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Silencing Squeaky Stairs

Can't tiptoe up the stairs without waking up the whole house? Simple remedies include squirting powdered or liquid graphite between boards or dusting cracks between boards with talcum powder. You can also apply floor oil to the floor of a few drops of mineral oil between boards. (Use mineral oil sparingly: too much can stain the surface of the floor. If these methods don't work, try the remedies below.

Three Ways to Silence Squeaks from Above

  1. Place a carpeted 2x4 at a right angle to squeaky boards. Move it in a rectangular patter, tapping it sharply with a hammer to reseat any loose boards.
  2. Coat glazier's points with graphite and hammer them between boards. Sink the points well using a hammer and the edge of a putty knife.
  3. Drill angled pilot holes through the board, into the subfloor and, if possible, into a joist. Drive in nails. Countersink and fill.

Three Ways to Silence Squeaks from Below

  1. Tap a shim into the gap between a joist and the subfloor. Don't force it our may widen the gap.
  2. Drill holes slightly smaller than screw threads. Install washers and wood screws (1/4 inch shorter than total floor thickness.)
  3. Mount a cleat against a joist under loose boards. Prop and tap so the cleat is snub against the subfloor. Nail to the joist.

 

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