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Fix Squeaky Floors: Why Is My Floor Squeaking & How to Stop It?

While squeaking and creaking floorboards can let you know who’s roaming about the house in the middle of the night, the constant noises of squeaky floorboards can become irritating very quickly.  So, if your footsteps are starting sound more like a family of mice than a shuffle across a solid wood floor, it’s maybe time to fix it. Whether you have laminate flooring, engineered or solid wood flooring, follow this simple guide to find out what makes these noises and how to fix squeaky floors.

Laminate Floor Squeaking

If you have a laminate floor that’s squeaking, it’s usually down to the sub-floor underneath. Squeaking tends to occur when the subfloor is slightly uneven. This is likely to be the case if the prior flooring in that room also squeaked. Another reason for a laminate floor squeaking, is that there is a lack of underlay between the sub-floor and the laminate boards. Finally, squeaky laminate could be due to the boards expanding or shrinking, which is a result of flooring which has not had enough time to acclimatise.

How to Fix A Squeaky Laminate Floor

With laminate, squeaky floor repair is not very easy because laminate isn’t attached to the subfloor, so squeaking can’t be stopped by adding more nails. If an uneven subfloor is the case, your floorboards will have to be lifted to access the sub-floor. It’s recommended at this point to get a flooring professional in to assess your sub-floor and even it out if need be. Afterwards however, you can replace your existing laminate boards.

Related: How Do I Remove Laminate Flooring?

If your issue is a lack of underlay, then you can easily fix squeaky floors. Simply lift your floorboards and add sheets of Laminate Underlay by taping them together. Your flooring can then be installed back over the top.

An image showing someone installing laminate flooring

If the problem is that your floorboards have expanded or shrunk, it is somewhat more difficult. If you do not want to buy new laminate flooring and your floorboards have expanded, you can remove the boards nearest to the wall and trim them down until all the boards can fit snugly together. This helps to create an expansion gap, meaning your floor had a little more room to breathe.

However, the best advice for expanded or shrunk floorboards would be to lay new flooring. Ensure you leave your laminate out of its packaging in the room it will be placed for at least 48 hours prior to installation. This will help avoid the same problem happening again.

Related: How to Install Laminate Floors

Engineered Wood Floor Squeaking

Engineered wood flooring is very similar to laminate. So, if your engineered wood floor is squeaking, it’s again due to an uneven sub-floor, a lack of underlay or floorboards expanding or shrinking. Therefore, to fix squeaky floors will involve pulling up the floorboards to assess the sub-floor, adding underlay or installing new and fully-acclimatised floorboards.

Solid Wood Floor Squeaking

Last but not least, a solid wood floor is no stranger to creaking floorboards throughout the night. The main causes for a squeaky solid wood floor are again an uneven sub-floor or insufficient underlay.  Another issue that could be the cause of your solid wood floorboards squeaking is excessive moisture. Solid wood does not boast the same water resistance that a laminate floor can, so any spills will eventually take its toll. The boards can therefore swell or shrink due to the humidity and this can cause noises.

A final important difference between solid wood and engineered or laminate, is that it can be nailed to the sub-floor. This however, could also be a reason for the squeaky floorboards. If the nails get loose, the boards are no longer firmly attached to the sub-floor, and can consequently creak.

Related: How to Install Solid Wood Floors

An image showing solid wood flooring

How to Fix A Squeaky Solid Wood Floor

If your problem is the sub-floor or underlay, you can again fix squeaky floors by lifting the floorboards and getting to the sub-floor.  You can find appropriate Solid Wood Flooring Underlay that will easily do the trick.

If you feel that excessive moisture is the issue and your boards have grown or shrunk, it’s likely time to renew your solid wood flooring. Before installing your new solid wood floor, allow 7 to 10 days for it to acclimatise out of its packaging and get used to the room’s temperature. This may seem excessive, but it’s necessary to avoid this problem in the future.

Finally, if your problem is loose nails, this is one of the easiest issues to fix in squeaky floor repair. Simply, remove the nails and hammer in new ones through the existing nail holes. If your boards are slightly damaged, you may need to drill new nail holes just to be on the safe side.

We hope this helps you fix squeaky floors! If you need any more advice please call us on 0330 100 00 15.