How to Fix Squeaky Floors
Are you tired of your home's squeaky floors? Squeaky floors are extremely common, but that doesn’t make them any less annoying. Luckily, most of them are relatively easy to fix. If you want to be able to walk across your house in peace again, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to fix a squeaky hardwood or carpet floor in 20 minutes or less. Call America’s Floor Source or visit one of our locations if you need help from one of our experienced installation professionals.
Let’s get started!
What Causes Squeaky Floors?
Floors start creaking when your home has settled and your wooden floors dry out, warp and shrink. Your floor's top layer, subfloor and joists separate from one another ever so slightly, and they move when weight is applied to them. When you walk across a noisy floor, the nails squeak as they slide in and out of your floor’s joists. To fix a squeaky floor, you’ll need to give the subfloor more support and keep the individual parts of your floor from rubbing against each other.
How to Fix Squeaky Hardwood Floors from Below
Always fix a squeaky floor from below if possible. This way, you won’t have to risk damaging the top of your floor. Plus, it’s easier to fix when you have direct access to your subfloor and floor joists.
Step 1: Pinpoint the squeak
To pinpoint the problem area from below, have someone walk over the squeaky area above you. Look for gaps in-between the subfloor and the joists where the noise is occurring. You might even be able to see the subfloor move as the person walks over the area above you.
Step 2: Measure the gap
Once you’ve located the problem area, you’ll need to evaluate the size of the gap between the subfloor and the joist. The height and length of the gap will determine which material you need to fill it with.
Step 3: Fill in the gap
Fill the gap between the subfloor and the joist using one or more of these methods:
Insert a wooden shim
If the gap is small and isolated, you can just spread some carpenter’s glue onto a wooden shim and tap it into the gap with a hammer. Don’t force the shim in too far; you could create a hump in the floor above. The shim should be just snug enough to support the subfloor.
Use construction adhesive
If the gap between the subfloor and the joist is particularly long, you can fill the gap with construction adhesive. Use a caulk gun to force the adhesive in-between the joist and the subfloor. Long gaps usually only appear on one side of a joist, but you should check the other side just in case.