How to Fix Squeaky Floorboards

Squeaky floors are more than just irritating, they can cause disturbance when sleeping, problems between neighbours, or if left unresolved at the time you decide to sell your property can give the potential buyers a reason to devalue your property. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways of fixing squeaky floors that’ll take no time at all if you have the right tools. Squeaks are usually caused by either the floorboards or underneath floor sheeting rubbing together when downwards force is applied from the weight of our bodies as we move around, the friction between the boards causes a high pressure vibration and in turn a squeaky intolerable noise. By identifying the squeaky boards you can easily secure them and put an end to the noise.


Step one is to identify the area and more importantly the board(s) in which the noise is coming from. The best way (unless it’s on a ground floor) is to stand in the room directly below looking up to the ceiling whilst someone else walks around above. Listen out, and take note of the area(s) its most heard. To mark the area, place a piece of paper or another object on the floor underneath the area of the ceiling which you have identified as the source of the squeak.


Once you have located the source you can then move on to remedy it, weighting the squeak from above is a good idea that will compress the floor boards and ensure the repair is as effective as possible. To weight the boards use heavy furniture, sand bags or other heavy objects, even having your DIY helper stand on the spot will weigh it down somewhat and allow for you to carry out the repair.


If the squeak seems to becoming from the under boards and the beams, then the best way to remedy the noise is to attach a brace between the beam and flooring under boards securing everything and eliminating the intolerable sound.


To install a brace screw the mounting plate to the underside of the under boards directly on the squeaky spot using wood screws (usually provided). Connect the bracket with the brace down pole and attach it to the beam, tightening the bolt on the pole using a spanner until the flooring under boards are pulled down.


Another way of getting rid of terribly squeaky floor boards is by using wood shims between the under boards and the beams. Wood shims are thin pieces of wood to be used for small gap filling and are usually mush easier to install and considerably cheaper than fitting bracing.


Wood shims are for use on floor boards where there isn’t considerable play between the beam and flooring. Coat each shim used with wood glue and slide / tap them gently into the gaps. Take care not to force the shims into gaps that are too tight, as this can result in pushing the boards upwards and making the squeak even worse.


Screwing the under boards to the floor boards is another way of reducing or eliminating squeaks. Although a basic way of resolving the noise, screwing the boards together does work by securing the boards in place. Drill small pilot holes (guide holes) using a power drill and a 2mm drill bit ensuring you don’t go too far up and pop out from the surface of the flooring! It’s quite difficult to judge the exact thickness of under boards, that is unless you can see the edge, take care when selecting the wood screws that they will be no longer than the thickness of the under board and half way into the floor boards.


Fixed the squeak but still draughty, read our article on how to draught proof wooden floors.