“Squeeeeeeak!” An all too familiar sound that often develops in hardwood floors, creaks and squeaks are an annoying sound to the ears of wood floor owners. Unfortunately there is no cure-all for those squeaky sounds, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent, alleviate, and address those pesky sounds.
One cause of squeaky hardwood floors is related to the sub-floor and it moving up and down when walked on. The squeak can be attributed to the sub-floor rubbing with a nail. Another cause is due to improper installation with the wood planks. If the boards were installed too close together or not nailed down properly then the wood planks could rub against each other and create a squeaky sound.
A third cause would be due to incorrect installation of the cross brace. Cross brace is a series of one-by-three’s position in an X pattern. One brace in each of the X’s is suppose to be slightly higher than the other and leave some room between the two braces. If the installation was done improperly then the braces could be too close and rub together creating a squeaking sound.
If you have deduced that the squeak is originating from wood planks rubbing against one another then there are some simple solutions. The problem exists because there is too much material stuck in a small place. This issue is often a result of poor moisture content testing and forethought. Typically woods will expand as they get accustomed to the local temperature and moisture conditions in the location. Powdered graphite is often used to lubricate the area and subside squeaks. Apply the graphite generously to the squeaky area and place a towel over as you work the powder into the wood cracks with your foot. As the graphite penetrates the cracks the squeaks should fade and go away.
If the squeak is related to your sub-flooring the issue becomes a little tougher to deal with. You must have access to the sub-floor if the issue is related to cross braces. There are products that you can buy that will help to alleviate the squeak, but they are DIY products and may be out of your realm of comfort.
When the squeak has been attributed to the subfloor rubbing with a nail there are also some DIY solutions. First and foremost you have to locate the squeak to be able to address it. Once you have found the area, check underneath your subflooring and see if there is a nail visible. It may be as easy as simply removing the nail that is the culprit.
The DIY route could save you some money in the long run, but depending on your comfort with home construction you may be better served with a professional taking a look. Metro Atl’s installers are very familiar with the sources of squeaks and could help identify the problem. Please comment below if you have any questions regarding squeaks, or if you have a solution you would like to share.