Last Updated on February 18, 2023 by Awais Aftab
Are your stairs creaking with each step? And you won’t answer the question, how to fix squeaky stairs? Whether carpeted or wooden, it is possible to silence footsteps in your home using these easy techniques.
You’ve heard it in many horror films A stairway creaks during the night, sending homeowners heightened alertness. However, creaky staircases are pretty standard in real life and are usually just a nuisance. The leading cause is usually worn and tear on the wooden components, causing one section of wood to rub against a screw or nail. While the resultant noise could be an opportunity to track your teenager’s activities or deter you from making that late-night visit to the kitchen to eat a meal but it’s better to address the creak before it gets more pronounced.
A majority of the people with a decent skill level can tackle a creaking staircase by themselves. Before you begin, it is helpful to understand the proper terminology for stairs components.
- Treads: are the horizontal surfaces on which you place your feet.
- Risers: are the vertical surfaces between treads.
- Stringers: are sawtooth-shaped wooden boards that run up on the edges of risers and treads that keep the staircase together and offer support. Stringers for staircases that are inside are often hidden in drywall.
- Banisters: are the handrails that run along the length of the stairwell.
- Balustrades: are posts that help support banisters.
After you have mastered the language, find the location of the squeak. Begin by strolling through the stairs noting any steps that squeak. Note the culprits using tape or an adhesive note. Then, it would help if you stood in the middle of each loud step. Begin to rock from side to side and then back and forwards gently. Make sure to determine if the squeak comes either from behind, side, or the top of the tread to help pinpoint the issue. As a guideline, squeaks coming from the side of the tread suggest that it’s loose from its riser. On the other hand, when you hear a squeak that comes either from behind or the other side suggests that the stringer is loose.
Once you’ve pinpointed the location of the squeaks, you can consider these ways to stop them, or at the very least, stothemit.
What Causes Stairs to Squeak?
There are only a few other home areas vulnerable to squeaking: the flooring. However, some rooms have carpeting, so the sound might be less loud than on stairs. Plenty of people use carpet on stairs, but going up and down puts additional pressure on the boards.
Gravity will cause people to put more pressure on them when going down the stairs, which causes the squeakiness to become more apparent. Eventually, people become numb to the sound of the squeaking as they climb and descend the stairs.
It only takes a visitor to point it out, and it’s hard to forget. While no one likes squeaking stairs, the more vulnerable areas like this will always need some care from time to time.
How to fix squeaky stairs? Top 5 Methods
Method 1. Dampen the squeak using oil.
One of the simplest methods to dampen creaks from the side or back of the tread is filling in the crack between the treads and the riser above that with an oil, such as powdered graphite or talcum. (Don’t apply any oil-based products that can cause wood to warp and turn sticky from dust or cause things to become slippery if used too often.) Put a piece of paper on the back of the tread.
Pour some powder on the paper, spread it across the entire length of the stairway, then use your fingers or a tightly wrapped cloth or a stiff paintbrush to press the powder as deep as you can into the crack that runs between both the treads and riser. While this won’t stop the two wood pieces from colliding, the powder eliminates friction, which stops the sound.
Method 2 . Screw the treads down.
If your stairs are squeaking from the top, loosen the connection between the riser and the tread using several screws. #8 screws are ideal for this and are readily available in any home improvement store. Begin by drilling three equally separated Pilot holes across the side of the tread to ensure that it joins with the riser.
Then, drill the three screws, being sure to place them below the surface of your tread. A screw that sticks out off the surface of the tread can be a sure way to cause injury to someone’s foot. Once the screws have been put installed, use a small amount of appropriately colored Wood filler to cover screw holes and cover any slight indentation.
Method 3. Nail the risers.
If the squeak is coming from the rear or sides of the tread and you’re looking for something more long-lasting that lubricant use, screw the tread securely into its stringer with either eight- or 10-d nails (which range from approximately 2 1/2-3 inches long). Begin by creating two pilot holes in the tread’s side close to the wall. They must be spaced approximately two inches apart and drilled at opposing 45-degree angles to ensure that the nails you place following are directed away from one another.
Repeat this process until you have two tiny pilot holes on either side near the fence. Then, insert your nails through these pilot holes placing the nails at a 45-degree angle, following the directions.
The tread is then tightened to the stringer, and by creating a clamp, nails aren’t able to be pulled out after a while. Make sure that the head of your nails isn’t protruding upwards above the surface of the wood, where they can injure afoot. Just a couple of tappings with the hammer can smooth them out. If you wish, you want to cover the damaged spots with a small amount of putty or wood filler to cover the marks.
Method 4. Resolve creaky stairs by removing them from underneath.
Some staircases in the interior don’t permit easy access to the space under the stairs, however, should your staircase has one, it is possible to silence the sound of squeaks by using the area underneath for best outcomes. There are three small triangular wooden wedges, also known as glue blocks, to every squeaky step.
If you cannot find pre-made glue blocks in the local store for home improvement, you can make them by using a two-inch wood cube and splitting it along the diagonal, creating two equal triangular pieces. Use wood glue for the shorter and longer sides of each block, and then push these blocks at the angle created by the intersection of the riser and tread. Place one block in the middle of the step and the two other blocks at opposite ends of the steps. Give each block a gentle movement as you place it to release all air bubbles.
Once the blocks are fixed in place, fix the blocks further by inserting two screws through each one: one screw going horizontally through the riser and the second screw that runs vertically into the tread.
Method 5. Purchase an instrument that can be used to silence the sound of carpeted stairs.
If you don’t plan to replace the carpeting in the future, you’ll likely avoid removing it to fix noisy stairs. But drilling screws into carpet fibers can tear the carpet that can catch the drill bits or create holes in the carpet. For instance, for the best results, you’ll need the right drill explicitly designed for this purpose, like Squeak No More Kit. Squeak No More Kit available on Amazon.
Utilize the tool to drive three screws into the top of the tread, where it joins with the riser like in the second method above. With the kit for carpets, you’ll first put the tripod device in the location where you’d like to put the screw.
Then, place the drill bit included in the kit into the drill. Install one of the screws at the side of your bit, and then push your screw into the carpet and towards the riser and the tread. The screw’s head will remain visible through the carpet after you’ve finished; however, if you use the tripod, you’ll remove the screw’s head while keeping the remainder in the carpet so that it doesn’t harm your feet.
How do you stop stairs from creaking without removing carpet?
Creaky stairs can be an annoying problem, especially if you have a lot of foot traffic in your home. While many people may think removing the carpet is the only solution to stop the creaking, you can try a few methods before going to that extreme.
One of the easiest methods to stop stairs from creaking is talcum powder. Simply sprinkle a generous amount of talcum powder on the noisy area of the stairs and work it into the crevices with a soft-bristled brush. The powder will help lubricate the areas where the stairs are rubbing together and reduce the friction causing the noise.
Another method to consider is using adhesive. You can apply a small amount of wood glue to the areas where the stairs are creaking and then use clamps to hold the stairs together until the glue dries. This can be a more involved process than using talcum powder, but it can be effective in preventing the stairs from creaking in the future.