How to Silence the 4 Types of Squeaky Floors

For those of you who have stepped in an older home with wood floors, you’ve probably heard the squeaks. It can be quaint and charming, it may even remind you of Grandma’s house. But for those living in the house hearing the squeaking all the time, it may be a nuisance and you really just want your floor to stop!

Sometimes those squeaks indicate a problem that needs attention. So we’re going to look at when you need to take action and how to quiet those squeaky boards.

Environmental Squeaks

First, determine if a change in the environment is causing the squeak. Wood naturally expands in the summer and contracts in the winter. The movement from this process will cause some squeaks.

When you start to notice this, don’t panic, just check the humidity levels in your home and make sure they are in the 35% to 55% range. If the air in your home is too dry, or too humid it may cause boards to move and squeak. This is considered seasonal and should go away once the air returns to the recommended range of 35% to 55% relative humidity.

If you’ve done all this and your squeak overstays its welcome, then it is time to dig deeper.

Board to Board Squeaks

The technical term for this is “deflection” and it happens in a localized area where the ends or the sides of the boards are rubbing. You’ll hear the squeak when you step on the boards that are rubbing together and you may also see the boards moving. It happens when boards are damaged due to excess moisture, improper subfloor preparation or improper installation.

Remedies are:

Subfloor Squeaks

Also known as “subfloor deflection,” this type of squeak comes from problems between the wood and the subfloor underneath. You may not see individual boards moving but movement of entire sections of the floor. If you can take two steps and the floor is still making noise, then you’re probably dealing with an issue related to the subfloor. It can be because of a weak subfloor, improper joist spacing, the wrong subfloor material, or improper nailing (too many or too few nails).

Remedies are:

  • Squeak No More
  • Squeak Relief
  • Shims
  • Installing screws through the flooring, subfloor and to the joist

Glue to Concrete Squeaks

If you have a floor glued to a concrete slab, something that is common in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, those floors may squeak as well. This is often caused by hollow spots between the flooring and the concrete slab. Usually this happens because the concrete is not leveled properly before installation, not enough adhesive was used, or it was inconsistently spread. Filling in the hollow spots with glue will take care of the problem.

Remedies are:

  • DriTac Repair Kits
  • Board Replacement

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