Last updated: September 18, 2023 at 11:05 am
Whether your home is carpeted or decked out with stylish hardwood floors, it is hard to avoid squeaky floorboards. They creep up on the best of us and can become really irritating! Nobody wants to squeak as they walk around their property. But is there anything that you can do to stop your floors from squeaking all the time?
The short answer is yes. There are a few options for fixing squeaky floors that should have you walking around silently in no time at all.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Types of Lubricant
There are lots of types of lubricant out there, not all of which are suitable for your floorboards. It’s important that you only use lubricants that will not cause damage, as otherwise, you are likely to either make your issues worse or cause new damage to the floorboards.
There are two types of lubricant that you can use to fix a squeaky floor, and they are:
Graphite is a compound that is used in pencils, and when crushed into a powder, becomes a dry lubricant. Due to the way that graphite is chemically structured, the material slides over itself. This is how pencils glide along paper, and, likewise, is what makes it an incredibly useful tool when it comes to lubrication.
Powdered graphite is used to fix squeaky floors, but it is also used for lubricating pin tumbler locks and to protect surfaces from friction in a range of situations. You can purchase powdered graphite online or from hardware stores.
This works best on tongue and groove hardwood floors. It can be applied to the crack in the squeaky joint and then brushed gently into the crack. You should then apply and remove pressure to the floorboard repeatedly to allow the powder to properly settle into the joint.
When the powder is completely gone, wipe up any residue left behind with a wet cloth. You should not hoover the floor for a little while, else you risk removing the lubricant.
Wood-Safe Dry Lubricant
When looking to fix squeaky floors, it is best to avoid lubricants that rely on moisture, as this can damage the wood. Instead, you want a wood-safe dry lubricant that will easily reduce the noise and the friction causing it, but without creating further issues for you to amend.
There are lots of variations of wood-safe dry lubricant out there, all of which could work to help fix squeaky floors. For example:
WD-40 Dry Lube
Everyone has heard of WD40, but have you heard of their dry lube? It’s a great solution for squeaky floors. It’s completely dry, like graphite powder, and so does not attract any dirt or dust, and it doesn’t leave a nasty oily residue like many lubricants. As a result, it works wonders for reducing friction and wear.
You can apply WD-40 dry lube in the same way as graphite powder. Find the squeaky joint, apply the WD-40 dry lube, and then work it into the joint by repeatedly applying pressure to the floorboard. This will allow the lubrication to settle into the joint. When you’re done, you can wipe away any excess from around the area.
3-in-one High Performance Lubricant
This is designed in a similar way to the WD40 dry lubricant. The 3-in-one high performance lubricant provides protection and withstands extreme conditions. It should work to ease the friction that may be causing your squeaky floor and is slightly less expensive than the WD40 option.
Rated highly by customers, 3-in-one claims that their wood safe dry lubricant will work well on floorboards and help to remove that infuriating squeak from your property.
What Not to Do to Fix Squeaky Floors
These lubricants should work well to help you to eradicate the squeaky floor. If they don’t, you might be tempted to try alternate methods.
There are a few methods that may do something to help you with your squeaky floor, but these certainly won’t!
Attach the Floorboards to the Joists With Nails
This works temporarily, sometimes. But eventually, the timber will dry out and the floorboards will be free to move up and down again. It’s a short-term fix and could just damage the floorboard for no reason.
Using a similar method, it’s better to use short screws (not long as to go through the floor) to secure floorboards. This doesn’t always work however and you can do more damage if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Some people will suggest wedging shims into the space beneath the floorboards to close the gap. In theory, this prevents them from moving.
It just shifts the floorboards up and runs the risk of loosening the floorboard further than it was to start with.
What Causes Squeaky Floors?
Squeaking or creaking floors are usually caused by issues with the floorboards. As houses age, or more weight is put onto the floorboards, they often move around. This can cause noises that can be quite frustrating!
Usually, noisy floors are caused by the friction between two hard surfaces rubbing together as the floorboards move around within the floor. Sometimes, though, the creaking and squeaking is caused by the incorrect installation of a timber structure, or the joists flexing.
It’s worth pointing out here that squeaky floors are very unlikely to be a structural problem, and generally won’t go beyond being annoying.
Occasionally, the creaking floorboards are even caused by incorrect fixings, or joists that are not level.