How to Fix Squeaky Floor Joints?


Question: We put down a new hardwood floor within the last 18 months. Now, in 2 or 3 places we’ve developed a squeak.

One such place is one “board-width” outside the threshold to the bathroom. Given this placement, we step on this spot all the time. I should note that this location is also the butt-joint of two horizontal wood pieces. Can this joint be somehow reinforced, without showing too much (or any) of the repair, to eliminate the squeak?

Answer: Unfortunately squeaky floors are difficult to correct. You won’t consider simply accepting the fact that you now have an authentic wood floor, squeaks and all?? A seasonal change could cause the floor to begin squeaking. All wood, no matter how kiln dried it is, has a tendency to further dry out and shrink. This causes the joints, as well as the fastening to the sub-floor to loosen up to an extent and can cause the squeaking. A low humidity environment will also cause shrinkage and possible squeaking.

The best method for reducing or even eliminating the squeak is to drill small pilot holes in the wood flooring, at the location of the squeaks. Once you have drilled the small pilot holes, small finish screws can be screwed into the floor boards at the point of the squeak to tighten up any movement that is causing the squeak. I have been involved with wood floors that develop squeaks, years after installation. Wood is an absorbent material and will expand and contract dependent upon the humidity. Good luck with this one, there is really no full proof solution to random squeaks in wood floors.

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