A fix might only be temporary; a replacement could last a lifetime
You’re creeping through the house, quietly making your way to the freezer where that delicious pot of ice cream is hiding. This diet is killing you. You’re almost there. A few steps more, that’s all. Then you step on that darned squeaky floorboard. The sound echoes through the house like a gunshot in the dead of night. Your bedroom light is switched on and your spouse calls out your name. No chance of a midnight snack now. It’s time to fix that squeaky wood floor. Or should you replace it?
What’s causing your squeaky wood floor?
Wood floors squeak for several reasons. You must decipher the squeak to figure out whether a repair will quieten the floor or you need to take more drastic action and replace.
Extremes in temperature are a common cause of squeaking wood floors. As the fall sets in and the weather calls, humidity starts to reduce. The air inside your house gets dryer. When you turn on the heating, you dry the air out even more. Floorboards will shrink a little, and movement begins to occur. In the summer, the opposite happens.
You’ll find that wood floors often squeak as the weather changes. But if the squeak is persistent and continues through the new season, it’s a sign that there is something more seriously wrong. You’ll need to discover the root cause of the problem.
If you can access from the subfloor, you should be able to see if there are loose or missing screws of nails and replace them. Be careful not to drive screws or nails through the floor above, though.
If you can’t access the subfloor, you will have to work from above. It can be tricky to get screws and nails in at the right angle.
Temporary fix with lubricant
You could make a couple of temporary fixes, too. While it sounds a little strange, lubricants put between the floorboards could solve the squeak, if only for a short time. Try talcum powder, graphite, or even WD40 between floorboards that are rubbing together. Be warned though, this type of fix really is only temporary. You might still be caught out by an unexpected squeak on your way to the ice cream.
When a fix is not an option
Some wood floors won’t be a good candidate for repair. If the movement between floorboards is more than minor, you’ll find that any work done to make the boards look good again (sanding and finishing) will be impeded.
In addition, if the squeaks are caused by structural problems the boards will need to be lifted, and then you will probably have problems when they are replaced because of any damage caused in their removal.
If you have sanded a wood floor too often, you’ll find nail heads become exposed, and tongue and groove joints misaligned. Even if you can repair a floor like this, it won’t be long before more of the floor is adversely affected.
Options if you need to replace a wood floor
If your wood floor is close to being beyond repair, or you need to make substantial structural repairs, you should consider replacing instead of repairing. A repair may need to be revisited in a few months, or a couple of years. By fixing up, you may simply be delaying the inevitable – and when you do eventually replace your floor, it’s likely to cost more to do so than it would today.
When we replace wood floors, we do so with flooring that benefits from the latest in hardwood technology. A new hardwood floor could last twenty or thirty years, or more.
Modern hardwood floors, engineered for performance
Mannington’s hardwood floors are available in dozens of styles, and so are perfect for any home. But it’s not only the style that is impressive, it’s the way these wood floors are built… or should I say, ‘engineered’:
- They are constructed using several layers, glued together in a cross-grain structure. This makes it stronger than a single piece of wood. It’s also more stable – it won’t buckle, gap, or twist.
- They can be installed direct to concrete – solid wood floors cannot.
- The top layer is crafted from Northern veneers, providing the best uniform color.
- They are engineered to be highly resistant to seasonal expansion – cutting down (and even eliminating) those squeaks!
Hardwood floors that are environmentally friendly
It used to be hard work matching your environmental ethics to installation of a beautiful wood floor in your home. With Mannington, this issue fades away. Mannington’s facility reuses its mill waste for energy, and its wood is sourced from renewable resource that uses half as many trees as solid wood floors. Additionally, Mannington use water-based finishes that are environmentally friendly.
If you have a persistently squeaky wood floor, contact Porter's. We’ll assess whether the floor can be fixed or if it will be better value to replace with a beautiful, new hardwood floor.