How to Silence Squeaky Floors

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If you're getting busted on midnight raids to the kitchen because of a squeaky floorboard, here's your solution. Squeaks develop when wood moves against other wood or nails.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood glue
  • Ball-peen hammer
  • Hammer
  • Wood filler
  • Wood shims
  • Tack hammer
  • Variable-speed drill
  • Track down the exact location of the squeak by bouncing on the area.

  • Tap a nail back into place with a ball-peen hammer, if that's the problem. If not, continue with these following steps.

  • Expose the board from above by pulling up the carpet and pad.

  • Drill a pilot hole at an angle.

  • Drive a spiral nail into the hole and set it below the surface with a nail set. Spiral nails turn like screws and hold tighter than regular nails.

  • Fill the recess with wood putty that matches the boards in a hardwood floor or tack the pad and carpet back into place. If this still doesn't fix the squeak, continue with these final steps.

  • Find the noise from below the floor by having a helper step on the offending floorboard.

  • Coat a wooden shim with wood glue and drive it into the gap between the subfloor and the joist.

  • Check the wooden bridges between joists. These are the short boards that run perpendicular to the joists. Sometimes they get pushed slightly out of place.

  • Tap the bridge with a hammer to snug it up and drive a nail into each end through the joist.

Tips & Warnings

  • Vinyl floors are tricky. If you can't get to the squeak from below on a vinyl-tile floor, pull up a section of the vinyl, drive a couple of spiral nails into the board, and re-glue the floor.

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