Imagine tip-toeing your way to the kitchen for a midnight snack while trying to be as silent as possible, only to have your efforts wasted by that squeaky floor. These irritating floor creaks actually define a home’s character. They mark the arrival of children and pets. They expose teenagers sneaking in after curfew. They give a house its voice. Many homeowners, however, may not be very fond of noisy flooring. And it’s understandable because — let’s be honest — it can get rather annoying after a while. Luckily, there are several squeaky floor solutions, and they’re considerably easier than having to replace the entire flooring.
What Causes Floors to Squeak
Understanding what causes a floor to squeak can be helpful if you plan on handling the repair yourself. The common root of all creaks is the friction caused by two flooring components brushing against each other. These elements include:
- Nails or staples that have lost their grip on the floorboard and are grazing through the hole instead. This is usually the case with most floor squeaks;
- A floorboard that’s rubbing against another. In certain cases, the floorboard may be brushing against another wooden element such as a stud;
- Subfloor fasteners being pulled in and out of the joist;
- Metal ducts scraping against the hole in the flooring through which they go to floor level; However, this is a rare case since it’s normally around the perimeter where it seldom sees foot traffic;
- Bowed or uneven joists brushing the subfloor.
The best way to stop the squeaks is by getting rid of the friction. This usually involves physically handling the pieces that are rubbing against each other and stopping at least one of them from moving.