9 ways how to remove squeaking from your timber floor

There are about 767 and half of reasons why your floor may be noisy. Let’s have a look at 9 ways how to fix squeaky wood floors. (At least some of them.) From top of the floor 1)    Squeaky floor underneath the carpet 2) Knife blade 3) Baby powder 4) WD 40 or PVA glue 5) A wooden plug from the bottom From underneath the floor 6)    Vertical support 8)    Bead of adhesive + packers 9)    Jack up the floor joist 10)  extra sistering or replacing a joist or bearer

1) Fix squeaky floor underneath the carpet

There is surprising number of videos on YouTube which say how to fix the squeaking on the first floor with no access to the joists. By driving a screw through the carpeted floor. And then just fluff the carpet around and she’ll be right. Believe it or not. if you are not sure what’s underneath or you dont have a stud finder then you rather avoid driving screws or nails in there. Don’t go through the carpet, take the carpet up, it is not as difficult as you might think, because most carpets these days are on gripper rods, they are not stuck down and they can be re-laid easily. As you are walking over the particle boards you can see and feel some movements. The movements are either between the tongue and groove of two sheets or between the chipboard and the joist underneath. The squeaking located above the joist are usually caused by friction between nails the particle board due to the sunken joist. You need to locate the joists and put some extra screws in. How do you find them? Look for the existing screws or nails in the particle board, line them up with a pencil and that’s where your joist is running underneath. Use 45mm wood screws and run them inside fixing the particle board back to the joist. The noise between tongue and groove is caused by a lack of support and can be eliminated by using PVA glue. Water it down, that’s very important don’t try putting it in undiluted, because it will not go anywhere. Mix three parts water to one-part PVA and pour it, brush it or squeeze it into those joints. Use a rubber mallet tapping on the board around the puddle. This will create vibrations which will help to distribute the PVA glue between the groove and tongue and lock the gaps.

2) Run a knife blade between boards

Sometimes the noise is caused by rubbing the upper parts of the flooring boards against each other. One of the simplest remedies is to open the gap between the hardwood flooring. A thin blade of Stanley knife or utility knife running carefully between the planks will separate them or reduce the friction. Do several very light strokes rather than one heavy handed. The blade can very easy  leave the gap and make deep scratch on the finished flooring surface.

3) Baby powder or talcum powder

If you have one isolated squeaky spot, try to get help from baby powder to silence the squeak. All you have to do is to sprinkle a bit powder right at the source, then use a rag to massage it in. Knock on the floor a little bit while you’re trying to do it. It will get the baby powder down in between the two boards. Then simply take wet clean rug and wipe off the extra.

4) WD40 oil or PVA glue

A similar scenario but it does better job. Simply spray it over the gap between squeaky floorboards. Rub WD 40 on that using either with your fingers or put on rubber gloves. Come back with a rag, wipe off the excess and then use a floor cleaner to remove the oil residual. PVA glue, (one part of glue 3 parts of water) will work well for local squeaks on solid timber floors. Knocking on boards while trying to distribute the adhesive between the planks will help to penetrate it deeper. Wipe off the excess with a damp cloth. The glue is water based. You need to leave it for 24 hours to dry. If you are dealing with many squeaks on your floor it is possible to use this method aggressively over all area. Use a squeegee to remove the excess of WD 40 and clean the floor with a floor cleaner afterwards. Please test the potential reaction (discoloration) of WD40 with the floor surface before applying.

5) Screw it from the top and plug it,

To drill a hole through the floorboard, use a wooden plug, wood filler, sand the plug to make it flush with the existing surface, put a couple of coats of a finish and expect no one will notice? It sounds like science fiction. But we have done some decent jobs and on old floors it didn’t look so bad. This floor repair is rather ideal just prior resurfacing the entire floor. It is very easy for the sanding machine to take care of the height imperfections and the polish will make the whole floor compact and consistent. Repairs from underneath the floor

6) Run a screw from the bottom

If you live in an old house you probably have dozens of floor squeaks every time. If you can not locate the noise from the top of the floor then the source lays underneath. In your sub-floor. If your wooden floor was built over an existing floor or plywood subfloor try run a 30 mm screw ( the plywood is 15-19 mm plus your solid timber floor is typically 19 mm) from underneath trying to tie up two floors together.

7) Wooden shin or packer

Sometimes the squeak sound is not caused by the boards rubbing together but by the friction between the flooring and the joists. Using shims or packers to fill gaps between can be a quick and effective fix. If you have enough crawling space underneath your floor you might spot spaces between the sub flooring and the joist. It helps if one person stands on the top of the floor walking or jumping while the other is locating the gap causing the noise. You can buy a box of plastic packers from Bunnings. Thickness vary between 1mm to 10mm so they suits to any size of gap. It is good idea to glue the shins with a flooring polyurethane adhesive and glue packers in as well as to fill the remaining gap . A sausage of Sika T55 will cost you 13,- .

8) Vertical beam support

Some noisy floors are caused by sunken joists or even bearers. Lack of ventilation, elevated moisture is causing decay. A part of a joist resting on a sleeper wall can decay and slowly sink a bit by bit. Opening a gap between the joist and the bearer is often the reason for noise. A cheap and effective remedy can be to build an extra vertical temporary or permanent prop to support collapsing sub-floor member.

9) Replacing a joist or sistering

When a joist or a bearer is damaged beyond practical replacement , there is an option of placing a new parallel joist or bearer next to it and attach it to the healthy and sound part of the existing one. Providing you have sufficient crowing space , high clearance enough to manipulate long piece of wood. This option is always cheaper rather then cutting open the floor, and replacing framing member from the top.