How to Fix Creaking Wood Stairs How to Fix Creaking Wood Stairs
Wood stairs are beautiful to have in your home as they add a touch of class, style and appeal to your home. Wood stairs can take the shape of a normal staircase or it can have various design styles such as a spiral staircase. As you walk up and down the wood stairs you'll notice that, in time, the wood stairs will squeak. Wood stairs that begin to make sounds do so because a nail is loose and the wood is rubbing up against it. The tread can also come away from the stringer which causes wood to rub together making it squeak. It can be expensive to have someone fix your wood stairs but this article will show you how to fix squeaky steps yourself.
Step 1 - Locate the Squeak
Wood stairs get a lot of traffic and as a result they'll begin to make an annoying squeaking sound. This is caused because a nail became loose and every time you put pressure on that step the wood is scraping against the nail. The other reason wood steps squeak is because the tread is rubbing against the stringer. To locate the culprit you simply walk up and down the stairs slowly. When you hear a creak or squeak place a chalk mark on the location. Use chalk because it is easily wiped away.
Step 2 - Making Pilot Holes
Trying to insert a wood screw into the tread without making a pilot hole can spell disaster. Doing so would most likely cause the tread to crack or splinter. Using a drill that is used primarily with counter-sink screws will ensure a strong fit. Make a hole in the tread where it rests against the stair stringer. Make the hole just deep enough so that the head of a screw will be just below the surface. The counter-sink bit allows the screw to get much deeper than the surface so filler can then be used.
Step 3 - Fixing the Wood Stairs
Now that the wood stairs has a hole through the tread you can now add the screws which will strengthen the wood stairs and stop them from squeaking. The wood screws you use should be long enough so they will sink into the stringer by at least 3/4 inches. Turn the screw gun or drill with a screw bit to a high torque with a lower speed. Insert the wood screws into the pilot holes until the head of the screw is under the surface of the wood. Step on the wood stairs to test them for sound. If the step still makes a sound then sink the screws in deeper. This will pull the tread even closer to the stringer. Once the wood stairs no longer squeak you can now finish the job. Place some of the wood filler along the blade of the trowel and then spread over the hole. Allow the wood filler to dry before sanding it down flush to the tread.