Here at Floor Coverings International, one of the most common complaints we hear about older hardwood floors from our customers is that they creak and squeak whenever someone steps on them. Although it’s always a great time to consider new flooring options, there are a few fixes you can attempt first before deciding it’s time to move on. We’ve put together a few of the most common reasons for squeaky floors together with the remedies that are most likely to fix them, in the hope that you’ll be able to keep your beautiful vintage floors without the fear of losing your mind.
Issues with the Subfloor
One of the main causes for creaking floors has to do with the subfloor, which is the material beneath your hardwood or carpeting. As you walk across the floor, your body weight pushes down on the subfloor, and the squeak is created by the subfloor moving on the nail. One of the easiest fixes for this particular problem is a product called Squeak-Relief (squeakyfloor.com) which can help to keep the subfloor from rubbing on the nails. The product was designed for homeowners looking to do work on their own, so it’s an incredibly simple fix. The Squeak-Relief is an aluminum brace that secures the subfloor tightly by fitting into the space between the floorboard and the joist. This solution is only really accessible for floors where the underside is visible. If it isn’t in your home, try moving on to the next tip.
Improper Floorboard Nailing
The second issue to consider is that the floorboards were improperly nailed originally, so the nails are now rubbing against one another and creating the creaking. The easiest solution is to add floorboard nails or screws to the problem area on your own, as scary as that might first seem. Many repairmen recommend placing the screws or nails deep into the floors, especially if you have no access to the underside of the floor. The next step is to conceal the hole with a filler that matches your hardwood and afterward sand and refinish the small area. Of course, if the underside of your flooring is visible from beneath, you can always try to place nails from underneath.
Cross Braces Are Touching
If neither of the earlier fixes are working for you, the problem is most likely that the cross braces are touching. Cross braces are the one-by-threes positioned beneath the subfloor in an X-pattern between the joists to keep them from twisting, and they’re supposed to be installed with a bit of space between the two braces that make up the X. If this is your problem, and the underside of your floors isn’t accessible, you’ll need to consider tearing up your flooring to get at the cross braces.
Floor Coverings International is always happy to answer any and all of your flooring questions, whether it’s about a completely new install or needs you have concerning your current hardwood or carpet. Whether its squeaky floors or pet issues, Floor Coverings International is there to help make your home the space you’ve always dreamed of.
Photo: Iriana Shiyan