Squeaking Hardwood Floors?

 

 

Squeaking hardwood floors can be one of the most frustrating things for a homeowner.  Especially if the floor was recently installed.  Let's go over what typically causes this.

 

INCORRECT INSTALLATION:

Squeaking hardwood floors can be generated from a floor being improperly installed.  This is more commonly seen in wider plank flooring.  One thing to keep in mind is that any width over 5" typically should be glued down as well.  Glue comes with an increase in cost to the project and a large amount of extra labor.  This might be the reason why so many companies shy away from informing the customer of this requirement.  Using the proper glue and nailing schedule for the material in question is crucial.  Some materials require certain nail gauges and certain glue types used.  Not all products are created equal.  It is up to the contractor to familiarize themselves with the material and make sure they are following all guidelines.  Nailing schedule is also an important thing to consider when installing hardwood floors.  Nailing schedule refers to the spacing between the nails being fastened to the plank.  As a general rule, the wider the material, the more nails required.  However, over nailing also poses a risk as it can fracture the tongue of the board causes the board in front of it to move up and down.  There are several other factors to consider when installing. Contact Colt's Contracting with any questions.

 

SUBFLOOR:

An incorrectly framed subfloor can cause squeaking as well.  Incorrectly spaced joists with inadequate plywood thickness can cause flexing.  If the floor is correctly installed to the subfloor and the subfloors moves up and down, over time it can cause the nails to become loose and the floor to squeak.  Also, this flexing can cause squeaking where the plywood meets the joists.  Another cause is when the plywood is improperly fastened to the joists.  If there is an inadequate amount of screws or nails used to fasten the plywood to the joists, you will have the same issue.  In many case, glue is used to help keep everything stable.

 

ACCLIMATION AND PRODUCT FAILURE:

Improper acclimation can result in the floor squeaking and here is how.  If the material isn't properly acclimated to the living conditions of the home, the material might move significantly once the wood adapts to the living conditions of the home.  Most manufactures and the NWFA recommend that a floor be acclimated to in between 60 and 80 degrees and between 30 and 50% relative humidity.  If the material moves significantly once it is installed it can loosen fasteners or create pressure if it expands against a fixed object.  I have seen floors almost pop up of the sub-floor because there is so much pressure from expanding against a fixed object.  On a side note, leaving the appropriate expansion gap around the perimeter of the floor and against fix objects is extremely important.  Product failure can also result in squeaking. For example, if a floor is milled incorrectly, then the groove where the tongue inserts into the groove might be too large.  This can result in the groove part of the board moving up and down when locked into the tongue side of the neighboring board.

 

If you feel your subfloor or floor has been installed correctly and are in the market for a contractor that knows how to fix it, then look no further.  If you live in the Meridian or Boise, Idaho area, contact Colt's Contracting today!  We won't leave you in the dust!