How to fix loose hardwood floor boards?

August 4, 2022

Have you ever walked through the house late at night, hoping to sneak a spoonful of ice cream or make a plate of leftovers without anyone the wiser, only step on a squeaky floorboard? Squeaks and creaks in hardwood floors are commonplace. Unfortunately, they are an annoyance as well. Regardless of whether or not your hardwood floors are covered with carpeting or you have exposed hardwood floors, there are options available for fixing a squeaky hardwood floor.

It’s important to understand the reason for the squeak before making the decision to fix it. A squeaky hardwood floor is usually caused by floorboards becoming loose. The loose floorboards will either rub together and make the squeaking noise or rub against the subfloor. Loose floor boards that can be felt beneath one’s feet is a floor that is bad disrepair and should be repaired immediately.

Options for Fixing a Squeaky Floor

There are two main options for fixing squeaky floorboards depending on the severity of the squeak and the ability to get to the source of the squeakiness. Getting at the floorboards can be more difficult than it seems and should require patience and proper planning.

One quick fix for squeaky floors that will extend the time between needing a more permanent fix is to apply a lubricant between the subfloor and floorboards, or whatever may be causing the squeak. Powdered graphite or talcum powder both are excellent options for lubricating squeaky floorboards.

Sprinkle the powder over the squeaky floorboards. To help the lubricant seep into the floorboards, reactivate the squeaks by walking over the floorboards. You will likely need to repeat the process until the squeaking has subsided. Keep in mind that using a lubricant to quiet a squeaky hardwood floor may not be a permanent fix; you may need to do future applications of lubricant, or you can work at ending squeaky floorboards for good.

Nails that have become loose or not having enough nails in a board are other possible reasons for squeaky hardwood floors. If you have access to the subfloor, such as through a basement or crawl space, then you can check for missing nails or nails that were not hammered in properly to see if this could be the root of your problem. You can then clip them with diagonal cutters or properly drive new nails into the floor joists so the floorboards no longer rub against each other.

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