Photo: MeSamong (Shutterstock)
Living in an older home is an experience for many reasons. From architectural details that you no longer see, to layers of paint and wallpaper, to customer-specific fixtures, there are hidden functions everywhere.
However, some quirks of older homes are hard to ignore, let alone miss – like a leaky basement, tiny cupboards, or flickering electricity – that retailers routinely refer to as “character” and / or “charm”. Creaky parquet floors also fall into this category.
It’s one thing for them to cheat on you at night and make noises when you’re trying to sneak into the kitchen unnoticed for a snack. But older floors also tend to make squeaky and cracking noises, even when nobody is around the house.
And while you know there aren’t any extra steps, your mind can play some pretty nasty pranks on you in the dark. How to calm your floors.
This is how you prevent wooden floors from making noise
So why do older floors creak at all? “Squeaks occur when a house sits down and hardwood floors dry and then expand,” writes Lisa Kaplan Gordon in an article for Realtor.com. “As a result, the boards rub against each other or against the sub-floor or the nail housings.”
G / O Media can receive a commission
Fortunately, she also has some ideas on how to stop the squeak. But first you need to find the source – something it says is a two-person job.
Have one person go down to the level of the house below the noisy floor (if the creak is downstairs, go to the basement) while the other walks around on the creaky floor. The person on the lower level should be able to pinpoint exactly (or roughly) where the sound is originating.
From there, you have different options depending on whether you want a quick or permanent fix, and whether you want to approach the problem from above or below (or more realistic).
According to Gordon, some of the ways to fix the noisy floor from below are:
- Apply some construction glue or carpenter’s glue to a thin wooden base and then carefully tap between the joists and the sub-floor or two planks.
- If there is a larger gap, you can use a spatula gun to fill it with construction adhesive between the sub-floor and the joist.
In the meantime, here are a few ways you can still soothe your floors from above. per Gordon:
- Sprinkle talcum powder in the noisy cracks, cover the area with a towel or cloth, and carefully walk over it so that everything settles out. “The powder acts as a lubricant that stops the rubbing that is making the noise,” she explains.
- “Drive ring-shank soil nails (covered in small rings that prevent the nail from pulling back over time) or cement-coated soil nails into the seams between the rubbing parts,” says Gordon.
- If the squeak is caused by the plank separating from the subfloor, you can hammer two nails into joists (which you can find with a stud finder) at opposite 45-degree angles, and then apply wooden trowel to the holes.
If none of this sounds feasible, Gordon offers several other options in her article.