Having creaky floorboards is irritating to say the least. Every time you step on a floorboard that creaks, you get irritated. In addition to that, having creaky floorboards is dangerous as they may break and you may get hurt. I have mentioned below the top tips to fix creaky boards:
Replace the floorboards :
If the floorboards and / or the joists are extensively damaged due to getting warped, wear and tear, seasonal change etc. then the most viable option is a complete replacement of the affected floorboards. To figure out which floorboards are the ones that need to be replaced, you will need to remove the rugs / carpets and walk all around the room to ascertain the affected area. Using a chalk, mark the floorboards that need replacement.
Note: Though fixing of creaky floorboards is a DIY project, you are likely to need professional help in case you are considering replacement of the floorboards. This may affect your budget accordingly.
Lubricating the floorboards :
Getting rid of the squeaky sound of floorboards can prove challenging when the surface underneath is thoroughly finished and you cannot access the subfloor or floor joists. In such cases, you can use a dry lubricant to fix the affected area. Powdered graphite, talcum powder and powdered soapstone are some of the popular dry lubricants.
Sprinkle some powdery lubricant of your choice in the joints between the wooden floorboards. In order to work the dry lubricant down the gap between the floorboards place a cloth over the boards. Now walk back and forth over it.Using a powdery lubricant helps reduce the friction between floorboard planks and eliminates the creaky sound. You can use a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner to clean off the remaining powder off the floor.
Note: This is a quick fix solution, which is effective for minor squeaks. This method is not a long term solution and you will eventually need to fix it for good.
Support the joist :
If the building is old, then it is quite likely that seasonal and climatic changes as well as wear and tear have taken their due toll on the structure. The joists are no exception. With passage of time, joists tend to shrink, warp or deteriorate. This results in the opening of a gap between plywood subfloor and the joist. While walking, when a step is laid on the gap area, a squeaky sound is generated.
In order to remedy this, install a wooden block of 2×6 or at least 2×4 alongside the joist which is causing the squeaky sound. Use a construction adhesive. Begin with applying a continuous bead along the topside edge of the block.Now, hold the wooden block against the joist (along the length). Slide it up against the bottom side of subfloor. Fasten this block with the joist using nails or drywall screws.
Insert shims :
If you are able to access the space underneath the squeaky floorboards, then this remedy should do the trick. Have someone help you with this remedy. Ask the volunteer to walk slowly across the floor, until you both hear the squeak. Once the guilty joist and floorboard have been located, using a flashlight, check if a gap is present between underside of subfloor and top of floor joist.
Evenly spread carpenter’s glue on a wood shim (A thin wedge of wood. Easily available at a hardware store) and push it in the gap regardless how small the gap is. Avoid forcing the shim too far as this may result in a tiny bump in the floor. The shim is only meant to fill the gap so as to prevent the floorboard from moving when walked upon.
Note: Ensure you bring along proper tools and gear and adequate lighting.Also wear good quality construction-safe boots.
You can adopt certain measures to ensure that your beautiful wooden flooring has a long healthy life.
- In case there is a liquid spill, wipe it away immediately. If the liquid seeps in through the joints, it may result in the wood getting damaged.
- Sweep the floor on a daily basis. Use a brush with soft bristles to do so. If you wish to use a vacuum cleaner, then you must use the correct attachment.
- Avoid using a wet mop or a steam mop to clean the wooden flooring. Also, steer clear of abrasive cleaning products.
- Avoid walking on the floor with footwear. Especially pointy heels.It is ok to wear socks or house slippers with soft padding on the sole.
- Avoid dragging heavy objects such as a cupboard or a bed with a mattress, etc. across the floor.