How to muzzle a wood floor

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
March 22, 2011 - 2:02PM

As recently pointed out on, some folks--Bob DeNiro for one--prize squeaky wood floors over silent ones, even going so far as to have new wood floors designed to emit that lived-in sound.  We believe it's safe to say that DeNiro is in the minority on this one, so we asked BrickUnderground expert and Manhattan general contractor Yoel Borgenicht to explain why wood floors squeak and what can be done about it:

"The wood floor may have dried out and shrunk over time," he says.  "In that case, you must fill the gaps with some type of filler. There is a powder one that works well."

If your wood floor lies over a wooden sub-floor, securing the two layers with small fasteners may cut down on the squeaking. ("If you have access underneath," notes Borgenicht, "then you may screw from the sub-floor to the wood floor using smaller screws.")

Sometimes a loose subfloor is the culprit.  The best way to fix it is from beneath, says Borgenicht, either by driving screws through the floor joist into the subfloor to eliminate gaps, or putting a "shim" between the floor joist and the sub-floor.

If you lack access from below, he says, you can drive a nail (size 6d or 8d) through the finish floor, sub-floor and joist.



Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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