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April 3rd, 2024

Squeaky hardwood floors can be a real nuisance! We have all been in houses that have had them, but what do you do when your home has squeaky floors? Why are my floors squeaking? Can anything be done at all? Can they be fixed, or do I have to replace them all? We will answer all these questions and more!

Why Do Floors Squeak?

Hardwood floors can be squeaky for several reasons. However, all hardwood floor squeaks have one thing in common: Movement. Hardwood floors are not designed to shift around and move when pressure is applied to them. Over time, however, certain parts of a house’s floors and foundation may shift, introducing movent to the floors. So always remember floors cannot squeak without some type of movement involved.

Wood expands and contracts depending on its environment. In warm and humid climates, wood will expand. In colder and dry climates, wood will contract. All this expanding and contracting means that the wood that makes up a house’s joists, subfloor, and even hardwoods can be prone to movement depending on the weather and seasons. For example, if you notice that most of your squeaking happens in colder months with less humidity, this might mean that the wood under the hardwood floors has contracted and created more room for your hardwood floors to move and squeak.

Another reason for squeaky floors could be joist or subfloor problems. Joists and subfloors make up the structure that supports the hardwood flooring that gets installed on top of it. If joists lose their integrity, the entire floor structure can become loose and saggy, creating lots of space for your floors to move and squeak. Likewise, squeaking may also occur if there is an issue with the sub-flooring that lives underneath the hardwoods.

Fixing Squeaky Floors

Fixing squeaky hardwood floors can usually be done relatively easily, as long as they are no serious issues to the foundation of your house. Unfortunately, squeaky floors caused by broken or damaged floor joists can be challenging and are typically outside most DIYers’ scope. However, if your flooring joists aren’t damaged or need repairs, most squeaky floors can be fixed without spending too much time and money on them.

One of the first ways to treat squeaky floors is by screwing the subfloors into the flooring joists for a tighter connection. Screws can be added to the sup flooring and then into the joists. You will need to remove the section of hardwood flooring and then insert the screws directly into the subfloor. Screws can also be added from underneath the joist and into the subfloor. Coming from the bottom up is a much more difficult fix, but it can often be what is needed to fix a squeak completely.

Glue and shims can also be great ways to fix squeaks. By adding shims and taking out gaps in the floor, lots of squeaks can be eliminated. Similarly to adding screws from the top down, adding wood glue to better secure the subfloor to the floor joists is also an effective way to get rid of squeaks.

All of these fixes require a homeowner to remove multiple hardwood flooring planks from a section of floor space. This can sometimes be a job that a motivated homeowner can accomplish. However, hardwood flooring can be permanently damaged if not taken apart and put back together correctly. Therefore, we suggest consulting a flooring specialist before potentially damaging your hardwood floors.

We hope we have encouraged you if you have squeaks in your hardwood floors. Getting rid of squeaks isn’t typically an extensive or expensive fix, but as we mentioned, it can often be outside the scope of many DIYers. If you would like a free consultation about your squeaky hardwood floors, please get in touch with one of our flooring specialists today!