Persistent floor squeaks, a common nuisance in many homes, often occur once the house settles, causing hardwood planks to dry and contract. As you walk across the floor, the panels may rub against each other or glide over nail shafts, producing unpleasant screeches and scrapes. Additionally, unstable subflooring, whether solid board or plywood, can emit piercing squeaks. While traditional hardwood strip flooring is particularly prone to such noises, any type of flooring can contribute to the problem. Fortunately, addressing noisy hardwood floors is relatively straightforward, and here are some methods to consider:

Repairing from Below:

If the flooring is above a cellar or basement, accessing it from underneath can facilitate repairs. Have someone walk across the floor while you listen from below to identify the source of the squeaks. Once located, insert a narrow wood shim coated with carpenter’s glue between the joist and subfloor at the noisy spot. Be cautious not to press it too deeply to avoid lifting the floor covering. The aim is to fill any gaps and stabilize the floorboards. For added reinforcement, drive a 1 ¼ inch drywall screw upward through the joist and shim, securing it into the subfloor. Alternatively, consider using a product like the Squeak-Ender, a hardware piece designed to reduce floorboard noise from underneath.

Repairing from Above:

If access from below is not feasible, repairs must be made from above. The Squeeeeek-No-More Kit is suitable for carpeted floors over a wooden subfloor, whereas the Counter-Snap Kit is designed for hardwood floors. Both kits utilize breakaway screws to minimize damage to the floor surface while effectively eliminating squeaks. Follow the instructions provided with the respective kits to locate joists and secure the screws in place.

Addressing Noisy Staircases:

Staircases can also produce squeaks due to loose connections between lumber components. To address this issue, access the backside of the staircase if possible and secure shims coated with glue between parallel treads and perpendicular risers. Alternatively, attach wood blocks at the intersections of risers and treads. If access from the back is not feasible, consider using narrow wood shims or installing quarter-round molding along each step to reduce noise.

While complete silence may not be achievable, these methods can significantly reduce floorboard squeaks and enhance the overall comfort of your home.