Noisy hardwood floors are not unusual. It’s a problem that many homeowners will experience, but that’s because wood flooring naturally expands and contracts. This occurrence is most noticeable during certain seasons and times of the year, specifically when humidity and temperature levels change. When this type of change happens, you’re likely to hear squeaking noises or small, but sudden cracking. While it’s possible to quiet a squeaky hardwood floor, you must first identify the reason for the noise.
Let’s review the three most common causes of noisy hardwood flooring in Santa Cruz, CA and what you can do to fix the problem.
Wintertime wood contraction
Do you have squeaky floors in the wintertime? The temperatures get colder and the air gets drier, so you instinctively turn on the heater to warm things up a bit. However, the introduction of this hot air leads to a drop in relative humidity. Since real wood boards are susceptible to the surrounding environment, this kind of humidity change in winter contributes to moisture loss in floorboards and causes the wood to shrink. This contraction creates more space for movement, leading to gaps, and makes the wood planks rub against each other or the nails.
The combination of gaps and cold winter weather is bound to cause squeaking. Although it’s an annoying sound, squeakiness due to wintertime contraction is usually not something to worry about. You can try increasing the relative humidity inside your home, but it can be difficult to maintain a steady level throughout the entire house. The problem should disappear come spring, when the humidity in the air rises and the floorboards expand.
Problems with flooring joists
Floors that squeak all year round or flooring areas that are squeakier than others could point to a problem with the flooring joists. Joists are structural features underneath floors. It might not be easy to determine whether this is the source of the noise. To see if the joists are loose, you must go to the room beneath the squeaky floor or into the basement.
DIY kits allow you to drill into and secure the floor and the subfloor to joists. You can also attach a special brace to secure the subfloor to the joist. If the source of the squeak instead happens to be a gap between the subfloor and a joist, inserting a wood shim into the gap may eliminate the squeaking.
If the problem isn’t a loose joist or directly related to humidity or temperature changes, consider whether you have an uneven or loose subfloor. Unevenness can lead to gaps between the floor and subfloor, so it’ll squeak when you put weight on it. Go to the space underneath the problem floor and have someone walk overhead as you watch for movement in the subfloor. This type of problem might be due to a gap between the floor and the subfloor in that spot. You can drill from below to draw the two features closer together.
Quality hardwood flooring in Santa Cruz, CA is an investment, and you want to keep it looking its best. Visit The Wholesale House for a selection of wood species and help choosing the right wood flooring for your home!
Categorised in: Hardwood Flooring
This post was written by Writer