Wooden Floors Creak: 6 Reasons Why (Plus Fix)

Wooden floor boards are common in most peoples houses or apartments around the world for the look and the durability. Most people have experienced noises within the boards at some time or another.

Here Is Why Wooden Floor Boards Creak:

Wooden floor boards creak for different reasons which can include being in Winter or at night time, structural movements within your property or bad workmanship.

We will be covering all of these factors and types of noises within this article, which will answer your questions. We will also be covering how to fix these creaking noises. Thanks for reading.

Why Do Wooden Floor Boards Creak In Winter Time?

When winter approaches, your wooden floorboards are more prevalent to creak because, during the drier periods, the wooden materials used on the floor had contracted, causing movement between the woods and components used on the floor.

When someone walks on the wooden planks that have separated, they will rub against each other, causing creaks.

The wood used for flooring does have oil in them; the warmth of summer will make them dry out. As a result, they will contract during the entire summertime.

When the season changes to winter, these wooden materials, when they become cold, usually want to warm up and expand to move back into place. When these contractions occur, the wooden floor joints will begin to move against each other, resulting in a squeaking sound.

Why Do Wooden Floor Boards Creak at Night?

All matter gases, solids, and gases expand when heated and shrink back when cooled. This principle explains why your wooden floorboards may creak when night arrives.

During the day, the sun rays will keep the interior part of your house warmer, causing your wooden floorboards to expand. When night approaches, the temperature outside will drop significantly up to 30 degrees or more when the sunsets.

The wooden floor that had expanded during the day will begin to cool off. Therefore, they will shrink and slip a little. The result will be your wooden floors creaking and producing groaning sounds.

Does Structural Issues & Movement Within The House Make My Wood Floors Creak?

When there is a problem with your house structure, it could lead to wooden floor creaking problems.

Whenever you have a creaking problem and have checked and ruled out the easy fixes issues, you should contact an expert to investigate your house problem to find an underlying structural problem. Some of the structural issues you are likely to face are as follows:

(I)Improper Subfloor Installation: When your home has an improperly installed subfloor, it will likely experience creaking problems.

The poor subfloor alignment might affect the wooden flooring laying. Therefore, this may cause spaces to appear between the sub-floors and flooring, which may cause squeaking when you walk on the floor surface.

(II)When there is Foundation issues in your home: Creaking issues may develop when there are problems within your home foundation. This may further lead to structural damages to your home.

Your home foundation may shift, move and settle with time when it experiences some challenges caused by moisture and expansive soil. When these issues occur, your flooring and sub-flooring will likely not adjust appropriately to these unforeseen changes.

When your home foundation may move at any point, it can damage or stress your wooden flooring. As a result, the nails used may begin to pull out from the joints where they secured them, causing creaking.

If your home constructor did not evenly lay your home foundation, it can cause creaking and lead to other structural damages as well.

(III)When you have a damaged floor joist: Whenever your house has an uneven floor joist, it means that even the subflooring that is laid on them will be uneven too.

Therefore, the nails used in those areas to hold the subfloor down are likely to become loose over time due to those uneven joists.

When your house has these structural issues, and you walk on the floor, the subfloor will, in most cases, rubs on the floor joist, or the loose nails joining the joist will begin to rub on the wood and produce an annoying squeaking sound.

(IV)Pier and Beam Foundation installation: Your wooden floor might creak when you have a particular type of foundation at your home. This does not necessarily mean your home foundation has specific structural destruction.

A pier and beam foundation installation will likely cause more creaking at your home. This type of foundation does experience more movement than the other types of foundations, such as concrete slabs. Their movement may not be problematic, but they will cause the floorboards to rub against each other.

(V)When the flooring was installed before Acclimating to the Environment: Before the floor installer installs the wooden floor, it would be best to let the flooring materials acclimate to the environment.

Failure to do so, the flooring, once installed, will begin to move and acclimate with your house over it. This leads to undesired shrinkage and expansion to your flooring leading to the squeaking experience you will witness.

Does Being In The Summer Time Make My Floor Boards Creak?

Yes, your floorboards will creak in summer if they are not appropriately acclimated. The hardwood floorboards will shrink during summer, and when summer approaches, they begin to expand.

Sudden temperature or humidity/moisture changes may result in the expansion and contraction of your floor wooden boards. As a result, this may cause creaking to take place on your wooden floor.

Before your laminated or engineered floor is laid on the floor, you need to ensure that they have gone through a proper temperature adjustment procedure suitable for your area.

This will avoid the expansion and contraction that you are likely to face after laying them on your house flooring resulting in annoying creaks and wear out of the floor when the interlocking that may take place in some section get worse.

Does Bad Workmanship Make My Wooden Floor Boards Creak?

Yes, lousy artistry can result in your wooden floorboards experiencing creaks. Most of the problems resulting from poor artistry are because of working in a hurry, especially when driving nails in the floor joists and missing the points under the sheathing. Bad craftsmanship may lead to the below challenges:

(I)Improper Installation: When you hire an artisan who will ignore the manufacturer’s recommended instructions regarding nailing, installation, and spacing, your floor is likely to encounter problems in the future, which may lead to creaking floors.

