How to Prevent Hardwood Floors from Squeaking (5 Strategies)

Squeaky hardwood floors are common. They typically occur when a house has settled and the hardwood flooring has dried out, causing shrinking. However, it may also happen due to other contributing factors, some of which we examine here.

You can try to fix the floor yourself. But hiring a professional hardwood flooring supplier and/or installer ensures that the problem is taken care of properly and promptly.

That said, here are some tips to prevent your hardwood floors from squeaking and to prolong their life.

Let’s begin.

How to Stop Hardwood Floors from Squeaking

It’s easy to silence squeaky hardwood floors. Just follow these tips from leading hardwood flooring suppliers.

1. Place a Shim into the Gap

First, you need to see whether you can access the underside of your flooring. If you have an unfinished basement ceiling, you should be able to access the subfloor from underneath. Then, have someone walk on the floor while listening for creaks and squeaks. When you locate the exact spots from which the noises are coming, take a closer look with a flashlight. Do you see any gaps between the subfloor and the top of the joists? If you do, they need to be addressed promptly.

It’s best to consult a reputable hardwood flooring supplier and installer like AA Floors. We have the tools and skills to apply carpenter’s glue to a shim and slide it into the gap. We will most likely avoid hammering the shim or forcing it into position as this can result in bumps on the floor surface. Once the gap is filled properly the squeaking should stop.

2. Apply Construction Adhesive

While filling the gap with a shim will fix an isolated and specific gap in the subfloor and joists, this method won’t work if the gap is long. Instead, you will need construction-grade adhesive. This is manufactured to fill and secure longer cracks and gaps along with other empty spaces present between the subfloor and joists. You may see your hardwood flooring supplier and installer using a caulking gun to apply the adhesive into the gap to seal it.

3. Check the Subfloor

Loose joists aren’t the only reason your floor may be squeaking. There’s a good chance that your subfloor is loose or uneven, resulting in gaps between the subfloor and main floor. If this is the case, the subfloor will rub against the flooring joists when any weight is applied to it, resulting in squeaks.

The best way to determine whether the subfloor is the main source of the noise is by visiting the room located beneath the problematic floor. Then, ask someone to walk across and mark the areas where you can hear the noise. The only way to tackle this issue is by drilling up from below into the subfloor and drawing both the floor and subfloor closer together. This job is best left to professionals.

4. Replace Missing or Loose Nails

The nails in hardwood flooring can loosen over time. Alternatively, there may be an inadequate number of nails present on the board which may cause the floorboards to become squeaky.

If you have access to the subfloor, whether through a crawl space or basement, check for missing nails or ones that are not secured properly. If this is the case, you can clip unsecured nails with a diagonal cutter and then drive new ones into the flooring joists properly. This ensures that the floorboards don’t rub together and make squeaking sounds.

5. Conduct a Cleat

There are instances when the subfloor may have more than one board that comes loose and begins moving; the result is it is squeaking every time someone walks on it.

If this is your situation, you will have to secure them through a cleat. This is an effective way to stop your hardwood floors from squeaking. Moreover, there will be no need to use a wedge in every gap to prevent the noise. When trying to secure the cleat, you must nail drywall screws against the subfloor to secure the planks in place. This is an effective method for large areas.

With use, even the best hardwood floors may squeak, but it should not be a cause for concern. With the right tools and help, you should be able to resolve this pesky problem quickly. However, make sure you only contact professionals to do the job. Remember, someone without adequate experience and the right skills and tools may cause more harm than good to your flooring. This can cost you time and money in the long run.

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