Has the soothing sound of your footsteps on your new wood floor suddenly turned into a symphony of annoying creaks? Are you plagued by the constant noise every time you move from one room to another, turning your dream home into a creaky old house? You’re not alone, the problem of new wood floors creaking is not unheard of and has left many homeowners like you frustrated and seeking solutions.

The surprising creaking symphony is far from music to your ears. The noise is more than a mere inconvenience; it can indicate structural issues such as improper installation or looseness of the floorboards. For a homeowner who values the perfect blend of aesthetics, quality, and tranquility in their environment, this is more than just a squeaking annoyance.

But the good news is, understanding the root cause can guide us towards the proper solution to the creaky conundrum. Before launching further into the details, here’s a quick overview of what this article about new wood floors creaking will cover:

  • The main reasons why hardwood floors creak and squeak.
  • Methods to identify the source of the creak.
  • How seasonal changes, improper installations, and everyday wear and tear influence the creaking.
  • Various effective fixes to silence your squeaky hardwood floors permanently.

Factors causing new wood floors to creak - new wood floors creaking infographic pillar-4-steps

Now, follow us as we embark on the investigation and quest to restore that soothing sound of your footsteps on your hardwood floor. Let’s take the first step on this journey towards a more peaceful and creak-free home.

Understanding Why New Wood Floors Creak

The sound of your footsteps on your new wood floor should evoke feelings of satisfaction and peace, not the disquiet brought about by creaking noises. When the latter happens, it’s usually a sign that something isn’t right. So, let’s delve into the reasons why your new wood floors might be creaking.

The Role of Temperature and Humidity

One of the main culprits of your new wood floors creaking is the changes in temperature and humidity. Wood, being a natural material, reacts to its environment. It expands and contracts in response to changes in moisture levels and temperature variations.

During periods of high humidity, wood absorbs moisture and expands. Conversely, during low humidity, wood releases moisture and contracts. This constant expansion and contraction can cause the wood planks to rub against each other or the subfloor, resulting in that irksome creaking sound.

The Impact of Settling

Newly installed hardwood floors need time to “settle,” or adjust to the conditions of your home. The acclimation period varies depending on the species and product, but it’s typically around three days. During this time, the wood flooring tries to reach an equilibrium with the moisture content of the surrounding air.

However, if the installation process is rushed and the wood doesn’t have enough time to acclimate, it can lead to problems down the line. The flooring might contract or expand more than expected, leading to gaps between the boards, and yes, those annoying squeaks.

The Effect of Installation Methods

The installation process plays a crucial role in the performance of your hardwood floors. If the floorboards and subfloor aren’t securely fastened, they can move and create friction, resulting in a creaking sound.

Similarly, if the wrong type of glue or adhesive is used, or if it’s not applied properly, it can lead to a weak bond between the floorboards and the subfloor, causing the wood to move and creak.

In conclusion, there are multiple factors at play when it comes to new wood floors creaking. Temperature and humidity changes, improper acclimation, and installation methods can all contribute to the issue. But don’t fret, at California Flooring and Design, we’re experts in handling these issues and can help you ensure your new wood floors are as quiet as they are beautiful. Now, let’s move on to some of the common causes of creaking in new wood floors.

Common Causes of Creaking in New Wood Floors

Changes in Humidity and Temperature

One of the most common reasons for new wood floors creaking is changes in humidity and temperature. As wooden planks expand and contract in response to temperature and humidity changes, they may rub against each other or the subfloor, causing squeaking noises. This is especially common during seasonal transitions when humidity levels can fluctuate dramatically.

Improper Installation

Another common cause of creaking is improper installation. If your hardwood floor was not installed correctly initially, it could lead to squeaking later on. For instance, the planks may not have been securely fastened to the subfloor, or the subfloor itself might not be level. These issues can cause the boards to move and create friction, resulting in a creaking sound. This is why at California Flooring and Design, we emphasize the importance of professional installation to prevent such issues.

Loose Floorboards

Loose floorboards are another common culprit behind creaking floors. Over time, floorboards can become loose from the subfloor due to foot traffic or other factors. When you walk on these loose boards, they may rub against each other or the nails holding them in place, causing them to squeak.