Once the subfloor is installed poorly, has bumps, does not level properly, is damaged, or has some imperfections, you need to prepare for the creaking experience.

(II)Acclimation: Manufacturers of wooden flooring materials will, in most cases, recommend that before you lay the flooring materials, you ensure that flooring boards have acclimatized to your local environment. Failure to observe these measures is a recipe for experiencing bowing, cupping, shrinkage, and excessive expansion on your prized wooden flooring.

You must follow the guidelines given by the manufacturer. Many DIY workers tend to ignore them. Some professionals may also ignore them when they hurry to complete the project.

Does Living In An Apartment subfloor Make My Floor Boards Creak?

Staying in an apartment subfloor may cause your floor to experience creaking if you installed the flooring in a swollen state. The wooden parts may split when they begin to dry out.

When your apartment subfloor contains excessive moisture, it will swell and begin to lose its shape. This will affect the flooring above the subfloor to separate from the subfloor or become uneven.

How To Stop Wooden Floors From Creaking?

Having a wooden floor in your house can improve the appearance of your home. Your house floor will shine on the surface and have a noticeable sparkle.

This appearance may be short leave when your wooden floor begins to experience creaking. It may become a nuisance when it begins to cause audible squeaks. The following measures can be helpful to fix your wooden floors’ creaky experience and stop the squeaking in your home.

(I)Shimming: This is a preliminary measure you can take to prevent your wooden floor from creaking. A common source of your wooden floor experience creaking is when the subfloor begins to separate from the installed floor joints. To prevent this type of underlying issue at your house, it would be best to shim the subfloor of your house itself.

The best way to go about it is by wedging a wooden shim on the gaps found in the floor. You can walk on the floor until you hear where the audible noises will come from.

If you find any gap on any part of your floor that produces a squeak, place a wooden shim in that area between the joist and subfloor. Ensure that you place it smoothly without applying any force until it is comfortably inside.

(II)Conducting a Cleat: In some situations, your house subfloor may have numerous loose boards. These loose boards may subsequently be moving, and they will have to be secured to stop movement using a cleat.

To secure the cleat, you need to have drywall screws that you will nail against the subfloor. A cleat can be effective to fix a large area of the floor.

(III)Lubricant: Your wooden floor can have the best finish in some circumstances. You need a dry lubricant to apply between your wooden floorboards to prevent creaking and access to the joists and subfloor. This will mitigate the friction that may take place from the wood itself and eliminate the chances of squeaks from happening.

(IV)Apply a Constructive Adhesive: When your wooden floor has a long gap in between them that runs across the length of the joist.

When you use a shim, it may be counterproductive. In its place, It would be best to fill those long gaps by applying a fast-set construction adhesive. This will prevent creaking and fix the noises that might begin to come from the floor. Ensure that all the spaces found on the joist and subfloor base are filled.

(V)Use baby powder: When you notice a constant wooden floor creaking down your house hall. Please try dusting the cracks with baby powder. To ensure that the powder has gone into the cracks of your flooring correctly, you can use a paintbrush.

(VI)Incorrect Nails: When you fix your wooden flooring with improper nails on the floor joist, this could mean that the nails will not offer vital support to keep the floor secure, meaning the joints will move around freely when pressure is applied to them.

For you to address this arising challenge of using appropriate nails, it would be best to remove the current nails/screws and ensure that you use the correct type to refit your floorboard back in its place. The entire process can be a pretty straightforward task.

(VII)Excessive Moisture: Your wooden flooring should remain dry all the time. When it Is exposed to moisture, it can either expand or contract.

Therefore, when a section of your house experiences linkage, your wooden floor will absorb the water coming from the lick, and the wooden floorboards will change in size and shape, causing warping, noisy floorboards, and gaps to open.

Problems caused by excessive moisture don’t have quick-fix solutions. You will have to remove the damaged parts and replace them. Also, it would be best to take precautions to avoid a repeat of moisture coming into contact with your floorboards by cleaning up any leaks or spills immediately.

(VIII)Acclimatizing your Wooden Flooring

Boards: Before your wooden flooring is fitted, it would be best to ensure that the floorboard you will fit in your house is given time to adapt to the moisture content and temperature of your area environment.

Supposing acclimatization is not done correctly, your floorboards will often expand and contract when installed on your floor. As a result, gaps will develop between the boards when their rap together when people walk on them, causing annoying squeaking sounds in the process.

(IX)Insufficient Fitting of Nails: The nails used to fix the wooden flooring could be the correct ones, but they could have been not fixed correctly to the joist. Therefore, this could lead to movement of the boards too.

To solve this problem, you need to remove the nails and screw where the problem has been noticed. The nails could be too far apart from each other, slip out, or miss the joist. Further, you can screw fix the wooden boards to the joist to make them firm instead of using more nails that may cause further damage to the boards.

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