How to Stop Laminate Floors from Creaking
A Laminate floor creaking every time you step on it is a real nuisance. Your home comfort is essential, and creaking laminate floors can have a detrimental impact on this. Understanding why laminate flooring starts to creak and the effective methods of preventing and stopping this annoyance is ideal for any homeowner, DIYer or individual who already finds themselves in this predicament.
We are here to give you a detailed guide on how to stop laminate floor noise and creaking, and the best methods for laminate flooring maintenance.
Understanding Laminate Flooring Creaks
With laminate floors being such a popular choice for their durability and affordability, it can be a shame for homeowners who notice the creaks or movement beginning. They may not seem like much at the start, but over time the creaks will become more noticeable. Sometimes creaks are just that – annoying noises that disrupt your home comfort but other times, there could be substantial issues that need to be addressed.
So, what causes laminate floor creaking?
Causes of Laminate Floor Creaks
There are several causes that cause creaking in laminate floors, including:
- Subfloor Issues: The first cause has nothing to do with the laminate floor panels themselves. Uneven subfloors or inadequate preparation can lead to friction between the laminate planks and the subfloor, causing creaks and other noises.
- Humidity and Moisture: Secondly, laminate is sensitive to changes in humidity and moisture. These changes cause the laminate flooring to expand and contract over time, resulting in creaking.
- Improper Installation: Incorrect installation methods, such as insufficient acclimatisation or improper spacing, can also contribute to laminate floor creaking.
Now that we have explored the main causes of laminate floor creaking, what are the preventative measures to avoid these creaks and stop laminate noise for good?
Proper Installation and Subfloor Preparation
Proper installation is key to preventing creaks. It is essential to ensure your subfloor is clean, level and free from debris, which can be achieved by using appropriate underlayment materials to reduce friction and noise. Uneven areas are quite typical and addressing these areas by levelling them leads to a more secure subfloor.
Reducing Indoor Humidity and Moisture
It can be difficult to control the indoor humidity of your home, especially when the seasons and temperatures nowadays change so dynamically. Maintaining a consistent indoor humidity level of around 40-60% will help prevent the laminate from contracting and expanding excessively.
In addition to humidity, make sure that any spilled drinks or excess moisture on the floor is cleaned up ASAP to prevent damage that can lead to creaking and other noises.
DIY Solutions for Silent Laminate Floors
In this guide, we have several DIY solutions for silent laminate floors that even the most novice DIYers can do.
Lubricating Floor Joints
You can silence creaks by reducing friction with lubrication and there are several easy-to-obtain and use examples. Talcum powder or powdered graphite can be applied to the joints between the laminate planks to reduce friction. WD-40 is one of the best lubricants to use also and widely accessible, although these may need to be done on a regular basis if the creaks persist.
Tightening Loose Laminate Floorboards
Tightening loose laminate floorboards can often be a lengthy process, with the need for several tools, such as a pry bar or crowbar, wood glue, clamps, a damp cloth, a hammer or mallet, a tapping wood block and a utility knife. While it is a relatively simple DIY process, oftentimes you’ll have to lift up and remove the floorboards entirely to sort the problem.
So, is there an easier method to fix creaking laminate flooring without having to remove the boards?
Using Filler for Gaps
Gaps that cause creaking can be eliminated with the right filler which is easy to use and long lasting. Fillers, also known as bonding adhesives, can be inserted into holes drilled in the grout of laminate flooring and used to essentially fill the gaps between the laminate and subfloor. Fix-A-Floor Adhesive is one of the best and most affordable bonding adhesives on the market and is perfect for filling gaps and even better it dries clear once cured. All you’ll need is a caulk gun, a drill, some grout and a tube of Fix-A-Floor adhesive.
The adhesive takes just 24 hours to set and won’t require you to remove any floor boards, saving you time and additional replacement costs. You’ll have silent laminate flooring after using this innovative solution for laminate flooring maintenance. For help on how to use this adhesive, check out our guide here.
By understanding the causes of laminate floor creaks and implementing preventative measures, such as proper installation, humidity control and diligent maintenance, you can reduce or eliminate creaking sounds altogether.
Additionally, the DIY solutions we have mentioned, including lubricating floor joints, tightening loose boards and using Fix-A-Floor bonding adhesive, offer practical ways to enjoy a silent and comfortable living space.