Squeaky floors are a common problem in homes and can be very annoying. If you have squeaky floors upstairs, don’t worry – we have a solution! In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of squeaky floors and how to fix squeaky floors upstairs.
What Causes Squeaky Floors?
It’s 3 a.m. You’re jolted awake by a loud, high-pitched squeal coming from the hallway. As you lie there in the darkness, trying to figure out what’s going on, the sound grows louder and more persistent. After a few minutes of restless tossing and turning, you give up trying to sleep and get out of bed to investigate. When you reach the hallway, you quickly realize the source of the noise: your floorboards are squeaking!
There are a few reasons why your floors might be squeaking. And they are:
1. Loose floorboards
These are the most common cause of floor squeaking. As wood ages, it dries out and shrinks, causing the boards to loosen.
2. Worn Out Nails
Nails that have worked their way up through the floorboards can also cause squeaks. As people walk across the floor, the nails rub against the boards and create a high-pitched noise and a creaky floor.
3. Inadequate Nailing
Another common cause of squeaky floors is inadequate nailing. When floorboards are first installed, they must be properly secured with nails or screws. Over time, however, these fasteners can work their way loose, resulting in a squeaky floor.
4. Floorboard Gaps
Gaps between the floorboards can also cause squeaks. As the boards expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity, they can create gaps that allow noise to escape.
5. Faulty Subflooring
Another common cause of squeaky floors is subflooring that is not properly secured to the joists. The wood subfloor is the layer of plywood or OSB that sits on top of the floor joists and provides a stable base for the finish flooring. If this layer is not properly attached to the joists, it can move slightly and create a squeak when weight is applied to it.
6. Poorly Secured Carpeting
Carpeting that is not properly stretched and secured can also cause squeaks. When the carpeted floors are installed, it must be pulled tight and fastened with tacks or staples. Over time, however, the carpeting can loosen and create a squeaky floor.
7. Wear And Tear
Wear and tear can cause squeaky floors, especially in an old house. As the wood floor ages, the boards can become worn and damaged, resulting in a squeak when weight is applied.
8. Water Damage
Water damage can also cause squeaky floorboards. When wood gets wet, it expands and warps, which can cause the boards to rub against each other and create a squeak.
9. Insect Damage
Insects can also damage floorboards and cause squeaks. Termites, carpenter ants, and other pests can tunnel through wood, weakening the boards and causing them to squeak.
10. Poorly Constructed Floor Boards
Finally, poorly constructed hardwood flooring can also be the cause of a squeaky upstairs floor. If the floorboard joists are not properly spaced or the boards are not properly secured, they can create a squeak when weight is applied.
How To Fix Squeaky Floors Upstairs
It’s one of the most annoying sounds in the world: a high-pitched, incessant squeak that echoes through your home every time you take a step. If you’re dealing with squeaky floors, there’s no need to call in a professional (and spend a fortune). With a few simple tools and a little elbow grease, you can fix squeaky floors yourself. Here’s how:
1. Identify The Source
First, identify the source of the squeak. This can be tricky, as the noise may be coming from nails that have worked their way loose or from squeaky stairs that have dried and shrunken over time. Once you’ve pinpointed the source of the noise, mark it with a pencil so you’ll be able to find it again easily.
2. Use A Hammer
If the squeak is coming from a loose nail, drive the nail back into place using a hammer. If the head of the nail is countersunk, countersink it even further before driving it in. This will help to keep the nail from working its way out again over time.
3. Reattach Boards
If the squeak is coming from boards that have shrunken and pulled away from each other, you’ll need to reattach them using screws or nails. Be sure to drive the fasteners in at an angle so they don’t come loose again.
4. Use A Screwdriver
If the squeak is coming from a board that is rubbing against another board, you can stop the noise by screwing the two boards together. Be sure to predrill the holes to avoid splitting the wood.
5. Lubricate Joints
If the squeak is coming from two pieces of wood that are rubbing against each other, you can lubricate the joint using a beeswax candle. First, find the spot where the two pieces of wood are rubbing together.
Then, hold a lit beeswax candle under the joint and allow the wax to melt. Once the wax has melted, move the candle away and allow the wax to cool and harden. This will lubricate the joint and stop the squeak.
6. Insert Materials
To reach and silence a squeak in hardwood floors, engineered wood or laminate flooring, insert a scrap piece of the same material between the decking boards at a joint that creaks.
7. Repair Tiles
Squeaks in tiled floors are often caused by loose tiles. Repair them by reattaching them with thin-set mortar or mastic adhesive applied with a notched trowel, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Fix Carpeting
Carpeting is often the culprit in a squeaky floor. To fix this, locate the carpet tack strip. This is a long, thin strip of wood that runs along the edge of the room where the carpet meets the floor.
Once you’ve located the tack strip, it must be pulled tight and fastened to the floor so it doesn’t move. This will stop the carpet from rubbing against the floor and causing a squeak.
9. Use A Floor Jack
If the squeak is coming from a loose floorboard, you can fix it by screwing the board to the floor joist using a floor jack. First, locate the floor joist using a stud finder.
Then, position the floor jack under the board and tighten it until the board is snug against the floor joist. This will stop the board from moving and eliminate the squeak.
10. Fill Gaps
If the squeak is coming from a gap between two boards, you can fill the gap with wood filler or caulk. First, clean out the gap with a putty knife to remove any dirt or debris.
Then, apply the wood filler or caulk to the gap and allow it to dry. This will fill the gap and stop the squeak.
Fixing squeaky floors is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project that can be completed in a few hours. By following the tips above, you can silence those pesky squeaks and enjoy your quiet home once again.