why does laminate floor creak

Why Does Laminate Floor Creak?

Why does laminate floor creak? I had no issues when I first installed my laminate flooring, but over time, I noticed that it began to creak when I was walking on it. Creaky floors don’t necessarily mean there is any serious damage, but it does mean that you have to give your flooring a little bit of attention. In this article, I’ll explain the main reasons why laminate flooring creaks, along with ways to fix the problem so you no longer have to tiptoe around your house in the hopes of being quiet.


Why Does Laminate Floor Creak?

Laminate flooring can squeak for a few different reasons and it differs depending on which type of flooring you have. Your creaky floorboard issue could be because there has been a change in season, or it may be that the boards weren’t properly installed.

For the most part, however, creaking in floorboards usually occurs when there is an issue in the subfloor, but again, this isn’t always the case. It’s best to figure out why your floorboards are creaking before you get to work, otherwise, you could cause even more issues with your flooring.

Incorrect Installation of the Subfloor

If your laminate flooring is creaking, one of the biggest culprits is an uneven subfloor. The subfloor is the middle layer of the flooring system which structurally offers a flat surface for your finish floor. If your subfloor is uneven, the gaps and spaces between the flooring may be the reason for your creaks.

Another issue with your subflooring could be that the flooring contractors secured the subfloor together with a nail gun instead of screws. Nails can pull away fairly easily which in turn loosens the subfloor and creates the gaps that cause a squeaking sound.

If your flooring is new, try to remember if you had a squeaking problem beforehand. If it did squeak previously, then there is an issue with the subfloor, but if the squeak is new, then the problem could be poor installation.

why does laminate floor creak


If you believe that your subfloor is fine, the issue could be because of moisture levels. All flooring swells. And although laminate flooring doesn’t swell as much as solid wood floors, for example, you should still leave a 10 mm gap for flooring expansion.

One way to prevent squeaking due to expansion is by installing a moisture-blocking underlayment which will prevent the boards from making a noise when they rub against each other. It’s also wise to let your laminate flooring acclimate for 48 hours in the room you’re laying it in to prevent any swelling or cracking.

Insufficient Underlayment

The underlayment is the layer that goes beneath your laminate flooring and above your subfloor. If your underlay isn’t sufficient enough, the subfloor and your laminate flooring could be rubbing against each other. If the two are rubbing, it will inevitably make a creaking noise when you walk over your floor.

How to Fix a Squeaky Laminate Floor

If you’re sick and tired of your laminate flooring squeaking, it’s time to put your DIY hat on. There are both temporary and permanent fixes to a squeaky flooring issue, but if you aren’t handy with a hammer, then it’s probably worth getting a professional in.

Talcum Powder

The easiest quick fix to a squeaky laminate flooring issue is to sprinkle talcum powder over the floor and work the powder between the boards with a paintbrush. Essentially, by doing this you’re lubricating the joints of the creaking area which will allow you to walk over the floor peacefully.

If you’re opting for this quick fix, it is important to remember that talcum powder can be extremely slippery so be sure to thoroughly clean your floors to prevent any accidents.

Screw Mounting

If you’re the owner of a drill, then screwing pieces of flooring down into the subfloor will prevent movement and the dreaded squeak. Find the laminate flooring pieces that are squeaking and create a pilot hole with your drill bit in the center. Next, screw in a wood screw through the pilot hole, down into the subfloor, and ensure that the screw head is 1/16 inch deeper than the laminate’s surface.

Once you’ve screwed the floorboard down, finish it off with wood putty that matches your flooring color to conceal the screw and hide your repair.

Construction Adhesive

To fix an uneven subfloor, you will need to lift the laminate boards to reveal the joists. Apply a bead of sealant between the joist and the subfloor, making sure the glue is wedged between the two. The glue will ultimately act as a buffer which will prevent movement and stop the creak.

Summary: Why Does Laminate Floor Creak?

No one wants a squeaky floor, especially if you have young kids or other family members who wake up at the sound of a pin drop. Luckily, there are some quick fixes and permanent fixes to rectify your creaky floor problem.

If you aren’t the best at DIY, I highly recommend calling in a professional to take a look at your floorboards and have them correct the issue. Doing so yourself could lead to you damaging your boards or subfloor even further, which would end up being a costly mistake that you don’t want to make.

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