Wood Floor Squeaking: What Causes It?

Flooring and Finish -

Wood Floor Squeaking: What Causes It?

Squeaky floors are quite a frustration. Think about it, late at night, you feel thirsty, and you want to grab a glass of ice-cold water from the fridge in the living room. You wake up and walk through a squeaky floor, making irritating sounds echoing across the walls. What a nuisance that is to the rest of your family members having peaceful sleep. Your minor children are also asleep, and once they wake, they’ll hardly sleep ever again. You may never wish that to happen, or if that is the case, it is a good thing to note that you have a solution to that. Before getting solutions to that problem, you must first determine what is causing the wood floor to squeak. The following might be the cause of your wood floor squeaking

Major Causes of Wood Floor Squeaking


Why Do My Wood Floors Squeak? - Issues with Subfloors

When subfloors are out of level, they create voids between the flooring and the subfloor. Since any gap develops object movements, they develop creaks and squeaks. If you want to identify the present voids in your subfloor, check for the residue on the subfloor. Examples of residues that could be found in subfloors include; adhesive, unseated fasteners, and mud. If the flooring is installed before eliminating these kinds of residues, some sections of your flooring will not be level and will be suspended. With that condition, squeaks will be inevitable. Another cause of voids in subfloors is the high and low areas in the seams of the subfloor.


How to Keep Wood Floors From Squeaking?

Before installing wood flooring, the seams of the plywood should be sanded to ensure they are seamlessly flat. If the sanding is not done and the subfloor fails to be perfectly balanced, some parts of the flooring will undoubtedly be suspended and cause noises on the floor. 


Spaces Between the Joists and Subfloor

As pointed above, any voids between the subfloor and the wood flooring create movements. That is also true with the spaces that could be present between joists and subfloors. Watch out for the possible causes of the voids. Check if the flooring is professional, caring, and perfectly glued. If not, you can expect voids and squeaky noises. It is common for floorers only to nail the subfloor without glue. With that, there will be a considerable possibility of missing joists meaning that flooring will not be attached permanently. Additionally, nails might lead to misses between the subfloor and the joists. 


How to Keep Wood Floors From Squeaking

Therefore, use both gluing and nailing to eliminate all the possible voids between the joists and the subfloor. 


The Subfloor Seams Off Center to the Joists

Sometimes a contractor might rush to install a subfloor and, in haste, make the mistake of installing a subfloor off the center of joists. It will thus lead to seams of flooring being over voids. If that happens, there will be no solid thing to resist the movement of the subfloor and the flooring. Therefore, squeaks will emanate from it every time a person walks into the area. 


Loose Groove and Tongue

As much as the groove and tongue are normally designed to fit properly, remember that a change in the moisture content will also lead to a change in the fit of the groove and the tongue. When the flooring is dry, the groove and tongue also become looser. On the other hand, when the moisture content of the flooring increases, the fit of the tongue and groove will become snugger. 


The Fastener Frequency and Size is Inadequate

Small fasteners will cause an inadequate hold of the subfloor and the flooring, which can become loose over some time. Also, if the fasteners are inadequate and the hold becomes less, they are likely to become loose and cause some squeaking.

By identifying the causes of wood floor squeaking, you can seek the help of a professional to fix the problem. You can then have that peaceful night walk again with your family enjoying their sleep undisturbed. Your house will also maintain its aesthetic taste with smooth and quiet wooden floors.