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Squeaks in 2nd floor hardwood

I have a hardwood floor on the second floor of my 1880’s home that has a significant squeak. There is an area of high traffic that the hardwood planks were laid perpendicular to each other in this area so they don’t key together. Based on the three wood screws I found along the perpendicular edge that appear several decades old I imagine this squeak began a long time ago (I have been in the house about 4 months). Whenever you step on one side or the other of the perpendicular plane where the planks meet the floor flexes about 1/16” down with a loud squeak accompanying it. This is due to uneven floors based on my observations. They are not obscenely uneven, but uneven nonetheless. My wife is really beating me up about this squeak so I am trying my best to get it quieted down as much as possible.

I purchased some break away screws in a kit that was designed to tend to floor squeaks. After driving about 20 screws into the floor the squeak subsided a bit, but is still very audible. Before I turn my beautiful hardwood into a holy mess I wanted to ask if anyone out there has experience tending to stubborn squeaky floors and can give me some advice. My method has been to walk over the area then drive a screw down into the spot that I hear a noise. Sometimes it hits a joist sometimes goes into one of the planks. The wood is fir and is original to the house. Overall the floors are quiet, but in this one spot it is crazy loud. Is it normal to drive so many screws in one area and still have the squeak? Are there any other methods for removing the squeaks on a second floor hardwood floor? Can this be professionally fixed for a reasonable price?

Re: Squeaks in 2nd floor hardwood

This is a tough problem if the areas where the planks meet are hanging in air and not secureable to a joist. There are several solutions to the problem in no particular order. Using a thin piece of metal pound down some wax paper in these areas to the point that they are not visible. Lubricate these areas with a lubrication oil like silicone. You will be required to repeat this process every six months or so. Take a sabre saw and cut just enough off of the end of the plank so it does not rub against each other. You will have to do a plunge cut and go slow and then restain the end of the plank so it matches the floor.

Re: Squeaks in 2nd floor hardwood

how are they supposed to do this without taking up the existing hardwood or removing the ceiling below?
if you do open things up your better off removing the bad sections of floor boards and putting down 3/4" plywood with blocking underneath that is secured to the joists

Re: Squeaks in 2nd floor hardwood

Jkirk is right - you are stuck with this floor and the noise.
To get rid of the noise you need to get under the floor.

Re: Squeaks in 2nd floor hardwood

For small squeaks I spread some baby powder on the area and brush as much of it into the joints as I can before cleaning the rest off. I stole it from Tom Silva and it seems to work. Although your's sounds like a bit larger of an issue.

It really should not take more than a few screws to stop the squeak. Since you have already done so many my next guess would be that the subfloor is not attached well to the joists below. That's why you're not getting much relief from all the screws you've put in.

Try a long trim screw (maybe 2") or a longer nail to try to snug up the finish floor to the subfloor planking AND attach both of them to a joist below.

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