How to Fix Squeaky Finished Hardwood Floors


If you have old hardwood floors in your house and you've lived there awhile, you probably know the location of every squeak in the wood. Squeaky floors are caused by the gradual expansion and contraction of hardwood over time, which creates tiny gaps between the boards and loosens the nails that are holding them down. This allows the boards to move slightly under the weight of someone walking on them, rubbing against each other and emitting that trademark squeak. Since movement is the culprit, the solution is to stop the movement with strategically placed wood screws.

Things You'll Need

  • Piece of chalk
  • Drill
  • Pilot bit
  • Screwdriver bit
  • 1 1/2 inch wood screws
  • Wood putty of the same shade as the floor
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Methodically walk the floor in rows, so you're stepping on every part of it, and listen for the creaking. Put a chalk mark at each spot where your weight causes a creak.

  • Go back over the floor with your drill, loaded with a pilot bit. Drill a pilot hole straight down at each chalk mark.

  • Re-load your drill with a screwdriver bit. Starting at one side of the room, sink a wood screw into each pilot hole. Sink the screw completely, so the head is slightly below the surface of the wood.

  • Walk over the whole floor again, listening for more creaks. If you still hear any, mark the spot with your chalk, drill a pilot hole, and sink another screw. Repeat until there are no more squeaks when you cross the room.

  • Use your plastic putty knife to press a little wood putty into each of the screw holes. Wipe the top of the hole with the flat end of the knife, getting it smooth. Let the putty set completely before resuming use of the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear eye protection when using your drill.

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