Friday, 18 June 2010

Squeaky Floorboards? Not any more!

Nothing’s more annoying than the persistent squeak of a badly fitting floorboard. Find out how to cure the problem in just half an hour.


Drill, screwdriver and drill bit; 60mm screws; talc; wide-bladed cold chisel; club hammer

Often, boards may swell and distort with extremes of heat or moisture. If the sides of adjacent boards touch and foot traffic causes the edges to rub together, the result can be a squeak. Remove any floor coverings and test the boards with your foot to pinpoint the problem. Then brush chalk or talcum powder liberally between the boards to reduce the friction.

If the noise persists, the boards may be rubbing against the joists. Tighten the loose board/s by fixing to the joist with 60mm screws. At the ends of boards, drill pilot holes to stop the screws splitting the wood.

If a board end isn't supported by a joist, take up the board by prising it up with a cold chisel and club hammer. Screw a 25 x 50mm batten to the side of the joist to support the board end. Lay the board back on top of the batten and fix with screws.

Squeaking stair treads may be cured by tapping a wooden wedge directly under the stair tread, tightening the tread against the stringer (side of the staircase) - as long as you can get to the underneath of the staircase.

By George Clarke, Property and design expert at

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