How to Make Wood Floors Stop Creaking

Written by kevin mcdermott
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Natural wood floors inevitably expand and contract over time because of climate changes and moisture. Over years, this can loosen the nails in your floorboards, allowing the planks to move just a tiny bit when you step on them. This causes the planks to rub against each other and creates that familiar creaking noise that so aggravates you every time you hear it. The fix is simple---you have to resecure the loosened boards---but if you don't do it thoroughly and methodically, you may be redoing it endlessly.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Piece of white chalk
  • Power drill
  • Pilot bit
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Galvanised wood screws (1 1/2 inch)
  • Wood putty (same shade as the floor)
  • 300-grit sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Walk over the floor section by section, slowly, looking for the exact spots where the floor creaks. (Start at one corner of the room and work your way out so you don't miss any areas.) At each point where it creaks, put a small mark with your chalk.

  2. 2

    Put a pilot bit into the drill. Walk across the floor and drill two holes into the face of the boards at each point where there's a chalk mark. Put the two holes on either side of the mark, about an inch apart. Make sure none of the holes is within a half inch of the edge of a board.

  3. 3

    Take out the pilot bit and reload the drill with a screwdriver bit. Drive a 1 1/2 inch galvanised wood screw into each pilot hole. Make sure to drive the screw all the way down, so the head is below the surface by about 1/8 inch.

  4. 4

    Wipe a bit of wood putty into each screw hole, using your index finger. Fill the hole completely and let it mound up just a little. Let it set overnight.

  5. 5

    Buff the top of each screw hole with your 300-grit sandpaper to flatten it level with the rest of the floor. Sweep the floor thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear eye protection when using a power drill.

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