Helping Hardwood Floors Sound and Look Better
Strangely enough, squeaky wooden floors can actually have some advantages – they can alert parents, for example, to the fact that their children are sneaking into the house late at night or worse, sneaking out. In the main, however, squeaky floors are a nuisance. They can cause members of the family to wake up when someone gets up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water, and they can prove a positive embarrassment when guests come over and their every step across the room results in a loud squeaking noise.
Modern hardwood floors are less likely to squeak than older ones, and not just because of the ravages of age. The problem lies much more in installation hardware. Older floors were often installed using nails, and over time as the wood flexes, planks begin to move up and down along the shaft of these nails. This is what leads to the characteristic squeaking noise associated with wooden floors. More recent installations, however, usually use screws instead of nails. Since a screw grips the wood much better, squeaking is likely to be much less of a problem.
Fortunately, it is simpler than most people believe to fix a squeaky floor. In addition to the time-honoured practice of pulling up individual floorboards to affix them more firmly to the subfloor, new products exist to help homeowners eliminate squeakiness in less invasive ways.
Fixing squeaks only makes floors sound better. In order to make them look better as well, homeowners should consider the option of hardwood floor sanding.