Wear and Tear

Finally, everyday wear and tear can also contribute to creaking floors. High-traffic areas like hallways and living rooms are particularly susceptible to this issue as the constant foot traffic can intensify the friction between the floorboards, leading to more creaks.

Understanding these common causes of creaking in new wood floors can help you better identify and address the problem. If you’re ever unsure about how to fix squeaky floors, we at California Flooring and Design are here to help. In the next section, we will discuss when you should be concerned about creaking and how to fix it.

When Should You Be Concerned About Creaking Floors?

The occasional creak or squeak is a normal part of owning a hardwood floor. Like any other material, wood responds to changes in its environment, leading to the sounds you hear. However, there are times when these creaking sounds may indicate a potential issue that needs to be addressed. Here are a few situations when you should be concerned.

Prolonged Squeaking

While seasonal changes can cause your new wood floors to creak, these sounds should subside as the weather stabilizes. If you notice that the creaking continues well past any seasonal changes, it could indicate that there is something more serious going on with your flooring. Prolonged squeaking could be a sign of loose nails, gaps between boards, or even moisture damage that needs to be addressed.

Excessive Creaking in Newly Laid Floors

New hardwood floors should generally not creak excessively. If your new wood floors are creaking more than you think they should, it could be a sign of improper installation. For instance, if the floorboards and subfloor are not securely fastened, they can move and create friction, resulting in a creaking sound. Or, the problem could be due to improper acclimation of the flooring before installation. In these cases, it’s best to contact a flooring professional to assess the situation.

Creaking Accompanied by Visible Gaps

If you notice that the creaking sounds are accompanied by visible gaps in your flooring, it’s time to take action. Gaps between the floorboards can be a sign of a moisture imbalance or improper installation. These gaps allow the boards to rub against each other, producing a high-pitched squeaking noise. Moreover, they can significantly impact the aesthetic and functionality of your floor.

In summary, while some amount of creaking is normal with hardwood floors, excessive or prolonged creaking, especially when accompanied by visible gaps, could indicate a problem. If you’re facing any of these issues, don’t hesitate to contact us at California Flooring and Design. We have the expertise and experience to help you address any concerns and ensure your beautiful hardwood floors remain a source of pride and enjoyment in your home.

How to Fix Creaking in New Wood Floors

If your new wood floors are creaking, don’t worry. We at California Flooring and Design have several solutions you can try to silence those pesky sounds and maintain the peace and tranquility of your home.

Tightening Loose Floorboards

One of the main causes of creaking is loose floorboards. When a floorboard has detached from the subfloor, it may produce a creaking noise whenever pressure is applied. Fortunately, this issue can be easily fixed. Using flooring nails or an innovative fastening system like the Squeeeeek-No-More Kit or Counter-Snap Kit, you can secure the loose floorboard to the subfloor. These tools provide a more permanent solution to your squeaky floor problems. But remember, it’s important to use the nails in inconspicuous spots to maintain the aesthetic appeal of your flooring.

Lubricating the Flooring

Another common cause of creaky floorboards is friction between two planks. Lubricating the area can limit the noise without requiring any intense DIY. A good lubricant for this purpose is powdered graphite, which is excellent at reducing friction and subsequent squeaks. As DIY expert Shlomo Cherniak suggests, you can apply the lubricant in the gaps around the creaky floorboards, and the noise should be reduced immediately.

Reinforcing the Subfloor

If the creaking is caused by a worn-out subfloor, reinforcing it can help to prevent further creaking. This process involves strengthening the supports with blocking between joists or using bridging techniques to minimize how much the floor moves when walked on. Although this task can be a bit complex, our professional team at California Flooring and Design can handle it for you, ensuring the subfloor is adequately reinforced.

Controlling Humidity Levels

Rapid changes in humidity or temperature can also cause your new wood floors to creak. To prevent this, it’s crucial to monitor and maintain optimal humidity levels in your home. A humidity level of around 30-50% is typically recommended for hardwood floors. Also, try to avoid sudden temperature changes in your home as they can cause the wood to expand and contract, leading to creaking.

