How to Stop Creaking Floors in an Apartment?

The apartment life is truly a fun time for anybody.

You can enjoy having a living space of your own, and decorate it to match your aesthetics and personality.

Unfortunately, many apartment units come with creaking floors that can drive a person nuts!

This is especially true late at night, when you’re trying to fall asleep but the creaking floors because of your housemate’s footsteps keep you up. Here is how to stop creaking floors in an apartment.

Steps to Stop Creaking Floors in an Apartment

Hardwood floors are the most common type of flooring in most apartment units.

The worst thing is that these floors are the most susceptible to creaking sounds due to subfloor vibrations and friction.

However, there are some ways you can stop your apartment floors from creaking.

Follow the steps mentioned below to ensure your floors stop being noisy in no time.

Step 1- Locate All the Creaking Spots

Before you try to stop your floors from squeaking, you first need to identify the source of these sounds.

Take a few days to determine all of the spots on your flooring that create the most sounds.

You can take pictures of these spots or even mark them using tape. This will help you remember exactly which areas need some work.

The best way to locate all the creaking spots is by asking a housemate or friend for help.

Have the friend walk around your apartment with a heavy footstep while you make notes of which areas creak the most.

You now know the locations of all of the creaking spots around your home.

The next thing you should do is work on figuring out where the noise is coming from.

Try to determine whether the sound is coming from the floorboards, or from deeper in the flooring.

Step 2 – Add a Piece of Wood between Your Floor Joists

The main cause of creaking floors is your subfloor. Over time, subfloors become separated from the floor joists.

This creates friction between the two layers whenever somebody walks across the floors.

This friction, along with the added pressure of your footsteps, causes your floors to creak. The nails in your flooring are also responsible for these annoying sounds.

So, the best way to stop creaking floors is by inserting a small piece of wood in between any gaps on your floors.

This wooden piece will support the subfloor, preventing friction and movement in your flooring layers.

Thus, no more sound would be produced.

Step 3 – Apply Fluid Adhesive on Small Gaps

Now that your subfloor is fully supported by the piece of wood, let’s focus on the smaller gaps in your floors.

Creaking sounds might be mostly produced due to larger floor gaps, but even the smaller spaces can create some creakiness.

So, the best way to completely eliminate these sounds is by packing up the smaller gaps too.

You can do this by using a fluid adhesive on nay long and thin gaps in your floors. Just fill up the gap using the adhesive and your floor should stop creaking instantly!

Step 4 – Tighten Your Subfloor

The last step to stop creaking floors is slightly more complicated as it requires some labor work.

You should understand that your flooring is made of 2 layers. The first layer is the hardwood floor, and it has a layer of subflooring under it.

When these two layers become separated, it causes movement under pressure on your floors. This results in the creaking sounds.

So, a great way of preventing these sounds is by tightening the subfloor to the hardwood floor.

You can do this by eliminating the gap between the two layers using screws.

Simply get a few short screws that are enough to hold the 2 layers together but wouldn’t extend into the actual flooring.

Tighten up the screw and make sure it is fully driven to the floor with no exposed ends. That’s it, you’re done!

Other Ways to Stop Apartment Floors from Creaking

You now have a basic understanding of what causes floors to creak and how you can fix it.

If you’re looking for a different solution to stop creaking floors in your apartment, read on.

Below, we have mentioned some temporary and permanent solutions to the excessive noise that your current floors are producing.

Dust with Talcum Powder

If you’re looking for a quick fix to stop your creaking apartment floors, you should go to your vanity.

Talcum powder is a vainly staple for people around the world, and it does wonders to stop those annoying creaky sounds. 

Talcum powder can act as a lubricant on most wooden and hardwood floors. As surprising as it seems, it works quite effectively in reducing the sounds made by a squeaky floor.

All you need to do is sprinkle a coat of talcum powder on the areas of your floor that are particularly squeaky.

You can do it with your fingers, or use a dry paintbrush to get the powder in between the gaps in your floorboards.

The powder will act as a lubricant on your floors. It stops the nails and other structures from rubbing against the wooden boards, thus eliminating the creaking sounds.

You should keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent solution for creaking floors.

So, if you notice the sounds returning, you will need to reapply the talcum powder on your floorboards.

Install Floor Underlayment

Despite being slightly more complicated than the other methods mentioned in this post, this one works the best.

Installing soundproof floor underlayment is your best bet against creaky floors.

The best part is that it will also reduce other noise from entering your apartment, making it a more comfortable place.

Soundproof floor underlayment lasts for years. It requires you to work on your floorboards and gives the most effective results in apartments with concrete floors.

This underlayment works by adding a layer of soundproofing material below your floorboards.

This instantly softens your flooring, adds stability, and ensures that different elements don’t rub against each other to create creaking sounds.

However, you should keep in mind that installing the soundproof underlayment in your apartment can be quite complicated.

People who aren’t experienced in working on subfloors should avoid DIY-ing it.

The best way to proceed with this method is by calling flooring experts to install the underlayment for you.

This can increase the cost of stopping the creaking floors, so do consider these factors before making your decision.

Use Joist Hangers

When you were looking for areas around your apartment floors that are particularly creaky, you might have noticed some unstable joists.

Instead of simply fixing them, you should consider using a set of joist hedgers or floor brace instead.

These are metal inserts that can be installed in between your joists and the subfloor.

Joist hangers are the best way to add structural support to your floors.

They make your floors and even decks increasingly sturdy, which instantly reduces the creakiness of your apartment floors.

Final Words

There you have it, all the different ways how to stop creaking floors in an apartment.

Be sure to consider the cost of materials and labor before you choose the right method to use in your home.

All the best in achieving creak-less floors!

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