Why Is My Solid Wood Floor Creaking?
A solid wood floor is one of the most beautiful features that you can add to a home. Unfortunately, solid wood floor creaking is something that can quite easily appear over time, and there are a couple of reasons why this may be.
The main causes are an uneven sub-floor and excessive moisture, but fear not, there are solutions to a solid wood floor creaking!
Read more: The Cost of Solid Wood
With a solid wood floor, creaking is generally the result of vertical movement which only needs to be very slight to produce an audible creak. The larger the noise, the greater the movement, and a sign that your sub-floor may be uneven - either because there was a fault in the installation, or because you've got the wrong underlay.
Solution to an uneven sub-floor
Luckily you do have a few options when you suspect you have an uneven sub-floor. The best option is to get a professional to have a look at what the cause might be. Be aware though, that a good underlay on an uneven floor will not fix the problem, and laying new flooring on top of the creaking wood will only make things worse. Lifting solid hard wood can be damaging since it might be nailed or glued down. Perhaps the best option will to replace the whole thing, which would be pricey, but as long as you make sure the floor is perfectly flat before laying the wood, then you shouldn't have a problem.
Read More: A Guide to Different Flooring Grades
Moisture of any kind on solid wood flooring is inviting a host of issues. Being real wood, it is naturally very absorbent, and will happy take in as much moisture as it can. If you have lacquered your floor, there will be some degree of protection, but this will not last forever. Even if you avoid spilling anything substantial onto your floor, your planks might absorb moisture through drastic changes in humidity. Solid wood floor boards need 7 to 10 days to fully acclimatise to a room, so they should sit in the room for that long before they are laid. During acclimatisation, try to keep the room around the temperature that you always keep it.
Solution to Excessive Moisture
Make sure you let the boards acclimatise properly to avoid, or at least minimise, the risk of boards creaking as a result of changes in humidity. If you are getting a fitter in to install the floor for you, make sure he comes a week or two after the floor has been delivered.
When installing the floor, make sure you leave enough expansion gaps to allow the floor to swell naturally. Even after you've let it acclimatise, your floor might change shape during a particularly hot season, or even from day to day, if you experience a cool evening and a warm day.
The most practical solution is avoiding any spills, and if they do happen, then make sure they are cleaned up immediately.
Read more: What is the best Solid Wood Flooring
If your solid wood floor is creaking and you're at a loss then give one of our flooring experts a call 0330 100 00 15 to get some advice.