Squeaky floors?

What exactly is it that makes hardwood floors squeak? Unlike with e.g. a door, there’s no metal parts I can just squirt some WD40 on; is there something else I can apply to the floor (or between the boards) to reduce or eliminate the squeaking?

Yes. The squeaking comes from the edges of the boards rubbing against one another.

Sprinkle a little talcum powder on the floor in the offending area and sweep it gently back and forth to work it between the boards. The squeaking will eventually come back and another application of powder will be necessary.

Sometimes the subfloor has come loose in places. Especially if it was nailed in instead of screwed down.

The sweeping talcum powder or graphite does work for a while, but here is a more permanent fix.

More how to.

Even more detailed how to.

What about when the wooden floorboards have been covered over either with tiles or carpet?

Drives me nuts trying not to wake the baby when I go in to check on her only to have a floorboard squeek under the carpet.

NB - I am in a rental property so can’t do any major structural changes, but if there is a temporary fix like the talc powder that would be great.

I don’t right know a quick fix for the floor under carpeting. :frowning:

If yiou can get to the floor from underneath, then you can take care of sags or loose boards with judicious use of shims, glue, and/or new 2x4s.

[I decided not to list any of the half assed ways I’ve seen or used myself, because you can really mess up carpeting by playing around with it.]

Tile or vinyl floors? I know of no way to fix from above. When remodeling (or new builds), we use a backer board system on top of the subfloor, and just make sure it’s done right.

Sorry I can’t be of more help.

The cats can get under the house but I don’t know that I could.

Oh well it was worth a shot. Thanks NoClueBoy :slight_smile:

Very very easy. Go to your local hardware store and purchase some 3 inch long finishing nails. These nails have a much smaller head than regular nails. Get the zinc coated nails, the rougher finish will hold longer. Locate the exact location of the squeek. It will be at a spot where the subfloor and joists meet. Drive the nails straight down through the carpet and subfloor into the joist till the head is at carpet level. One ever 4 to 6 inches should be sufficient. Use a nail set to drive the nails through the carpet and pad and flush with the subfloor. Lift up on the carpet to loosen any trapped threads and your squeeks should be gone. If this doesn’t work the joists might be in the beginning stages of dry rot (especially if they are exposed to outside air) and additional support will be required to be added.

Is that going to leave visible holes in the carpet racer72? I don’t want to lose my rental bond.

racer’s idea should work. Remember, finishing nails have virtually no head, so they should easily fit through the mesh of the carpet backing. (Like he said, be sure to nail set them.)

Great idea! :slight_smile:

Cool, thank-you racer and NCB.

That was all racer. All I did was agree. :smiley:

Just make sure there are no pipes/cables under where you nail.
(I’ve seen someone screw through a water pipe when fixing down a floor - general panic ensued)

Wose words, Capt B: my girlfriend’s dad did just that when trying to fix squeaky floorboards. He just ended up with wet squeaky floorboards.