Have you ever heard someone refer to their squeaky hardwood floors as charming? It’s true that there’s a certain charm to a little squeaking as you walk through the rooms in an older home. And if your customer is the longtime owner of the home having lived there long enough to have watched their children run through rooms enough to have “created” those squeaky floors, then the sound really does have a sense of charm, for them at least.
But for the homeowner who recently had hardwood installed, those squeaks aren’t nearly as charming. Especially having recently paid a hefty sum to have the floors installed. Homeowners expect their new floors to be durable, beautiful and elegant; anything but squeaky. Those newly installed squeaky floors will be a constant reminder of a job gone wrong instead of a job well done.
There are so many different creaks and squeaks that hardwood floors make as we walk on them. There’s the creak that sounds like a moan, and there’s the high-pitched squeak that sounds more like a mouse who just found today’s lunch. There are probably hundreds of other squeaks and creeks, but there’s only one culprit for these musical beauties – movement. When the components of a floor begin to shift under pressure, that’s when the unwanted music begins.
The process for crafting long-lasting squeakless flooring may seem like a complicated task, but if you follow these three steps, you can feel confident you will have a high quality finished product and happy customers, singing your praises.
Step 1: Secure the sub-floor with a high quality fastener:
As with most projects, the finished product is only as good as the base below. So it stands to reason that a wood floor constructed on a stable and well-built sub-floor is the place to begin for creating a beautiful hardwood floor that will last many years. To ensure your subfloor remains stable, secure, and quiet, it’s important to be certain the sheathing is fastened securely. If not, it will rub when the floor is walked on, creating the squeaks. Be sure to use a well-secured high quality fastener to create a tight hold.
The on-going debate over screws vs. nails is an old one. Screws tend to maintain position longer but they are more difficult and time consuming to install. Nails can be installed much quicker than screws but tend to shift as the wood expands and contracts with temperature changes.
The BECK Fastener Group® has created the best of both worlds, a fastener that’s as easy to install as a nail but stays in position like a screw. This revolutionary product is called SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® and is specifically designed to be the key component in building long-lasting squeak free subflooring.
Step 2. Wood must be Kiln Dried:
As temperatures change, wood expands and contracts. The wood you choose for your project must be completely dry and at room temperature before installation. Wet wood expands, so installation when wet would be disastrous since it will contract as it dries, loosening the fasteners. This allows the wood to shift – and eventually squeak. BECK's SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® fasteners installed with kiln dried quality wood will ensure the sub-floor stays in place for lasting security and durability.
Step 3: Use The right fastener in the right place:
SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® fasteners can be easily installed with most pneumatic tools and should be aligned no more than 12” apart down the center of the floor joists. For best results, install the fasteners on alternating sides of the seam, approximately 6” apart. We also recommend a high quality adhesive specifically designed for sub-floors.
BECK’s SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® fasteners offer a Diamond Coating (patent pending) for maximum holding power. And like other SCRAIL® fasteners, they have the advantage of easy removal should changes become necessary during application.
They say a good contractor is only as good as his tools. Thankfully there are some very important tools and materials available to make sure you're not the contractor who’s being blamed for squeaks. SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® fasteners used with a high quality air driven tool will get the job done right and make your customers excited about the finished product.
Seeing is always believing. See the SubLoc® PRO SCRAIL® fasteners in action: