How To Fix Squeaky Stairs

There is nothing more annoying than hearing the incessant squeaking of hardwood stairs, especially if you must climb or descend them several times in a day.  Since hardwood floor coverings have become all the rage, the squeaky stair problem has become a burdensome side effect for many people because, over time, the wood will expand and shrink, causing it to warp and pull loose from the riser that it is attached to.  The good news is that fixing squeaky stairs is pretty easy, especially if you have access to the underside of the offending step.

  1. For squeaks that occur in the front - If you have access to the area directly underneath the squeaky stair, attach a piece of quarter round molding that has been completely coated in wood glue to the inside corner where the stair meets the riser.  If you do not have access to the underside of the tread, drive a few nails into the nose of the stair and attach it firmly to the riser below.  Scour your local hardware store and find nails that are especially made for this purpose, they will countersink just below the surface, leaving only a small hole that will need to be fixed.
  2. For squeaks that occur in the rear - For quick fixes under the stair, drill a pilot hole into the back of the riser and into the tread. Attach the riser to the tread by running several screws through the pilot holes and into the tread.  For quick fixes on the surface, use the same technique as for the nose squeaks.
  3. When finished, sprinkle talcum powder into the joints in between the treads and the risers for all the stairs.  This will help to reduce the amount of friction, which is what is causing the squeaking, between the wood.
  4. Shims can also be inserted between the tread and risers to tighten the joint.  First, purchase an assortment of wood shims and some wood glue from your local hardware store.  Test fit a few shims, and then coat a few with wood glue and slide them into place between the riser and the tread.  Tap them gently into place using a hammer or rubber mallet.  Let the glue dry and then run a few screws in to hold the whole thing in place. Then use a wood crayon to hide the holes.  Gently cut away any protruding wood with a coping saw, and you're done.

You don't have to live with a squeaky staircase.  Each of these projects is an easy do-it-yourself/weekend warrior project that will have you appreciating the silence in no time.


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