A creaky floor is not a death sentence for your peace and tranquility. With the right strategies and professional help, you can restore the silence and continue to enjoy the timeless elegance of your hardwood floors. If you’re struggling with new wood floors creaking, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re committed to helping you solve your hardwood floor problems and ensuring your home remains a peaceful and comfortable space.

Preventing Creaking in New Wood Floors

Preventing the creaking of your new hardwood floors is easier than you might think. It involves some simple steps that you can integrate into your routine. By taking these preventative measures, you can enjoy the quiet and comfort of your hardwood floors for years to come.

Monitoring Humidity Levels

One major culprit behind the creaking noise often heard in hardwood floors is fluctuations in humidity levels. Changes in seasons can cause the wood to expand and contract, leading to gaps and thus the dreaded squeak. Keeping a consistent level of humidity in your home can help prevent these issues.

To maintain this balance, use a hygrometer to measure the moisture content in the air. Aim for a humidity level between 30% and 50%. This range is not only comfortable for humans but is also ideal for preserving the integrity of your hardwood floors.

Avoiding Wetting Wood Floors

Adding moisture to your wood floors can be detrimental. When cleaning your hardwood floors, limit how much water you use. Opt for using a damp mop or cloth and ensure you dry the floors thoroughly afterward.

At California Flooring and Design, we recommend a regular cleaning routine using a spray hardwood floor cleaner. This helps keep your floors clean and shiny without exposing them to unnecessary water, which could lead to expansion and squeaks.

Regular Vacuuming

Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate in the gaps between your floorboards, causing friction and subsequently, squeaking. Make it a habit to dust and sweep your floors daily. Use the “hard floor” setting on your vacuum cleaner to collect any dirt that your broom might miss. Regular vacuuming can help prevent debris from getting into cracks and causing friction that leads to squeaks.

Ensuring Proper Installation Techniques

The initial installation of your hardwood floors plays a significant role in preventing future squeaks. Properly installed hardwood floors should have adequate support and fastening to prevent movement and friction between the boards and the subfloor.

Hiring a professional flooring company, such as California Flooring and Design, ensures the use of correct installation techniques. We stand by our products and services and our solid five-year guarantee assures you of a quality installation that won’t leave you tiptoeing around your home to avoid squeaky spots.

By following these preventative measures, you can enjoy the peace and tranquility that come with a well-maintained hardwood floor. Proper care and regular maintenance are your best allies in keeping your floors looking good and sounding quiet. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always ready to assist with your flooring needs.


When you have new wood floors installed, it can be disconcerting to hear creaking noises. However, you can take comfort in knowing that such noises are usually not a cause for concern, but rather a normal part of the process as the wood adjusts to its new surroundings. Whether it’s due to changes in temperature and humidity, settling of the home, or even the natural characteristics of wood itself, these creaks and squeaks do not mean that there’s anything structurally wrong with your flooring.

In many instances, fixing the issue is a simple matter of tightening loose floorboards, lubricating the flooring, reinforcing the subfloor, or controlling the humidity levels in your home. And while these fixes are generally easy to implement, it’s always best to consult with a professional to ensure that the right approach is taken to address the cause of the creaking.

At California Flooring and Design, we understand the nuances of wood flooring and are equipped with the knowledge and tools to address any flooring issue. We are committed to providing high-quality, reliable flooring solutions that stand the test of time, backed by our robust 5-year guarantee.

In the end, remember that the character of wood floors is part of their charm. So while it’s important to address any excessive or persistent creaking, don’t forget to appreciate the natural beauty and warmth that your hardwood floors bring to your home.

If you’re interested in further understanding wood flooring issues or looking for professional assistance, explore our comprehensive guides on how to fix squeaky hardwood floors or how to fix squeaky floorboards. These resources can provide you with additional insights and solutions to ensure your hardwood floors remain in the best possible condition.

Hardwood Flooring - new wood floors creaking

With the right care and attention, your new wood floors can provide you with a lifetime of beauty and comfort.