How to tighten loose wooden floors

Written by dawn gibbs
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How to tighten loose wooden floors
Countersinking wood screws secures loose boards. (lzf/iStock/Getty Images)

Hardwood floor boards can loosen over time as they shrink and expand due to temperature changes, or just from regular traffic wearing the nails. A loose board will creak as it rubs against the adjacent boards, and may even shift under foot as you walk across it. Tightening a wooden floor board is a simple procedure.

Things you need

  • Claw hammer
  • Electric drill
  • Drill bits
  • Finishing screws
  • Wood putty

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  1. 1

    Step on the loose wooden floor board, starting at one end and sliding your way along the board until you find the section that is loose.

  2. 2

    Remove the nails in the loose section of the board with the claw end of a hammer. Discard the nails.

  3. 3

    Attach a drill bit to your electric drill that is one size larger than the diameter of the shaft of your finishing screws. Drill a pilot hole into through floor board, but not into the sub-floor. Use the nail holes for your screw location, or move over about 5 cm (2 inches) and drill the pilot holes next to the nail holes.

  4. 4

    Attach a drill bit to your electric drill that is the same size as the head of the finishing screws you are using. Drill a countersink hole into the pilot hole that is 3 mm (1/8 inch) below the surface of the floor board.

  5. 5

    Use the electric drill to screw the finishing screws into the pilot holes. The pilot holes will allow the screw to slip through the floor board and attach securely to the subfloor underneath. The countersink hole will keep the screw head beneath the floor surface so it does not pose a tripping hazard.

  6. 6

    Fill the countersink hole with wood putty that matches the colour of your wood floor. Follow the manufacturer's instructions about drying time.

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