How Do You Fix a Creaky Hardwood Floor?
Jake Turns to Handyman Charlie Schloegel For Tips on Quieting a Squeaky Floor
I live in an older home with a lot of character, and hardwood floors throughout. Is there something I can do for my creaky, poppy hardwood floors without replacing them?
Dear Susie Q,
Thank you for writing in with your question. I asked my son Charlie, who runs our Handyman and Special Projects Department, to answer your question. Here it is:
Yes, those older homes sure do have character!
With regard to the creaking, popping, squeaky hardwood floors, there are a few remedies you can attempt.
- If you have exposed sub-floor from the basement, you may try running screws through the underside of the sub-floor into the backside of the floor boards. Depending on the age of the home and how many times the floors have been sanded, I’d suggest doing a sample in an inconspicuous area of the floor first. Run a ¾” or 1” screw through the underside of the sub-floor into the back side of the flooring. Be careful not to “countersink” the screw too far into the underside of the sub-floor to keep the screw head from popping through the face of the floor board.
- If the above is not an option due to a finished or hard ceiling in the basement, you can try using finish nails to tack the boards down through the finished side of the flooring. That being said, you’ll want to use a small diameter shank finish nail or a pin nail. Many different area hardware stores have these “guns” as tool rental options. Once the nails are in and the heads are countersunk you could fill the holes with a wax wood fill similar in color to the stain on the floors.
- There are devices that you can install to help eliminate the noisy floor. Here are two web sites that sell merchandise to quiet your floors: http://www.installerstore.com/Squeeeeek-No-More-Hardwood-Floor-Adapter.html or http://www.squeakyfloor.com/
- Call Schloegel Handyman. If you don’t feel comfortable with completing the process as outlined above, our team of professionals can assist with these types of projects.
Please keep in mind that sometimes in these homes with “character”, there could be plumbing and/or electrical or mechanical items that are near the sub-floor. Be careful when running screws or setting nails if you cannot see where they’re going. Also, you may want to complete an annual inspection of these nails/screws to ensure that heads of nails are not “popping up” or that the screw tip doesn’t start to poke through the face of the finished floor boards.
Best of luck on your home improvement project!
Charlie Schloegel, UDCP
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