Creaks and squeaks can drive you nuts, and ever on the lookout for a new way to tackle an old problem, we’ve come up with some more ideas.
In the past, we’ve talked about some standard fixes — gluing and screwing, or installing cleats or shims against loose boards from below, countersinking and filling screwholes from above, driving glazier’s points between boards, or even spreading graphite powder between boards as a quick fix.
On that front, we’ve discovered that talcum powder can work well, too. Just sprinkle the powder around the noisy area, and sweep it gently with the grain and against it, gradually working it between the cracks. Or try dish detergent, squeezing a little between bad floorboards and letting it dry.
For longer term fixes, you can pick up metal cleats and other gadgets designed specifically to fix creaks.
But here’s a method we haven’t touched on before. It works best if you can get access from below. Start by putting a heavy weight over the squeaky area. Buy some expanding foam sealant, and get directly below the squeaky area. Now, drill a hole through the subfloor, just wide enough to insert the sealant’s nozzle, and just up into the floorboard. Wrap masking tape around your drill bit so you don’t drill too far.
Now, spray a little bit of the sealant up into the hole. It will expand into the gap between subfloor and floorboard, and seal down the board. Once the foam has sealed up, you can remove the weight up above.
If you can’t get under your floor, you can do the same thing from above, though you’ll have to fill your drill hole.