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How to fix a squeaky floor

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Squeaks are caused when the floor and subfloor start to separate from each other or from the floor joists below. As you walk on the floor, the flooring and structural elements rub against each other creating noise. Stop the movement of these elements and you’ll stop the squeak. This is a fairly easy fix, the biggest challenge is finding the exact area and cause of the squeak.

Once you have found the exact spot, determine the cause. Is there a gap between the flooring and the subfloor or is there space between the subfloor and the joist? You will have a better chance at determining a cause if you have access to the floor joists below your floor. Once you have found the exact spot and cause, there are two ways to repair a squeaky floor, from above or from below.

Fix from below

If there is a gap between the subfloor and the floor joist, fasten a piece of wood between the floor joist and the subfloor. If it’s a small gap, use a wood shim. If it’s a large gap, use a larger piece of scrap wood. If there is a gap involving several subfloor boards in a row, cleat them together with a 1×4 and secure with screws. If the problem is the flooring separating from the subfloor, use a short screw to fasten the subfloor and floor together. Be careful with the length of screw – long screws could go all the way through the flooring surface.

Fix from above

Be careful when fixing squeaks from above. You don’t want to ruin the look of your flooring. Use a stud sensor to locate floor joists and hammer a long finish nail into the floor so that it goes into the floor joist. If the squeak is caused by the flooring separating from the subfloor, drive two nails at opposing 45-degree angles. Use a nail set to countersink the nail below the flooring surface and fill the hole with wood filler. If your squeak is in a carpeted area, cut a small hole in the carpet webbing and drive a screw through the floor and subfloor. Make sure the small hole is big enough so the carpet doesn’t get caught up in the screw. Fluff up the carpet so the small hole isn’t visible.

Visit your local TIMBER MART for the products and tools required to fix your squeaky floor today.

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