A wood subfloor is often used as a base for floor installation. After several years or even months, wood subfloors can develop issues that cause annoying squeaks. If you have wood floors in your home, it’s important to take preventative measures before installing them so you don’t create any issues during the process.
Step 1: Identify the squeaky flooring boards
Sometimes, it can be difficult to identify which wood subfloor wood board is causing the issue. There are a few different things that you can do to figure out which wood board is making noise. First, tap over each wood board with a rubber mallet and listen for the noise. The noisy wood boards will sound different than those without an issue. Another method is to walk across the wood floor and pay attention to where the loudest creaks and squeaks occur and then tap on each wood board in that area to determine if there’s a problem or not. After you’ve identified which wood boards are causing issues make sure they are accessible for repair.
Step 2: Sand wood board to allow for better wood glue adhesion
When wood boards begin to squeak, the wood fibers within the wood start to rub together and that’s what causes the noise. Sanding down the wood board allows wood glues to work more effectively because there are no wood fibers clogging up the adhesive. For this step you will need a palm sander, 220 grit sandpaper, wood glue, and some rags or towels. To make sure you get full coverage on each wood subfloor board used for repair, use your finger or hand as a guide by sliding it across each wood board after they’re completely covered in wood glue. If you don’t have enough coverage on each of them then re-sand those areas until it is completely wood glued. To sand wood floor, use long strokes to remove any existing varnish or protective coating over the wood board with 220 grit sandpaper. Sand in one direction and avoid quickly passing by the wood boards to prevent damage. After you’re finished sanding each wood subfloor board, let them dry for 15 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Clean wood subfloor with acetone
Once wood boards are sanded down, you’ll need to clean away any excess wood glue that’s left behind using acetone (fingernail polish remover). Before doing anything make sure to go outside or open up some windows because this will create fumes. Using a paper towel dab small amounts of acetone onto wood board and rub away any wood glue. You may need to repeat this process until there is no wood glue left on the wood boards.
Step 4: Apply wood flooring adhesive
The wood board needs to be completely dry before moving onto this step. For each wood subfloor, you’ll want to use an aerosol can of wood adhesive for small repairs or a gallon of mixed polyurethane wood adhesive if repairs are greater than square footage of 1 square foot. A square footage calculator can help you determine how much wood adhesive you’ll need to complete your project. Spray on the wood glue in straight lines over the top of the squeaky wooden floor boards so that it covers about 6 inches on either side of where you’re working. Make sure wood glue is applied evenly to wood flooring boards. You may need to apply the wood adhesive in a few even coats if you’re doing a larger wood subfloor repair.
Step 5: Apply wood floors
In order to cover each wood board, apply thin pieces of wood flooring over the top of it by using a tapping block and rubber mallet . Make sure that there are no gaps between planks when applying them onto the wood subfloor. For best results, make several passes with wood plank in one direction and make sure each pass overlaps into successively laid pieces for best adhesion. Let dry overnight before walking on it again.
Having a squeaky hardwood floor can be extremely annoying and frustrating. Fortunately there are numerous ways to fix wood board squeaks.