Why do wooden floors creak

What to do with creaking floorboards?

Creaky planks can become a real problem in the long run because they put a strain on the nerves and indicate possible damage to the wood. Find out at Tischler-Schreiner.org what causes creaking can have and how to prevent it most effectively.

Anyone who has real floorboards in their apartment or house can count themselves lucky, because this flooring is robust, visually appealing and ensures a good indoor climate. Thanks to increasingly modern methods of wood processing, wooden floors can now also be laid in bathrooms. At some point, however, many wood floor owners have to complain about the same problem: over the years, planks start to creak when they are stepped on. Not everyone wants to tear out their planks right away and is therefore looking for alternatives. However, professionals advise against many of the help services offered on the Internet: The causes of creaking floorboards can be different and require individual approaches.

Why do my floorboards creak?

Old floorboards creak especially where they are often trodden on and worn out as a result. In some apartments and houses, regular walkways develop at some point, which creak incessantly when entering. Often, chipboard and carpets were laid on old floorboards to insulate footfall sound. However, it is essential to remove these layers if the floorboards creak underneath.

The squeaking noise occurs because wood meets wood. This happens, for example, when a cavity is created between the boards and the substructure. Every time the wooden floor is stepped on, a creaking sound comes off because the plank wood is pressed against the joists below. The cavity may have arisen because the fastening of the boards is gradually loosening.

Refurbishing an old plank floor can be difficult because many measures, such as impact sound or thermal insulation, require the planks to be torn out and re-laid. If the creaking of your planks is due to dry and cracked wood on the surface, you can have them sanded down and resealed relatively easily.

When installing a new one, the floor level may rise or fall, which is why you must definitely consider the compensation of the door heights!

Many do-it-yourselfers use construction foam to quickly stop the annoying noise of creaking floorboards. To do this, they drill holes in the wood and inject construction foam into the cavity between the boards and the substructure. This method is widespread and is often recommended on the Internet, but it is not perfect: the exact amount of foam required is difficult to dose and its swelling cannot be adequately calculated. In the worst case, the construction foam could bulge out the planks, so that they would have to be replaced. Instead of spraying the substructure, it is more sustainable to repair the fastening of the boards.

If the boards were fastened with nails, it is advisable to countersink them again using a hammer or nail driver. If they are rusty or loose, the nails should be replaced with sturdier screws. Use the nail holes again to keep the planks looking neat! Many experts recommend Spax screws for screwing floorboards together.

Scandinavian floorboards are not attached with screws or nails. With them, so-called grooves and tongues interlock. If these connections are brittle due to age, the floorboards rub against each other and creak. In the case of slight damage, the application of warm linseed oil will help! It causes the wood to swell and prevents the boards from creaking any further.

If it is not due to the fastening, there may be cracks or breaks in the plank. Old plank floors are of high quality and have character, but if they cause too many problems due to the creaking or are very damaged, there is no avoiding tearing out and replacing the planks.

This is how you prevent creaking floorboards

When building a new one, you can take many measures to make your plank floor more durable and to prevent the planks from creaking for as long as possible. If wood absorbs too much moisture, it will curl, which looks unsightly and can lead to creaking planks. It is therefore essential that the planks are properly painted.

Many nowadays use the modern composite wood WPC (Wood Plastic Composites) for their plank floors. WPC boards consist of a combination of wood and plastic and are therefore very moisture-resistant. Because they have a longer lifespan, WPC boards also take longer to creak. The splinter-free WPC composite wood is more resistant and non-slip than conventional boards and is therefore often installed outdoors, such as on balconies.

Planks mostly creak because the wood has detached from the substructure or because it has become old and cracked. When building a new building, a high-quality wooden floor should be laid in order to prevent creaking floorboards for as long as possible. Regardless of whether it is a new installation or a renovation: a wood specialist knows best. At Tischler-Schreiner.org you can find a qualified professional in your area!