How to stop floorboards creaking?

by Simon Thake
(London)

Hello,


I need to know how to stop floorboards creaking!

We have an old house with pine strip floorboards. Every time anyone walks along the landing the floorboards creak really loudly and it's driving us insane - especially at night.

We're having new carpets in a couple of weeks so now is a good time to fix this problem once and for all. What is the best way to tackle creaking floorboards, and why are they actually creaking!?

Thanks in advance,

Simon Thake

Comments for How to stop floorboards creaking?

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Aug 14, 2011
How to stop floorboards creaking
by: Gary

This is a common, annoying problem. Luckily if you are taking the carpets up anyway then creaking floorboards are easy to fix, much easier than creaking stairs!

Why are they creaking? Floorboards are typically nailed down to the joists. If the joists aren't perfectly level and flat with each other or boards are bowed the traffic on them can pop the nail heads up a little so there is a small gap betweeen the floorboard and the joist.

Once a gap has developed and someone stands on the board it will move down, and the wood/nail rubbing together creaks or squeaks. When you step off the board moves back up and it creaks again.

To stop the squeaking you simply need to fix the floorboard down permanently. The best way to do that is by drilling, countersinking and screwing the boards down.

Before you go drilling any holes lift the floorboards up using a small pry bar and mark the positions of any pipes or cables onto the floorboard so thee's no risk of drilling through them later. If possible, remove all the nails and screw through the old holes with screws larger than the nails. You may need to punch the old nails down through the floorboards to lift them up though so this won't be possible.
If drilling new holes keep an inch in from the edge of the floorboards to avoid splitting them.

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