Why do my floorboards squeak? Does this question keep you up at night as your once-soothing hardwood floors have transformed into an unwelcome creaky symphony? Do each step you take and every noise you hear echo with the annoyance of squeaking and creaking in your house?

At California Flooring & Design, we understand how frustrating it can be. The peaceful tranquility of your home, unsettlingly interrupted by the mysterious and persistent noise of squeaky floorboards. It’s not merely an audible nuisance—it’s a silent plea for attention from your flooring.

These audible complaints are a result of various factors, primarily loose floorboards, inadequately fitted nails, gaps between the floor joist and subfloor, or potential issues with the supporting joists. In simple terms, your floor is trying to tell you that something is not quite right.


Recognising these signs early is essential, whether you plan to fix them yourself or hire professionals. A quick and brief synopsis of the main causes includes:

  • Loose Floorboards: This happens when the planks aren’t adequately secured, causing them to move and make noise when pressure is applied.
  • Incorrect Nails or Poor Fitting: The type of nails used and their placement can make a significant difference – the wrong choices provide spaces for movement and squeaks.
  • Gaps between Joist and Subfloor: Space between the joist and the subfloor can lead to movement and disturbances when walked on.
  • Issues with Supporting Joists: If support underneath the boards is compromised, it can lead to wobbly and squeaky floorboards.

Let’s not let your floorboards remain a noisy mystery, but uncover why they creak and more importantly, what can be done about it.

Infographic explaining common reasons for squeaky floorboards - why do my floorboards squeak infographic pillar-4-steps

With us at California Flooring & Design, you won’t just find the answers to your “why do my floorboards squeak” questions, but be assured of a solution backed by high-quality craftsmanship, reliable services, and a 5-year guarantee. Let’s together embark on this journey to understand and resolve the distressing symphony of your creaking floorboards.

Understanding the Causes of Squeaky Floorboards

The sudden squeak underfoot can be a startling interruption to the calm of your home. The question, “why do my floorboards squeak?” is one we have encountered quite often in our work at California Flooring and Design. Understanding the root cause of your noisy floorboards is the first step towards solving the issue. Let’s delve into the common reasons behind this.

The Role of Loose Boards in Squeaky Floors

Loose floorboards are one of the major culprits behind squeaky floors. Over time, the friction caused by foot traffic and furniture movement can cause the boards of the flooring to rub against each other, creating gaps. This movement and the resulting friction between the boards can produce that annoying squeaking noise when you walk over them.

The Impact of Incorrect Nails and Inadequate Nail Fitting

Another common reason for squeaky floorboards is the use of incorrect nails or inadequate fitting of nails. The nails are used to secure your flooring to floor joists, which are large wooden beams that support the weight of your suspended floorboards. If the nails are not the right kind or if they haven’t been fitted properly, this can leave the boards loose and prone to movement, which in turn, can cause creaking or squeaking noises when you walk on them.

The Effect of Gaps Between Floor Joist and Subfloor

Gaps between the top of the floor joist and the underside of the subfloor are another cause of squeaky floorboards. When a gap exists, this creates room for movement when pressure is applied to your flooring, leading to the familiar creaking noise.

The Influence of Supporting Joist Issues

Sometimes, the issue might be with the supporting joists underneath the floorboards. If there are issues with these joists, such as damage or improper installation, this can cause movement in the floorboards, leading to creaking or squeaking sounds.

floor joist - why do my floorboards squeak

Understanding these causes is crucial in finding the right solution for your squeaky floorboards. Whether it’s a simple DIY fix or a more complex repair that requires professional intervention, at California Flooring and Design, we are committed to helping you restore the peace and quiet in your home. In the following sections, we will explore the different types of squeaky floors and their causes, as well as professional and DIY solutions to silence your squeaky floorboards.

The Different Types of Squeaky Floors and Their Causes

Just as there are various types of flooring, there are also different types of squeaky floors, each with unique causes. Let’s explore the two most common types: floated and glued down flooring.

Squeaky Floated Flooring: Causes and Solutions

Floated flooring refers to the method where the floorboards are not attached directly to the subfloor but instead, rest on an underlay. This method is common due to its simplicity and speed of installation. However, it can lead to squeaky floors if not done correctly.

The main cause of squeaking in floated flooring is often due to uneven flooring or poor underlay installation. The movement of the floorboards against an uneven subfloor or a poorly installed underlay can result in the annoying squeaking sounds when walked on.

Another common cause is excessive moisture. If the floorboards absorb moisture, they can expand and push against each other, resulting in squeaking. This is especially problematic if the boards have not been acclimatised properly before installation.

