I receive 3 or 4 calls a year regarding squeaky floors within a year of a new installation. Even though these calls aren’t our clients we still support the calls. I remember winning a bid for a very prestigious home in the Silicon Valley area of Willow Glen to refinish the entire house including the massive staircase of angular stair treads. I notice how much the stairs squeaked and the upper level hallway. I mentioned to the owner’s that I knew of several ways to stop the squeaking if they were interested in me explaining my method of approach. I can’t say I was expecting the answer of no to the offer. They smiled at my somewhat puzzled look and assured me how much they loved hearing the squeaks! And just so I wouldn’t have an even more puzzled look they explained that having the bedrooms upstairs the squeaks gave them comfort of knowing an intruder wouldn’t know this and treated it as an alarm.
This made perfect sense for a home that was over 80 years and for a home owner who clearly saw this as a value, but how would you feel about a squeaky floor if your home or floors were new? As a confident contractor I can assure you I have found several reasons why a floor will squeak. Usually it has to do with the sub-floor or foundation joist that support the sub-floor. But many times the problem will reside from the craftsman who didn’t follow the manufactures nailing procedure. It’s easy to assume that because you are used to one nailing pattern that it will apply to all wood flooring, but this just isn’t the case as many woods and especially exotic woods have various densities. Skip nailing is a procedure where every other row is nailed with the belief that the tongue and groove will continue to do its job correctly. But even if this isn’t the method of issue it could simply be as in many cases the boards weren’t nailed 1″ to 3″ from the end.
There is also the possibility that by using an air compressor to power the staples through the tongues of the boards was too strong thereby breaking them in the process and withholding the value from the strengthening process. Some wood floor manufactures recommend using cleats instead of staples powered by a compressor. However, if the mechanic is thoroughly qualified, they will control the compressor power to the appropriate level while spot checking to insure all is well to maintain a positive installation.
I can explain several methods of solutions but this how to illustration will be easier to understand