Why Do Floors Creak? – 8 Reasons

No one likes the creaking sound that floors make, especially when you install a brand new wooden floor. Yes, floor creaking is not only limited to old floors.

Why Do Floors Creak

There are equal chances of your new build floors producing these irritating sounds. There are various reasons behind the creaking of floors, and there are multiple remedies as well.

In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons that might be causing your floors to creak and various solutions through which you can fix this issue.

Reasons Why Your Floor Creaks

1. Irregular Floor Joists

Many floor installation problems relate to the joists that we use as a base to support the entire floor. One such problem is the use of irregular joists of different sizes. Whatever the material you are using on the top of the joists, i.e., wood planks/boards or sheets of plywood.

It would not be balanced enough after you nail it down. These joists will produce a creaking sound without waiting for your floor to get depreciated a bit. They’ll start making the annoying noise immediately.

2. Damaged Floor Joist

Another problem relating to joists is the use of low-quality joists during installation or ear and tear or old joists over time. Whatever the case may be, it will not be a piece of good news for you.

You’ll hear creaking noises which will only increase if you decide to delay the repairing process. The only valid option, in this case, is the replacement of these damaged joints with new ones.

3. Summers Floor Creaking Problem

High temperatures tend to expand the matter like an omelet on a frying pan. If you have used a vast number of steel nails or any metallic components to hold the floor together, you’ll be experiencing creaking sounds in the winter.

It’s due to the expansion of the installation materials and their misplacement for their original positions. You can reduce or avoid this issue by controlling the temperatures to which your floors are exposed.

Also, make some adjustments during the installation while keeping the expansion phenomenon in mind.

4. Winter Floor Creaking Problem

Just like high temperatures, low temperatures also change the natural composition of your floors. The metal used as a placement tool for your floor can contract as a result of low temperatures, altering its original alignment.

Another problem in winters is the humidity which is yet another bad news for your floors. Most wooden materials are highly susceptible to humid conditions and wear out rapidly than their expected useful life. You can avoid this issue as you do in the summers by saving your floors from cold temperature exposures.

5. Use Of Wrong Tools And Equipment

As we have established so far that climate can alter the state of your floors. It is highly critical to use appropriate equipment and tools during the installation process. Screws, nails, and glue are the most commonly used tools that have been used alternatively for a long time.

Many builders have the experience to install a floor in a particular manner with a selected number of tools. They practice the same procedure wherever they perform the installation process. If they use glue among the woodblocks to hold them tightly, they’ll apply the same approach in most floor installations.

This, however, is not a valid practice as it ultimately ends in the production of creaking sounds from the floors. Environmental conditions of a house should be accounted for before using the tools for installation.

6. Improper Installation

Floor installation is neither a DIY process nor should you hire amateurs for the job. A large number of creaking floors point toward a faulty installation of the floor. Remember that a defective installation may not immediately produce creaking sounds out of your floors.

But will certainly do it a lot quicker than the right process. The process seems easy, and you may be inspired to do it yourself. However, achieving accuracy in the installation is a bit difficult and requires prior experience.

Therefore, if you want to avoid problems with your floors such as creaking sounds, you must hire highly professional workers to install the floors of your house.

7. Base Settlement Problem

This problem is not necessarily attached to the floor itself but the settlement changes in the base underneath the floor. The base of your house can experience subsidence cracks due to the contraction of the soil beneath it.

This contraction can occur due to main reasons such as leakage of the underground drainage system or an expansion of tree roots. In this case, you’ll have to deal with the base before you deal with the floor.

8. Subfloor Problem

If you have a carpeted floor that creaks, then there is a problem with installing the wooden subfloor beneath the carpet. The subfloor can have many issues, just like any other floor, and thus produces creaking sounds.

Methods To Fix Creaking Floors

Why is my floor creaking

There are a few common methods to fix creaking floors. You can give yourself a try if you are experiencing low creaking sounds from your floors. You don’t need to hire a professional to do the fixing for you. These methods are listed below:

1. Inserting Shims

This method applies when the wooden blocks or sheets of plywood are not tightly attached to the joists of the floor. The gaps inside can be filled with the use of wooden, metallic, or plastic shims. Wooden shims are most suitable.

You must be careful while inserting the shim into the vacant area. Make sure you press it too far with the help of a hammer. You can use glue around the shim, and once you insert it in the vacant space, you can cut off the rest of it.

2. Use Of Fillers

One of the easiest methods of quickly fixing a creaky floor is to identify the vacant space between the layers of it and add fillers to fill the gaps. These fillers are glues. The insertion can be a bit technical as you’ll have to insert the glue with the help of a thin needle to

3. Add Support And Blocks To The Week Joists

As we have discussed earlier, many creaking sounds are due to the wear and tear and joists that hold the floor together. You can add wooden blocks with the joists as well as add supports by nailing boards along warped joists to solve such issues.

4. Insert Screws To The Bottom

If there’s a movement among the wooden blocks of your floor due to a slight gap among them, you can use screws to the bottom of the floor to address this issue. These screws will tightly hold the boards together and reduce the gaps among them.

5. Lubricate The Floor

Creaking noises can also occur due to the friction produced on top of the floor due to the rigidness of the sheets of wooden blocks. You can reduce the friction by using some lubricants or powders on the top of the floor to minimize the creaking sounds.

Key Takeaways

Creaking sounds occur due to the involvement of both human and natural factors. If you experience these irritating sounds, you can locate the reason for the creaking yourself after careful inspection.

However, we advise you to hire professionals to do the repairing rather than doing it yourself. This will ensure that your floors remain in optimal condition for prolonged periods.