How can I fix a squeaky wood floor?

We often run into squeaky floors when we are about to install a new one. At times we get a call about a new squeak after a new floor is just installed.

Let’s talk about some of these issues I have seen in my 35 years of working on flooring projects.

Before an install:

Loose 2”x6” subfloor is common and can be screwed down rather than nailed. Screws do hold tighter and longer. Also if we can use glue or construction adhesive as well that will really make the correction last. Sometimes you need to add more support under the area to hold an area firm. This can be done by getting under the house or cutting the area open.

At times we find the home is old and the subfloor is just weak or never had right support and needs more structural support. You can add another layer of subfloor or replace the existing with a thicker or harder plywood or cement board. Adhere it with adhesive before nailing will keep the area stronger yet and firm up the structure.

Addressing squeaks after installation:

This can be a little more difficult at times for you do not want to damage the existing flooring.

I have seen many squeaky floors next to bathtubs where the floor is moving and the tub is not and they are just rubbing against each other. In this case we need to clean out the area in front of the tub where the underlayment is touching the tub. This can be done with a utility knife or chisel then re-caulk the areas at the tub filling the gap at tub with caulking.

Hardwood flooring will also squeak when two boards rub together. A thin blade can be used to clean the gap and wood putty can be used to clean up the area when completed. Working in talcum powder between the two boards as worked more times than not as well.

At times we find the Wood is loose and a hollow spot is causing the movement and thus the squeak. These areas can be drilled with a fine drill bit, a hypodermic needle is used to inject adhesive. You can find kits on line made for this project.

We have had to resort to cutting open a vinyl floor and carefully pulling back a corner of a patterned area, add a screw to the floor and then glue and seal the new seam. This should only be done by a professional.

With carpet you can pull up a corner or even nail a finish nail right through the carpet and pad. Be sure to hit the nail down past the pad.

I hope these ideas help you with your project. 

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