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In this guide, I’m going to show you how to fix squeaky stairs from above and underneath.
Just like a squeaky dryer, squeaky stairs can ruin your home living. Your home should be a peaceful quiet haven.
Unfortunately squeaks from stairs and other home appliances can ruin such a quiet living.
If your stairs creak/squeak every time you climb, whether carpeted or wooden, you can silence them by implementing one of these simple and yet effective methods.
Ways on How to Fix Squeaky Stairs from Above and Underneath
These are some of the tested proven methods on how you can repair your creaky stairs without breaking the bank.
Let’s get started.
1. Check for Wobbly Nails and Fix Them
Sometimes the cause of a squeaky stair could be as simple as loose nails.
Over time, a nail’s hole in your stair may widen due to use, and this may cause the stair to be squeaky.
Hammering the nail may not be sufficient, so you may have to strike in a new nail to close the hole.
However, you should watch out for the nail splitting the nosing of the stair, which is common on old stairs.
You can also nail two nails apart at 45 degrees on the tread next to the wall. This method ensures the treads are tightened to the stringer.
However, you should be careful not to let the nails poke out as this could easily be dangerous.
2. Screw the Wobbly Treads
Another reason for a squeaky stair is a loose stair tread.
Due to continued use, the treads material may shrink or wear out, causing the tread and the riser to rub together, producing a squeaky noise.
Therefore, one way of fixing it is by using screws to secure them together.
The first step is drilling a hole to the riser through the tread using countersunk screws.
Once you have securely screwed them in place, choose an appropriate wood filler to cover the heads of the screws.
Ensure the wood filler is colored appropriately; otherwise, you are going to have an awkward looking tread.
Wood fillers are appropriate if the stairs are not covered by a carpet.
You can also design your own disguise using the available tools at homes such as plug cutters, chisel, and a screw sink.
The process is much easy, so you won’t need to involve a professional.
A man-made disguise involves rooting out the wood where you intend to drill the screws.
The wood plug that you pull out should be of the same size as the screw head.
The wood plug’s purpose is to cover the screws head giving it the perfect disguise.
3. Place Glue Blocks to Fix the Stair from Underneath
Sometimes the cause of the squeaky noise may be coming from underneath the stairs.
If you don’t want to buy glue blocks like Fugitive Glue Blocks, you can easily make one by cutting wooden cubes into triangular pieces.
Apply wood glue on the side of the triangular pieces before attaching them at the point where the tread meets the riser.
Also, ensure you place one piece of the block at the center.
Then drive screws or nails to strengthen the blocks in place.
4. Use a Lubricant
A lubricant is also a useful product when you are thinking of how to fix a squeaky stair.
So, the best way to prevent that is by rubbing a lubricant such as powdered graphite on both the tread and riser.
The steps on applying the lubricant are pretty easy, and you won’t even have to involve a professional.
Simply use a piece of cloth or brush to work the powdered graphite on the area where the tread meets the riser.
Ensure the lubricant reaches the whole area; otherwise, the squeaking won’t stop.
It is advisable to use powdered graphite instead of an oil-based lubricant because oil makes it easy for things to stick on it.
5. Get an Appropriate Tool for a Carpeted Stair
Tools such as Squeak No More Kit are designed to fix such a problem.
All you need to do is make holes, approximately three at the point where the tread meets the riser.
The three holes should be equal in size and that they should be lower than the tread to prevent the screws from sticking out.
Since you are drilling through a carpet, you need to use the drill kit.
This involves attaching the screws on the drill bit before driving it through the carpet.
Once through, use the tripod to snap the head of the screw so that the remaining body part is carefully tucked beneath.
6. Make Use of a Moulding or Quadrant
Sometimes the cause of the squeaky sound could be from a loose tread and riser.
So, the best thing to do is fix them.
However, unlike the other method of nailing the tread, you can use a more appealingly method like using molding or quadrant.
The method is preferred for stairs with nor carpets.
One of the viable options is to glue them on the molding or quadrant.
Depending on the size of the riser, you could either glue them at the top, bottom, or even both.
Professionals always advise on pinning on both the riser and tread for effectiveness.
7. Replace the Wedges
The squeaky stair could be fixed by simply replacing the wedges that are worn out or missing due to aging or excess use.
The wedges prevent the gaps that are formed when treads meet with the riser and strings. In other words, they help disguise the gaps.
The wedges also provide support to risers.
You will notice a damaged wedge when you spot a hole/ gap on the area between riser and tread.
Ensure you thoroughly inspect the stairs to ensure you know the wedges that need to be repaired and those that need to be replaced.
If the wedges are damaged, you will need to purchase new ones and fix them.
You can even call a professional to help you fix the work if it is too much.
Fixing them is quite easy, just apply an adhesive in the side of the wedge which you intend to join on the tread.
Ensure you have coated it well before attaching it to avoid future problems.
Final Thoughts on How to Fix Squeaky Stairs from Above and Underneath
Above are some of the best methods on how to fix squeaky stairs from above and underneath.
They are simple DIY hacks that can be accomplished within few hours and the best part is that they won’t break the bank.
However, if you find it hard to accomplish these tasks, I would recommend you to hire a professional to help fix the creaky stairs for you.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.