HouseTask.com -- Home Improvement, Remodeling and Repair
Tips and Advice on Home Improvement, Remodeling and Home Repairs
 

Home
Appliances
Asbestos
Attics
Basements
Bathrooms
Cabinets
Caulking
Ceilings
Contractors
Decks
Doors
Driveways
Electrical
Energy Efficiency
Fireplace
Floors
Furniture
Garages
Get Organized
Gutters
Home Inspections
Home Safety
Home Security
Insects
Insulation
Kitchen
Landscaping
Lighting
Miscellaneous
New Construction
Painting
Paneling
Patios
Plumbing
Porches
Remodeling
Repairs
Roofing
Shelving
Siding
Stairs
Tools
Walls
Windows
Woodwork
Question of the Week
Tip of the Week
Recommended Books
Resources
Glossary
Contact Sam

Silencing Squeaky Floors

By Jim Sulski

Summary: Squeaking floors can drive anyone crazy. Silence a squeaky floor by learning what causes the squeak and how to fix it.

If your home is beginning to sound like a haunted house because of squeaky wood floors, there's no reason to call a ghostbuster. Instead, simply silence the squeaks.
(article continues below useful links)

Squeaky floors are common in many homes but they can be easily repaired with a minimal amount of effort. Squeaks do not mean your wooden floor is in bad shape. Basically, they're an annoyance and they're found in most homes,

Floors squeak because the wood goes through seasonal changes. In the summer, it absorbs humidity and expands slightly. And in the winter when the furnace is on, the house dries out and the wood shrinks and pulls away from the nails.

In addition to nature, floor squeaks could by caused by poor flooring installation when the house was being built.

In addition to being an annoyance, floor squeaks should be repaired prior to any refinishing of the wooden floor. This will ensure uniformity to the floor finish and will prevent any blemishes when later silencing the squeaks.

WHY FLOORS SQUEAK

Floors squeak when someone walks across the floor and the loose wood pieces rub up against each other or a nail, said the experts.

The squeaks come from either the top level finished flooring (the wood floor you actually step on) or the subfloor (usually a thick piece of plywood under the finished floor) that's attached to the floor joists below.

If the squeaks seem to only be coming from a small area, it's probably a problem with the finished flooring. If the squeak comes from a larger area, it's probably being caused by movement of the subfloor. In most cases, said the experts, it's the subfloor that causes most squeaks.

Usually subfloors squeak as joists warp slightly over the years and pull away from the subfloor. This results in loose nails and this results in squeaks.

FIXING SQUEAKS FROM BELOW

The best way to silence a squeak is to attack it from the floor joists below. If the squeaky floor is on the first floor, your basement ceiling is unfinished, and the floor joists are exposed above, you're in good shape.

The first step is to locate the squeak. Hence, you'll need someone to walk on the floor above you. Particularly watch for any movement of the floor joists, which is the major cause of the squeaks.

Once you locate the squeak, the first thing to check for is if the subfloor has separated from the floor joists (or floor truss).

If it has, take a piece of hardwood - such as a one by four - and nail it to the joist so that it's tightly resting up against the subfloor. Then use some construction adhesive and fill in the gap between the subfloor and floor joist.

When the glue hardens, it will keep the floor from compressing and eliminate the squeak.

Another remedy is to fill the gap by tapping a shingle wedge under the squeaky spot. But be careful not to push the wedging in too far and accidentally raise the flooring.

If the squeak is the result of loose finished flooring, drill a hole from the subfloor below up into the finished floor. Be careful not to drill all the way through. Then use a wood screw to draw the finished flooring back down to subfloor. Make sure the wood screw you use is not longer than the subfloor and finished floor. The screw will pull the finished floor back down against and the subfloor and eliminate the squeak.

FIXING SQUEAKS FROM ABOVE

If the squeaky floor is on the second floor or above, you will have to attack the squeak from above. And the repair will have to be made with a screw or nail.

First, you will need to remove any carpeting or other floor covering over the squeak.

Locate the squeak and find the joist closest to the squeak by tapping the floor with the handle of a hammer and trying to notice the difference in sound.

Next, you'll need a few spiral-shaped flooring nails that somewhat resemble screws. Flooring nails are available at most hardware or home improvement stores.

After drilling pilot holes into the floor to guide the nails, drive them through the finished floor, the subfloor and into the joist. Then, using a nail punch, countersink the screw or nail heads so they are below the surface of the floor.

Next, use a piece of dowel or wood caps to plug the hole. Make sure the caps are the same size as the countersink hole so that they fit snugly in the hole. And then try to match the plug to the rest of the floor with a little stain.

© by Jim Sulski. All rights reserved. June 20, 2005.

NOTE: This column is distributed by Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, Illinois, 60022. This column may not be resold, reprinted, resyndicated or redistributed without written permission from the publisher. 

2005 by Ilyce R. Glink. Distributed by Real Estate Matters Syndicate.

 

 

 

RSS Feeds

RSS 0.91 Feed
RSS 1.0 Feed
RSS 2.0 Feed
ATOM Feed

Appliances    Air Conditioners - Energy Efficiency - Refrigerators - Water Purification System
Asbestos    Asbestos in the Home
Attics    Attic Improvements
Basements    Refinishing Basements - Water Damage
Bathrooms    Bathroom Exhaust Fans - Bathroom Showers - Bathroom Tile
Cabinets    Installing Cabinets
Caulking    Caulking Basics
Ceilings    Ceiling Fans - Repairing Ceilings
Contractors    Hiring Contractors - Working With Contractors
Decks    Maintaining Decks
Doors    Door Repairs - Doorbells - Installing a New Door
Driveways    Asphalt and Blacktop - Concrete
Electrical    Light Fixtures - Outdoor Electrical
Energy Efficiency    Thermostats
Fireplace    Electrical Fireplaces - Fireplace Maintenance and Repair - Gas Fireplaces - Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Floors    Floor Heating Systems - Hardwood Floors
Furniture    Furniture Repair -
Garages    Attached Garages - Garage Door Openers
Get Organized    Shelves
Gutters    Gutter Repairs
Home Inspections    Finding a Home Inspector
Home Safety    Child Proofing - Fire Safety
Home Security    Home Security System
Insects    Carpenter Ants - Pest Control Tips - Termites
Insulation    Loose Fill Insulation
Kitchen    Kitchen Cabinets - Kitchen Repairs - Kitchen Sinks and Counters -
Landscaping    Fences - Landscaping Basics
Lighting    Light Fixtures - Outdoor Lighting
Miscellaneous    Home Improvement
New Construction    New Construction Problems
Painting    Exterior Painting - Interior Painting - Spray Paint
Paneling    Installing Paneling - Paneling Maintenance
Patios    Patio Ideas
Plumbing    Clogged Drains - Faucets and Sinks - Pipes - Toilets
Porches    Porch Repairs
Remodeling    Demolition
Repairs    Emergency Repairs - Miscellaneous Repairs - Safety Tips
Roofing    Roof Problems - Skylights
Shelving    Installing Shelves
Siding    Installing Siding
Stairs    Stair Repair
Tools    Electric Tools
Walls    Drywall - Framing Walls - Repairing Walls
Windows    Glass Block Windows - Repairing Windows
Woodwork    Woodwork Restoration
    Contact Us | Sitemap | Terms of Use | Copyright ©2001-2005. ThinkGlink Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction of material from any www.HouseTask.com pages without written permission is strictly prohibited.
Site design by Walker Sands Communications