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How to Cure Squeaky Floorboards

There’s nothing more annoying – with the possible exception of a dripping tap – than floorboards that squeak as you walk over them. All properties with floorboards are prone to this problem – it’s caused by timber surfaces rubbing against one another, usually because temperature changes over time have warped or expanded the wood.

Unless you’re dispensing with floorboards altogether as part of a major property development overhaul, curing the problem won’t require architects or expert building skills. It’s an easy DIY job that’ll take considerably less time than painting and decorating or plastering work.

Obviously, you need to get at the wood, so carefully lift or roll back floor coverings. Test the area exposed by treading on it with your foot, until you’ve pin-pointed all the squeaks. If you’re lucky, you can cure the problem by brushing generous amounts of chalk powder or talcum between the boards – this will drastically reduce friction.

Should the creak still be there, the chances are that the board is rubbing against the joists underneath. Drill pilot holes through the boards over the joists in the squeaky areas (this prevents the wood from splitting), and secure with 60mm screws. Countersink them into the wood to avoid protrusion.

Sometimes the problem is caused by a board end which isn’t supported by a joist. You’ll need to lift the board and screw a batten to the side of the joist (25x50mm should do it). Screw the re-laid board to the batten. Problem solved!

Picture coutesy of Mr. T in DC


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