How to Repair Squeaky Floorboards All By Yourself
We all want our homes to be oases of calm and quiet, especially when we’re trying to catch those all-important eight hours of shut eye a night. Unfortunately, too often that stillness is interrupted by an all-too-common issue: squeaky floors!
Now, if you’re a parent of teenagers prone to sneaking in or out of the house at night, you might be thankful for the built-in alarm system those tell-tale squeaks provide. For the rest of us, though, we prefer our actual alarm systems to tell us about movement outside our doors. Plus, if that squeaky board is in a high-traffic area, we’re probably hearing that noise more often during the day, when we’re trying to concentrate on work or catch up on our favorite television shows.
While we’ve all tried to just live with the super-irritating noise, it’s so intermittent and annoying that we all eventually cave and decide it has to be fixed. For most of us, doing so means calling a professional repairman, especially if the floorboard that needs to be adjusted lies in a place we can’t access from underneath and/or is covered in carpeting.
If you fall into this category, stop! Put down that phone! It’s actually totally possible for you to repair that squeaky floor yourself, thanks to this video tutorial from the friendly home repair experts at MonkeySee. They’re here not only to show us how to take care of this pesky problem, but to show us how and why it happens in the first place.
So, why do our floorboards suddenly become squeaky? Well, it turns out it has to do more with the structure of our floors as a whole than a problem with an individual board.
Travis Larson, of The Family Handyman, explains in MonkeySee’s video that the real culprit is “almost always a nail shank rubbing on plywood.” Home repair novices or individuals who have always rented their homes might not know, but there are several supportive layers underneath your carpeted floor. Usually, those layers involve a floor joist, sub floor, and particle-barred underlayment directly beneath the carpet.
The nail causing the squeaky problem holds the sub floor in the floor joist, and that sub floor is usually made of plywood. Whenever you walk across the floor, the sub floor – or sometimes the underlayment – rubs against the nail, causing the squeak!
So now that the mystery’s solved, how do we go about fixing it? By following these steps:
- Probe your floor by hammering nails into it in a line. When you reach a point where the nail won’t go in easily, you’ve found the floor joist and the squeaky nail.
- Pull out all of the probe nails, leaving behind the one marking the squeaky spot.
- Cut into your carpet, separating the fibers and cutting through the backing. Be as careful as you can, and only cut what’s absolutely necessary!MonkeySee
- Run a screw into the floor joist, pulling the carpet aside as you set the head. The screw will stabilize the sub floor and/or the underlayment, preventing it from moving around and rubbing against the nail.
- Pull out the guide nail, and enjoy your newly non-squeaking floor!
Of course, seeing this fix in action is often more helpful than simply reading the guidelines, so make sure to watch the MonkeySee video below to really learn how this home repair works!
What do you think of this squeaky floor fix? Was this information new to you, or did you know parts or all of it before? How have you dealt with squeaky floors in the past? Let us know what you think and if you give this method a try!