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Why Is My Solid Wood Floor Creaking?

By Paul Hambidge, Managing Director on 28th July 2016.

A solid wood floor is one of the most beautiful features that you can add to a home. Unfortunately, a solid wood floor creaking is something that can quite easily appear over time, and there are a couple of reasons why this may be. One of the main causes is 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

Is my floor creaking because of and uneven sub-floor?

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.

wood flooring

What is the 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 hardwood can be damaging since it might be nailed or glued down. Perhaps the best option will be 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

Is my floor creaking due to excessive moisture?

Moisture of any kind on solid wood flooring is inviting a host of issues. Being real wood, it is naturally very absorbent, and will happily 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 floorboards 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.

What is the solution to flooring with excess 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.

solid wood floor creaking

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

Our Flooring Calculator

If your solid wood floor is creaking, then new flooring may be needed. When you browse any type of flooring at Factory Direct Flooring, each product has a flooring calculator on the page. Simply enter the surface area in either metres or feet squared and our My Project flooring calculator will tell you how many packs you’ll need and how much it will cost you.

By simply measuring your room and entering your dimensions, we will provide you with an instant price which will show on every type of flooring you browse across our website. You can either input the total coverage or your width and length measurements, in meters or feet. You can even save your measurements room by room to make your shopping experience stress-free.

It also offers to add an extra 10% for wastage. While this may cost a little bit more, we highly recommend adding it just in case there are mishaps during the installation process. Enjoy the My Project flooring calculator below:

Add a room

Paul Hambidge, Managing Director

Paul has 32 years of flooring industry knowledge & experience from both an installation and manufacturing perspective. He started out as installer of very large commercial flooring projects for multiple retailers. As director of Factory Direct Flooring, he has been involved in all aspects of flooring and has worked with some of the largest producers of wood flooring, vinyl flooring and laminate floors.