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Creaking Hardwood Floorboards

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Feb 2007
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    Perth, WA
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    Default Creaking Hardwood Floorboards

    Hey everyone

    I'm a woodworking enthusiast from Perth, and I usually like to make small to medium sized furniture projects, however recently I have been faced with an ever-increasing phenomenon. Our 50+ year old hardwood floorboards, which are either Jarrah or Karri, have been creaking far more than is usual. It seems to have been getting worse during summer, so I thought maybe it might be the change in temperature. But just to be sure I went under the house today to take some high-res photos of the flooring, and got a family member to bounce up and down on the floorboards in question. They appear to be around high-traffic areas of the house. The floorboards themselves look healthy, bar one board which seems to have a natural crack in it as if it were taken from near the outside of the tree.

    I don't think termites could have been going at the beams, as under the house it is very dry and the boards appear to be in shape, however one can never be sure. Is this a natural occurrence during summer? Or might something more ominous be looming around the corner such as weakening beams or termites?

    I'd appreciate any advice there is to offer.

    Cheers

    Mike

  2. #2
    willow370
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    Default

    My thought would be because it is a fairly old house, the floorboard sides have become slightly loose, and have started to get a shiny surface causing them to squeak when walked on, perhaps the floor beams are sagging ever so slightly to also cause the movement.

    Thats just my thoughts.

  3. #3
    The True Believer maglite's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
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    Bunbury W.A.
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    Default

    A good spread of talcum powder has been known to stop squeaky boards.

    give it a try
    if you always do as you have always done, you will always get what you have always got

  4. #4
    1K Club Member journeyman Mick's Avatar
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    If it's been a long time since it's rained and the weather has been hot then the boards will have dried out and shrunk. This would be a major factor in them squeaking.

    Mick
    "If you need a machine today and don't buy it,

    tomorrow you will have paid for it and not have it."

    - Henry Ford 1938

  5. #5
    Retired Marine Engineer 1K Club Member Ashore's Avatar
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    Try the baby ( talk ) powder as maglite says try and get it between the boards , into the joints , the silica in the powder dry lubricates the boards and can stop the noise.

    Rgds
    Ashore




    The trouble with life is there's no background music.

  6. #6
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Feb 2007
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    Perth, WA
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    Default

    Thanks for the advice guys - it's been a long time since it rained (as any perthites will know) and I have noticed small gaps between some of the boards that creak, as if they have separated themselves from the boards to their sides. I assume this is due to the shrinking of the boards due to the hot and dry weather, however would it be necessary to re-fill the tiny gaps inbetween the creaky boards and finish over them with some floor varnish? Or would they return to normal when winter comes?

    Cheers

    Mike

  7. #7
    Oink! Oink! pawnhead's Avatar
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    Good tip with the talc there guys.
    I'll keep that in mind.

    Along similar lines, I've heard that graphite powder, or just running your pencil over the spine of a hinge can stop it squeaking, and loosen stiff locks.
    Cheers, John

    Short Stack (my son's band)


  8. #8
    Golden Member ubeaut's Avatar
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    Belmont/Highton (Geelong) Victoria
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    We actually have some extra, extra, ultra fine talc in stock at the moment, about 4 times finer than the regular stuff we have which is alreadt about 5 times finer than baby talc.

    In other words, one hell of a lot finer than baby talc. If anyone wants some it will be available by phone order only as it isn't on the web site.

    U-Beaut Polishes: 03 5221 8775 after 10am

    Cheers - Neilc

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