To fix squeaky floated flooring, you might need to adjust the underlay or smooth out the uneven subfloor. In more severe cases, especially those related to moisture damage, you might need professional help. At California Flooring and Design, we have a team of experienced professionals who can inspect your floors and provide the appropriate solutions.

Squeaky Glued Down Flooring: Causes and Solutions

In contrast to floated flooring, glued down flooring involves attaching the floorboards directly to the subfloor using a strong adhesive. While this method offers a firm and stable floor, it can also lead to squeaky floors if not installed correctly.

The most common cause of squeaking in glued down flooring is a weak or insufficient adhesive bond. If the adhesive doesn’t hold the floorboards securely, they can move and rub against each other or the subfloor, causing squeaking.

Another cause is similar to floated flooring – moisture. If the floorboards absorb excessive moisture, they can expand and push against each other, resulting in squeaking noises.

To fix squeaky glued down flooring, you might need to reapply the adhesive or replace damaged floorboards. Again, for more severe cases, it’s recommended to seek professional help. At California Flooring and Design, we’re more than happy to assist in diagnosing and fixing your squeaky floorboards, ensuring you can enjoy your home in peace.

Now that we’ve explored the causes and solutions for squeaky floated and glued down flooring, let’s move on to some practical DIY fixes that might help you silence the squeaks yourself. However, remember that if the squeaking persists despite your efforts, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help.

DIY Fixes for Squeaky Floorboards

Believe it or not, with a little bit of know-how and some handy tools, you can tackle those noisy floorboards yourself. Let’s dive into some popular DIY fixes for squeaky floorboards.

Using Powdered Graphite to Lubricate Hardwood Floors

One of the easiest ways to reduce the friction between floorboards that leads to squeaking is to use powdered graphite. This substance, the same material found in your pencils, can act as a perfect lubricant. To use, sprinkle the powdered graphite over the squeaky area, ensuring it gets into the cracks between the floorboards. Then, gently work the graphite into the grooves with a soft cloth. A little goes a long way, so start small and add more as needed.

The Importance of Pinpointing the Source of the Squeak

Before you can fix the squeak, it’s crucial to pinpoint its source. The squeaking is usually caused by loose floorboards, and finding exactly which ones are loose is the first step in the repair process.

How to Eliminate Squeaks by Cutting Off Exposed Nails or Filling in Gaps

If nails are causing your floorboards to squeak, consider cutting off the exposed parts or filling in gaps. For nails, you’ll need a saw or nail cutters. For gaps, you could use wood shims or construction adhesive.

Fixing Squeaky Spots by Driving Screws from Below or Above the Floor

If you’re dealing with squeaky spots and you have access to the underside of your floor, you can try driving screws from below. Use a power drill to make a pilot hole through the subfloor and into the hardwood floor. Make sure to use short screws to avoid causing damage. If you can’t access the subfloor, you can drive screws from above. Drill small pilot holes into the hardwood floor at an angle, then drive trim screws into the subflooring.

These are just quick fixes and might not solve all your squeaky floor problems. If you still wonder, “why do my floorboards squeak?” after trying these steps, it’s time to call in professionals. At California Flooring and Design, we have the expertise to diagnose and fix squeaky floors effectively and efficiently.

Professional Solutions for Squeaky Floorboards

While the DIY methods can alleviate some squeaks, persistent and stubborn squeaks might require professional solutions. At California Flooring and Design, our experienced team uses advanced tools and techniques to silence the most stubborn squeaks and restore peace and tranquility in your home.

When to Call a Professional Carpenter

If you’ve tried the DIY fixes and you’re still wondering why do my floorboards squeak, it might be time to call a professional. Persistent squeaks, multiple squeaky areas, or squeaks that are accompanied by visible floor movement are all signs that you need professional assistance.

How Professionals Brace the Subfloor to Reduce Movement and Squeaks

One of the methods we employ at California Flooring and Design involves filling gaps between the joist and the subfloor. This can effectively silence floor squeaks. By using a thin wood shim coated with carpenter’s glue, we gently tap the shim into the gap without causing any damage to the flooring. This fills the gap above the joist and eliminates any “give” in the floor. For additional support, we drive a 1 1/4-in. drywall screw at an angle up through the joist, shim, and into the subfloor.

For floors over a basement or crawl space, we apply the Squeak-Ender hardware. This device consists of a threaded rod fastened to a mounting plate and a steel bracket. This setup pulls the subfloor down snug against the joist, effectively eliminating the squeak.

