When you live in a home with floorboards, there will come a time when you hear that tell-tale creaking whenever someone walks across it. It’s not the most pleasant sound for your ears and can be distracting, especially if you’re trying to watch TV or listen to music. Secondly, loose floorboards are also not an ideal situation. They can pose as tripping hazards and cause accidents at home. The only solution is fixing them so that they don’t make noise or become dangerous anytime soon. You might think of hiring a carpenter to do this job for you, but they tend to charge quite a hefty fee for such small work. As such, here is an article on how you can fix creaky floorboards yourself using DIY solutions that are affordable and practical.
Change the Flooring Material
Changing the flooring material can be a good way to solve the problem of a creaky wooden floor. It may seem a little drastic, but this is a proven way of making creaking noises stop. This is because different flooring materials tend to expand and contract at different rates when exposed to moisture and humidity. It’s a basic scientific principle of physics – materials expand when they’re in a humid environment and contract when in a drier environment. That being said, creaking can occur when the flooring material is exposed to moisture and dries out, causing it to contract back to its original size but now a little shorter. This creates a gap between the floorboards and the flooring, creating a creaking sound.
Apply Dampening Foam
Next up, apply dampening foam to the floorboards you want to fix. This is a quick, easy and straightforward solution to stop creaking in old wooden floors. What’s more, it is also very affordable and easy to find at your local hardware store. To apply this method to your floorboards, you’ll first need to remove the flooring covering the boards. You can do this by taking a hammer and removing the nails that are currently holding the floor covering on. Next, take the dampening foam and place a layer on top of each of the boards that are causing noises. Place a layer of the dampening foam on top of the floorboards, allowing it to expand.
Add New Nails and Install New Boards
If the creaking floorboards are in an area where they are getting a lot of foot traffic, consider nailing new boards in place over them. If you have a lot of floorboard issues that need to be fixed, you may want to hire a contractor to do the work for you. However, if you have just a few boards that need fixing, such as in front of your fireplace, then you can easily do the work yourself. Ideally, do this on a weekend so that you have enough time to complete the project.
Sand, Seal and Recoat
Another way to stop creaking floorboards is to sand, seal and recoat them. This is a more involved process that takes longer compared to the previous two methods we’ve discussed above. However, it is a good long-term solution to the problem of creaking boards. Here, you’ll first need to remove the current covering of the floorboards. For this, you can use a hammer and a saw. Next, sand the boards to remove any splinters, bumps or grooves. You’ll also want to remove any old nails that are currently in the boards. After sanding the boards, you’ll want to clean them with a vacuum. The last step here is to apply the sealant to prevent any future creaking.
Wrapping it Up
As you can see, there are multiple ways to fix creaky floorboards. We recommend you start by identifying the source of the creaking noise. Whether it be the boards, the nails or even the underlay, you’ll want to solve the problem at its source to prevent creaking in the future. Hopefully, we’ve helped you choose the right solution for your creaky floorboards. Now all you have to do is get to work and fix your annoying floorboard problem. For more articles and insights, we invite you to visit our blog at Buildiro.com/magazine/.
Luke is the founder of Buildiro.com and he is passionate about construction and building. His mission is to show people how to make things done fast and easy.