How to Stop Wood Steps or Flooring from Squeaking

By: Danny Lipford

I have an older home with wood steps that are squeaking. I’ve tried everything from brackets to screws to shims and nothing works. Can you help? – Robert

Hi Robert,

Those pesky squeaks on wooden stairs or floors are one of my pet peeves. It’s either wood rubbing against wood, such as loose subflooring or a step rubbing on a floor joist or stair stringer, or the subfloor rubbing against a loose nail shaft. Either way, it drives me up the proverbial wall!

If you’ve tried shims, that tells me you have access underneath your steps, which is definitely in your favor. Here’s a tip about using shims: make sure you apply wood glue to the shim first. Also, don’t drive shims in too far or you’ll raise the subfloor and pave the way for even more squeaks.

Since none of the traditional squeak stopping techniques have worked, it may be time to try a new product called the Squeak-Ender that just may do the trick.

The Squeak-Ender consists of a threaded rod attached to a metal mounting plate, and a separate bracket that fit around the joist or stair stringer. Here’s how it works:

  • Screw the mounting plate to the bottom of the step or subfloor.
  • Fit the metal bracket around the bottom of the stringer or floor joist, sliding the other end of the bracket on the threaded rod.
  • Screw a nut on the threaded rod, and tighten it against the bracket to pull the step down tight against the joist or stringer.

This eliminates any movement in the floor or step to stop the squeak.

Good luck with your project,

Danny

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  • Ami Says:
    February 3rd, 2015 at 6:20 am

    I live in a house that was built in the 1920s with wood floors, stairs and some of the doors still have original knobs. We have a room just off the laundry area that has two doors, one leads to the laundry area like I said and the other comes out into the living room and we’ve a door that opens up into the stairwell that leads to the upstairs bedrooms and both doors have keyholes that have been filled in and painted over but they look like those old skeleton key keyholes. Our stairs leading to the bedrooms all creak something awful. Every single step. All over. At night we wake each other up if one of us needs to go downstairs to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. We’re in the process of making some repairs on our house and plan to fix those annoying stairs. Another thing we’re planning is to repaint because the paint’s been peeling off the walls in places and I’ve noticed that under the paints there’s about twenty or so layers of different wallpaper. Ugh! Lol!


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