One of the most noticeable and annoying flaws a home can have is squeaky floors. Whether you're sprucing up to sell your home or just trying to make it as enjoyable as possible, you'll want to rid yourself of the nuisance of squeaky floors.
Thankfully, many times fixing a squeaky floor is not all that difficult, requiring just a few basic tools and a little bit of elbow grease before the problem can be solved, and your home can go from sounding like a haunted house to a place where you can get some peace and quiet.
The first thing you'll want to do is figure out which element of your floor is doing the squeaking. This can be easily done by asking someone to walk on the squeaking floor while you watch for movement from below. Since most creaks are on the staircase, watching from below should be relatively easy.
Typically, a squeaky floor is caused by one of two things. First, there might be a gap between your joist and the subflooring. If that's the case, simply drive a glue-coated shingle between the two. Another common cause of squeaky floors is a sagging joist where your subfloor is flat. To combat this, you can cut off a piece of a two-by-four to extend it 12 inches beyond the gap on both sides. Then nail the piece you cut to one side of the joist and your squeak should be gone.
While those are two of the more common solutions to fixing squeaky floors, in some instances it might be impossible for you to access your floor from below. In such cases, where the underside might be covered with a finished ceiling for instance, you can still fix a squeak -- you'll just want to be more careful so your floor still looks good when you're finished. A sloppy, careless approach can leave unsightly holes or bumps in the floor.
First and foremost, drill angled pilot holes into the floor so that the wood doesn't split. Next, nail finish floor to the subfloor using ring-shank flooring nails. For cosmetic purposes, you can fill any noticeable holes above each nail with wood putty.
Your floor could be squeaking for other reasons as well. Poor bridging, for instance, could lead to squeaks coming from between joists. Your best bet here would be to renail the loose planks and perhaps install some reinforcement bridging against the subfloor.