We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Causes Squeaky Floors?

By Angie Pollock
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The primary causes of squeaky floors are subflooring that is moving and environmental changes with the main floor or subfloor. When walking on a wood floor, the up and down movement can cause squeaky flooring. Another common cause of a squeaky floor is inadequately-secured subflooring to the floor joists, the gaps between adjacent subfloor planks. Loose space between subfloor planks and the joists can lead to squeaky floors. There are ways to repair this problem if the problem can be located.

Subflooring is the fundamental layer of planks or plywood that lies between a home’s interior flooring and the floor joists. The interior or primary flooring may be wood, laminate, or carpet, but the subfloor is most often made of wood and is attached to floor joists beneath. If a gap occurs between the subfloor and the primary floor or the subfloor and floor joists, the floor will squeak when walked upon from the up and down movement.

Environmental changes occur from weather changes and humidity. During the summer months, wood tends to expand when exposed to high levels of humidity. The opposite occurs in colder weather or winter, when the wood shrinks. This constant change from the seasons or indoor humidity can shift the wood, leading to subfloors coming loose where it attaches to the floor joists. Environmental factors and standing water can also lead to subfloors becoming warped which may also cause a space between the subfloor and the main floor or floor joists, creating the squeak when moving against each other.

Repairing the problem first requires finding the cause of the squeaky floors. When the cause is a loose subfloor, the repair requires re-securing the subfloor to the floor joists, a simple task if the floor joists are easily accessible. If the squeak is caused from a loose area near a pre-existing nail, the subfloor can be secured with a new nail or screw; use caution to not screw all the way through the main floor. However, if a gap has occurred between the subfloor and main floor, a wedge may need to be placed in the gap before re-securing.

If the floor joists are not accessible, the job will need to be attacked from the main floor level. This involves getting access to the subfloor from above, which may require lifting carpet or whatever type of flooring is in the home. Once the area of the squeaky floor has been located, the main floor covering must be lifted in order to expose the subfloor. The nearest floor joist near the squeaking floors should then be located and the subflooring secured to the joist with flooring nails.

With some types of main floors like wood, the squeaky floors can be repaired without exposing the subfloor. In these cases, a pre-drilled hole can be made through the main floor, but not through the subfloor. A floor nail is inserted into the pre-drilled hole and drilled into the subfloor attaching the two floors securely. Countersinking the floor nail so that it is below the primary floor’s surface is essential in this process. The small indenture and floor nail can then be covered with matching color wood filler or a plug, which is then stained a matching color.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.