Last updated: September 18, 2023 at 11:02 am
Squeaky floors can be a nightmare. They can wake guests up from their slumber, and they can even make your home feel unstable. Squeaky floors are not necessarily a bad thing, though. They’re not an indicator of some major risk, fortunately.
That’s not to say that they can’t be fixed. Squeaky floors are not something you have to tolerate forever – with the right screws and the right skill, you can silence your floors for the foreseeable future.
It is important, though, to make sure that you have the right screws and equipment before you start trying to fix the squeak in your floors. If you’re not sure what you need, you’re in the right place.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- 1 What Causes Squeaky Floors?
- 2 Can You Stop Squeaky Floors With Screws?
- 3 Things to Keep In Mind…
- 4 What Screws Are Best for Squeaky Floors?
What Causes Squeaky Floors?
Before considering what the best screws for squeaky floors are, it’s important to understand why floors squeak in the first place. Squeaking floors are typically the result of movement between the floorboards and the subfloor beneath it.
Movement can occur due to a variety of factors, including natural wood expansion and contraction, changes in humidity, or simply the settling of a house over time. This is why it is particularly common in older houses.
Movement may also occur when the nails or screws that secure the floorboards to the subfloor become loose, as this
Can You Stop Squeaky Floors With Screws?
Screws play a crucial role in fixing squeaky floors because they boast much better holding power when compared to nails.
When you drive screws into the floorboards, there is a much tighter connection between the boards and the subfloor than there would be if you were to opt for a nail.
This tighter connection helps to remove gaps, subsequently removing the irritating squeak.
Things to Keep In Mind…
As with any DIY home project, there are some things that you should bear in mind when you’re working. These can make a huge difference in how well the project goes.
Find The Noise
The first thing you need to do when you’re trying to use screws to fix your squeaky floor is to find where exactly the noise is coming from.
This will allow you to add the screws into exactly the right place rather than guessing and adding them somewhere nearby but not quite right.
Always Locate the Joists
Before driving screws into the floorboards, it’s essential to locate the floor joists, otherwise, you’ll just be stabbing screws into the floorboards willy-nilly. Joists are the sturdy beams that provide structural support for the floor. It may be helpful to read if squeaky floors are a structural problem.
Making sure that you screw into the joists ensures a solid connection and minimises the risk of the screw coming loose anytime soon.
Pre-drilling your holes is good advice for a vast range of DIY projects. It will help to prevent the wood from splitting and is a good practice. When making your holes, always remember that the diameter of the hole should be slightly smaller than the screw. This will allow the screw’s thread to grip the wood securely without causing any damage.
When you start to drive the screws into place, use your hand or knee to apply gentle downward pressure to the floorboard. This will help to minimise any gaps between the boards and ensure a tight fit and connection.
You can fill the holes with wood filler that matches the colour of your floorboards as soon as the screws have been put in. That way, you will have a properly seamless look and there’ll be significantly less chances of someone tripping on the screw or the hole.
What Screws Are Best for Squeaky Floors?
There are lots of different types of screws, and while they are on a whole better for this DIY than nails, there are some screws that will work particularly well to solve your squeaky floor issue.
some metal screws will be galvanized. This means that they have a special coating on them to protect them against rust. Since they are metal, most galvanized screws are durable, and the special coating makes them moisture resistant.
These types of screws are great for installing on chemically treated lumber, decking, or porch flooring to stop them from squeaking.
Trim Head Screws
Trim head screws are designed for DIY jobs where a less noticeable screw head is needed. They have a smaller head (the top part of the screw) that disappears below the surface of the wood without causing dimpling. This makes them ideal for fixing squeaky floors.
The smaller head size reduces the risk of splitting the wood while still providing plenty of fastening power.
Counter-sinking screws have a head that is designed not to protrude when properly driven in. This helps to prevent an uneven floor surface.
By using a counter-sinking bit during your DIY floor solution, you can create a small recess for the screw head, ensuring a seamless finish.
Deck screws are known for their durability and corrosion resistance, making them suitable for areas like kitchens and bathrooms that are prone to moisture. They’re brilliant for more robust DIY needs and are often used in flooring solutions because of this.
Their durability comes from their coarse threads that provide excellent grip and prevent the screw from working its way out over time.
Also read: Will Carpet Installers Fix Squeaky Floors
Generally speaking, steel screws are a good choice for fixing a squeaky floor. They have a helical thread that spirals most of the way up the shaft and is specifically designed to not damage plywood. Their design minimises fibre damage, keeping your subfloor in good condition.
Some manufacturers also offer specially designed floor screws, which can work wonderfully. It is worth enquiring about these at your local hardware store if you are on a mission to remove the squeak from your home’s floors.