Friday, November 16, 2007

Quieting a squeaking floor


Here's how to quiet squeaky wood floors...and lose that eerie ghostly sound.

Wood floor squeaks are caused by boards that rub against each other. As wood ages, it shrinks, warps, and nails come loose. You know where they are, you don't have to look to hard for them.

The first sep is to see if the wood moves when you step on it. If it doesn't, then your problem is probably warped sub floor. It's probably separated from the joist.

You can try a temporary fix or repair it permanently. A temporary repair can be done by lubricating between the edges of the floor with lock graphite. Squirt some between the boards. This is some really dirty stuff, so make sure that you completely wipe up the excess with a wet rag or paper towel.

You have to fasten the loose boards that are making the noise for a permanent fix.

To fix finished floors, such as older oak floors, which are common, drill a small pilot hole and drive a small finish nail into the side of the squeaky wood at the edge of that board at an angle into the board next to it. Drive another nail at the other angle fro the other board back into the board you just nailed. The nails will form an "x" crossing each other. Nail them far enough in so they will penetrate the joists 3/8ths to ½ inch. Be careful not to hit the floor with the hammer. Finish the nailing with a nail set.

If you have a squeak in the sub floor, and can get under the floor to work on it, then do the work there. Cut a 3 inch piece off of a 2 X 4. Drill two small pilot holes in it so the wood on the 3 inch X 3/12 inch side so it will not split when you put screws through it. Coat the thin side that you cut with glue and place the side of the block against the joist under the squeak. Push the glued side up to touch the sub floor snugly, and screw or nail the block to the joist.

If you can't get under the floor to work, then this repair requires some creativity in wood filling. Use long screws at the squeaky joint. Drill pilot holes first and countersink where the heads will be. Screw in the screw through the floor into the sub floor. The countersunk holes will need to be filled with matching color wood filler or with wood plugs of the right color.

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