Fixing Squeaky Floors Under Carpeting: A Professional Approach

If you have carpet laid over your wood subfloor, we use the Squeeeeek-No-More Kit. This kit includes a screwdriver bit, pilot screw, depth-control fixture, and specially designed breakaway screws. The screws are driven through the carpet and into the subfloor, then the screwhead snaps off below the surface of the subfloor, leaving your carpet undamaged and your floor squeak-free.

Squeaky floors can also be a sign of underlying issues with your flooring. At California Flooring and Design, we don’t just silence the squeaks; we address the root cause to ensure your floors remain quiet and durable for years to come. Whether you’re dealing with a minor squeak or a major flooring concern, our professional team is here to help.

Products and Tools for Fixing Squeaky Floors

It’s time to arm yourself with the right tools and solutions to tackle those pesky squeaks. There are a number of products available on the market designed to help homeowners just like you silence the squeaks. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ones.

An Overview of the Squeak-Ender

The Squeak-Ender is a popular tool designed to eliminate the annoying squeaks that can often plague hardwood floors. This product works by pulling the subfloor and the joist together, effectively eliminating the gap that causes the sound. You can install it from underneath the floor, making it ideal for basements or crawlspaces. The Squeak-Ender is highly effective in addressing the issue of voids between subfloor and flooring joists, which is one of the common reasons why your floorboards squeak.

The Benefits of the Squeeeeek-No-More Kit

Another excellent product is the Squeeeeek-No-More Kit. This system is designed to stop squeaks in carpeted floors where there’s no access to the floor joists. It works by allowing you to screw down the problematic boards from above, but with the added benefit of countersinking the screws. This ensures your carpet remains unharmed and the squeaky boards are securely fastened.

How the Counter-Snap Kit Can Help Fix Squeaky Hardwood Floors

The Counter-Snap Kit is another innovative tool that provides a fast and effective fix for squeaky hardwood floors. This kit is designed to be used on hardwood and vinyl floors, making it versatile for various types of flooring. It includes a depth-control fixture and unique screws that break off below the surface of your floor. This makes it possible to tighten loose floorboards without causing any visible damage.

At California Flooring and Design, we understand the frustration of squeaky floors. But remember, a squeaky hardwood floor is not a death sentence for your peace and tranquility. With the right strategies and tools, you can restore the silence and continue to enjoy the timeless elegance of your hardwood floors. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help. We’re here to provide high-quality, reliable flooring solutions to homeowners in San Diego, backed by our robust 5-year guarantee on our flooring products.


Unraveling the mystery of “why do my floorboards squeak” can be a puzzling task. It involves understanding the root causes, including loose boards, incorrect nails, gaps between floor joists and subfloors, and issues with supporting joists. Whether you’re dealing with floated or glued down flooring, the causes and potential solutions may vary.

If you’re handy around the house, there are several DIY fixes you can try. From using powdered graphite for lubrication to driving screws from below or above the floor, many issues can be solved with a bit of elbow grease and the right tools. However, pinpoint the source of the squeak for the most effective results.

For those more complex or persistent squeaks that defy DIY solutions, professional intervention may be necessary. At California Flooring and Design, we offer expert solutions to silence your squeaky floorboards. Our team of experienced craftsmen can skillfully identify the source of the squeak and apply the most effective solutions, restoring the tranquility of your home.

We offer a generous 5-year guarantee on our products and services, providing you peace of mind that your investment is protected. Our commitment to high-quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction is unwavering, making us a preferred choice for homeowners in San Diego. We stand behind our products and services and assure you that any issues related to the installation of flooring products will be addressed promptly and effectively.

A squeaky floor doesn’t have to disrupt the tranquility of your home. Whether you decide to tackle the issue yourself or seek our professional help, we’re here to support you every step of the way. With the right knowledge and tools, you can effectively silence your squeaky floorboards, reclaiming the quiet comfort you deserve.

For more information on fixing squeaky floors, check out our articles on how to fix squeaky floors under hardwood and how to stop engineered wood floors from squeaking.

At California Flooring and Design, we aim to not just provide beautiful flooring solutions, but also to enhance the comfort and lifestyle of our customers. So, wave goodbye to those pesky floorboard squeaks and welcome back the serene silence of your beautiful hardwood floors. With us, you can confidently say, “Enjoy the silence of your engineered wood floors!”

hardwood floor - why do my floorboards squeak

It’s not just about having a beautiful floor under your feet; it’s about enjoying a peaceful, quiet home that enhances your comfort and lifestyle. At California Flooring and Design, we’re here to help you do just that.