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   Articles | How-Tos | Ask the Expert   
Getting rid of a Squeaky Floor

Most new homes do not have squeaky floors. Nowadays, most builders use construction adhesive in addition to other methods to secure the floor. When trying to get rid of a squeaky floor, I generally recommend using the most non-invasive methods first. This how-to covers hardwood floors although some of the methods could be used for other floors.

Step 1
Does the board(s) in question move a lot when you step on them? If so, go to step 2. If not, you might start out with talcum powder or powdered (not liquid) graphite. Put some of your chosen lubricant in the joints between the boards. Repeatedly step on the board in order to work the powder down into the joint. The squeak should diminish in a couple of minutes and might go away altogether. Make sure you clean up all excess powder. If the squeak doesn't go away, go to

Step 2
If the space under the floor is open, go to Step 3. If not, get your drill ready. In order to get rid of that squeak, you will have to secure the board to the sub-floor. You can use either flooring nails, finishing nails or "trim screws." I've had the best results with spiral flooring nails and trim screws but finishing nails may work if you are living in an older home. I'd start with spiral nails. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the shank of the nail (Fig. 1). Try to drill the hole in the middle of the strip so that you don't split the wood. Drive the nail in (Fig. 2). Set the nail below the surface and cover it with some filler (Fig. 3). Filler is available in many colors.

Step 3
If you can get access to the floor joists under the squeaky area, so much the better. Generally you can drive a screw through the sub-floor into the board (make sure the screw is not too long!) to secure the board. If the squeaky area is near a joist, you might also use some construction adhesive if there is a gap.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3


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