Repair a Creaky Wooden Staircase

What You'll Need
Screw driver

A creaky wooden staircase can be an annoyance; moreover, it can also be an indicator of the age and dryness of the wooden stair treads that comprise the steps. Fixing the problem is a relatively simple process.

Cupping and Bowing

Noisy and squeaky stairs are the result of drying wood on the treads of the stairs. The treads are the flat portion of the stair and they make noise when weight is placed on them if they have begun to dry out.

Cupped stairs are dried in such a way as to make the tread actually begin to slightly curl in a cup shape. Bowed stairs are just the opposite. The drying stair is inverted so that the center of the stair is slightly raised and the edges of the tread are curling downward.


The repair to fix this problem is simple. First determine whether your step is cupping or bowing by firmly stepping on the stair. If the tread makes noise when you step in the center of the stair, then it is a bowing problem. If it makes noise when you place weight on the edge of the stair, then it is a cupping problem. To fix a bowing step, sink a small screw in the center of the tread. Drive two screws at the front and back of the stair for a cupping problem.


Creaky stairs happen as wood stairs age and the wood begins to dry out. You can easily fix them by carefully placing screws in the stair tread to flatten the wood.