Squeaky Floors

Having a floor that is squeaking, creaking, or experiencing other noises can be frustrating.

It’s important to remember that all wood floors, especially those that are nailed down, will experience some normal squeaks and other noises that may increase as the floor ages.

Squeaky Floors Infographic: Movement is why your floor squeaks
Download our Squeaky Floors Infographic.

Squeaks can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Seasonal movement of flooring boards
  • Subfloors that are not level or stable
  • Joists that are not level or stable
  • Settling of the home’s foundation
  • Voids or gaps between the subfloor and flooring
  • Improper fasteners used to nail the floor down
  • Improper spacing between fasteners
  • Fasteners that are over or under-set
  • Poor quality, or degraded subfloor material

All of the above factors are job-site or installation related and can be prevented by following proper job-site conditions and installation steps as outlined by the manufacturer and/or the National Wood Flooring Association’s industry standards.

What about mis-milled floors?

Because of the wide variety of flooring constructions, thicknesses and moisture content of wood flooring at installation, manufacturers do not publish milling tolerances. A manufacturer can only control for milling tolerances at the environmental conditions during the manufacturing process.

In conditions drier than those during manufacturing, tongue and groove construction will become more loose. In conditions more humid, tongue and groove construction will become more tight. For this reason, it is very difficult to fault a manufacturer for milling tolerance at the jobsite environment.

It is always the installer’s responsibility to evaluate all flooring prior to and during installation for proper tongue and groove fit. Where any concern is identified, secondary methods can be applied to ensure a quiet floor. This could include but is not limited to gluing, screwing, or top nailing. If the installer is not comfortable with these methods or still concerned in any way about the floor’s milling and fit, they should stop installation immediately and consult the manufacturer.

While not always required, the use of glue to assist nail-down installations can greatly reduce the chance of floors squeaking, popping, creaking, or making other noises over time.

Are squeaky floors covered by warranty?

Squeaks, creaks, and other noises are not covered by manufacturer’s warranties because they are nearly always related to poor job-site conditions, or mistakes during installation. These are things that a manufacturer cannot control.

Our Installation Guide states:

“NOTE: Our flooring is not warrantied against squeaking, popping or crackling when using staple-down or nail-down installation methods. Some squeaking, popping or crackling is normal and possible when using staple-down or nail-down installation methods. These symptoms may be aggravated in drier areas or during dry conditions.”

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