Squeaky Floors: How to Eliminate Squeaks from below the Stairs Squeaky Floors: How to Eliminate Squeaks from below the Stairs

What You'll Need
Straight edge
Replacement parts

If you have trouble with squeaky floors, particularly around floors which are close to the stairs, then you might be considering how to remove them. A squeaking floor indicates that the wooden joints of the floor are rubbing together, creating that familiar squeaking sound. The parts of the floor are loose, and they come into contact as weight is put upon them. When you have a problem with squeaky floors, there are a number of ways in which you can stop the squeak. This is a simple job to perform, and can be done when you have a few free hours.

Step 1 - Locate the Problem

Begin by finding out the cause of the problem. This can be easily done by having someone walk up and down on the squeaky floors. Listen for movement, and lay down so that you are at eye-level with the floor. Watch out for movement, and the sound of the squeak, as your friend walks up and down. When you have found the place where the squeak begins, you should then mark the place. You can then start to fix the problem of your squeaky floors.

Step 2 - Replacing the Bridging

You may find that you have a number of different problems, all of which need to be resolved before you can get rid of your squeaky floors. If you find that the sound is coming from underneath the flooring, this suggests that the joists, which hold up the bridge, are responsible for your problems. Remove the boards, and look at the bridge. If you see any loose parts, hammer the joists back together using some nails. You should then walk on the flooring again to test its strength.

Step 3 - Checking the Subflooring

While you have the floorboards removed, check the subflooring. Use your straightedge to check whether any of the subfloor is warped, either dipping down or arching upwards. You may need to cut out a new piece of bridging, and install it under the warped subfloor in order to hold up the area, and prevent it from squeaking. You may also use shims to secure the subfloor to the joists.

Step 4 - Nailing Down the Boards

Humidity can also cause your floorboards to loosen and warp. If this is the problem, flatten out your boards using a large piece of backerboard and some bricks. When the floor is straight, you should then place it back onto the floor. Press down, and drive in large 1 1/2 inch screws, going from the subfloor up onto the boards. You should use some washers to secure the floor. You can then add flooring nails to secure the floorboards to your joists. Add caulking around the nails in order to prevent humidity from affecting the subfloor. You can then have a friend walk up and down on the boards until you are sure that there are no more squeaks.

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