and homeowners will tell you that squeaky floors are just annoying and (in most cases) are safe.

If the home is really old or has structural issues due to the walls settling then the home is now safe in general. You will have more to worry about in that situation.  

But this is not the case. Squeaky floors are not a very big deal (the vast majority of the time). They do not damage your home. Having a squeaky floor is a very common annoyance in wooden flooring.

The floors squeak because of the contraction and expansion of the wood and the floors separating and moving the nail up and down. But they don’t lead to the collapse of your floors, making it safe.

Wrapping Up

Solving the problem of squeaky homes is not a difficult task and you don’t need to spend a fortune by hiring a pro to fix it. You can do it yourself. This article discussed the different methods to fix your squeaky floors.

The pros of fixing the squeaky floors fast are:

  • No more irritating noise;
  • Inlaws or family can sleep in downstairs bedrooms without hearing you walk above them!
  • You don’t have to be worried about your safety;
  • Less annoyance when people are walking above you and you hear every step they make

The cons of ignoring the issue

The cons of ignoring the issue are:

  • The irritating noise follow us everywhere;
  • The age of the floors is reduced;
  • Your family may complain about the floors. Mine did.

To summarize, we can say that the squeaky floors are easy to fix up. You can fix it up yourself by reading this article. So, if you are a homeowner who is looking to fix your squeaky floors, then you can fix this all by yourself.

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D. Hahn

DIY guru, dad, husband, blogger. When I'm not creating life hacks I'm teaching my kids how to fix stuff after their dad breaks it.

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