Just as scratched and scuffed hardwood floors are hard on the eyes, so are squeaky floors hard on the ears. Over time, the pesky sound of squeaks can be quite the norm, but homeowners don't have to accept it as status quo. A simple maintenance tip, using baking soda, can silence the squeaky floors.
Cause of Squeaks
According to "This Old House," squeaky floors have several causes, including a house settling or flooring lumber drying and shrinking. When the worn floors are walked on, the wood planks rub against nails or other wooded boards and create the squeaking sounds. Any type of hardwood floor can create the squeak, but traditional strip flooring is the most susceptible.
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Using Baking Soda
Identify the boards that squeak and sprinkle baking soda between them. The powder helps to lubricate the boards and stops the squeaking.
Baking Soda Alternatives
In lieu of baking soda, use talcum powder or powdered graphite. Shake the powder in between the squeaky boards, just as with baking soda, and eliminate the noise.
When access to the floor is available through a basement, end the squeaks by gently inserting a wood shim, coated with carpenter's glue, in between the subfloor and the joist. This is a two-person job. While one person stands in the basement, have the other walk on the floor, and when a squeaky area is found, place the shim. If you have stairs in your home, prepare for them to squeak at some point, says "This Old House." And, probably sooner rather than later, because staircases are built from many different pieces of wood parts. First, try silencing the squeaky stairs with baking soda, but if it does not work, try to access the stairs from a basement or closet and insert shims between the risers just as you would insert them between joists.