How to Prevent Floating Wood Floors from Creaking | Ep. 95

Bare feet, seen close up, walking on wood plank flooring installed over radiant heating system
If your floating wood floors creak, they may not have been installed correctly. (©TheCreativeBrigade, Adobe Stock Photos)

Major home renovations like flooring installations don’t come cheap — that’s why homeowners expect perfection. So, what do you do when a newly installed floating wood floor starts creaking?

That’s the situation Jo, from Mobile, Alabama, faces. A company recently installed flooring in her master bedroom. Once the installation was complete, she noticed creaks.

The contractor told Jo the creaking will continue because it’s a floating wood floor, as opposed to hardwood that’s traditionally nailed on. But she’s wondering if there’s anything to do about it.

About Floating Wood Flooring

First, we hope that the flooring installer didn’t place this flooring over an existing creaking wood floor. That’s one possibility, so Jo should ask her contractor about that.

Second, let’s take a moment to distinguish Jo’s flooring from traditional hardwood floors. If you have a floating wood floor, it’s engineered wood. This flooring is not nailed, but secured to a subfloor with glue, or the planks just snap together.

How to Prevent Creaking Floating Floors

If the floors were squeaking before this installation, unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if they’re still creaking. Other than hope it stops during settling as the wood acclimates to the house.

Here’s the best practice: Always install a floating wood floor over thin rubber underlayment. That would prevent squeaking.

And don’t forget to add a 1/2-inch expansion gap so the wood can expand and contract! If the flooring installers didn’t do that, you would hear creaking as the wood expands and has no place to go.

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!

  • [1:48] The best options for deadbolts and how to install them
  • [5:50] How to securely install a fan
  • [9:53] When and how to replace barriers
  • [11:05] The most efficient way to remove tile
  • [13:49] Best New Product: DeWalt Flexvolt Advantage Circular Saw
  • [14:55] How to deal with damage from a magic eraser
  • [19:36] What to know before using mold-removing products
  • [24:26] All About Daich Coatings’ SpreadStone Countertop Finishing Kit
  • [26:11] Simple Solution: Using a 1×4 as a brace when prying molding from drywall
  • [27:45] Question of the Week: Is there a way to fix creaky wood floors?

Simple Solutions

Wall Protector — When prying moldings off a wall, such as baseboard, chair rail or window or door casing, slip a short piece of 1×4 behind the pry bar to act as a fulcrum and to protect the wall from damage.

If the moldings are particularly difficult to pry off, cut the 1×4 long enough to span two wall studs as extra protection against crushing the drywall. 

Secret Slot — Replacing a faulty lockset on an interior door is a simple enough job: Slide off the knob and unscrew the locket.

The problem is that there’s no obvious way to remove the knob to access the screws.

Here’s the secret: Look closely at the shank of the lockset on the interior side of the door; that’s the locking side of the knob. You’ll see a tiny slot or hole.

Push the tip of a narrow-blade screwdriver or nail set into the slot or hole, then tug on the knob and it’ll slide right off.

Pry off the round decorative plate, called the rose, to expose the screws that hold the lockset to the door.

Question of the Week

Is there a way to fix a creaky floating wood floor?

Unfortunately, after engineered wood floors are installed, there is not much that can be done about creaks.

Your best option is to wait and see if the creaking goes away after settling and acclimating to the house.

When installing floors in the future, a floating wood floor should be put down over a thin rubber underlayment.

Daich Coatings
Home Depot
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