Why Does My Laminate Floor Creak & Squeak? (Explained!)

Creaking and squeaking of laminate flooring seems a quite concerning issue as it makes high-pitched disturbing sounds while walking over the floor.

Any homeowner can face this problem. If you are one of them and facing the same problem then most likely you would want to know, why do your laminate floor creak and squeak. 

So, to put an end to such disturbing creaking and squeaking sounds, this article will help you to find the root causes and the ways to solve this problem. 

Why Does My Laminate Floor Creak And Squeak?

An uneven subfloor is considered as the core reason that causes the creaking in laminate flooring. And squeaking in the existing laminate floor is also caused by an uneven subfloor. If a newly installed laminate floor is having squeaking then it’s because of dodgy installation. 

If creaking in laminate flooring is noticed then it’s occurring most likely because of an uneven subfloor underneath the flooring planks. 

And as fast as it’s concerned about the squeaking in laminate flooring, most likely it’s also caused by an uneven subfloor.

Especially when it’s an already existing laminate flooring and the floor planks have been changed as well to stop this squeaking. So, if squeaking is found in a new spot or the same old one, an uneven subfloor is the culprit. 

However, for a newly installed laminate flooring that is having squeaking in it, it is happening because the installation of laminate flooring was dodgy.

Why Does My Laminate Floor Creak Or Squeak When I Walk On It?

Various reasons can make your home’s laminate flooring have a creak or squeak sound when you walk on it. Below the most reasonable reasons are explained for your better understanding. 

Uneven Subfloor 

Most of the time an uneven subfloor is the root cause behind your laminate floor’s creaking or squeaking. Because the subfloor is directly connected to the joists. So if the subfloor is appropriately installed, it will not be a lined-up flush with the joist.

Therefore, it will become unbalanced creating hollowness between the joist and subfloor. And this results in creaking or squeaking. 

Also, if the subfloor already had bumpy areas or voids that you didn’t fix before installing laminate flooring, it can cause creaking or squeaking as well. 

Dodgy Installation 

Dodgy installation is another reason why laminate floors make creaks or squeaks. 

Since the temperature is different for every busing, therefore, laminate flooring needs at least 48 hours to acclimate to the temperature of the room before installing it.

If the laminate flooring planks don’t get enough time to expand over time they will swell. And the planks will collide against each other, the wall, door frame, and beading. 

This will make the planks transit when you will walk over the flooring and will create a creaking or squeaking sound. 

Excessive Moisture 

If your room is excessively humid or the laminate flooring has leaks through which water can penetrate the flooring boards, it can make your laminate flooring have a creaking or squeaking sound. 

Insufficient Underlay 

Insufficient underlayment is the other reason. If you don’t put enough underlayment sheet underneath the laminate flooring, it will rub against the subfloor when you stroll on the floor. As friction will be created there causing creaks and squeaks. 

Can You Stop Laminate Floor From Creaking?

You surely can stop your laminate floor from creaking. Most of the time creaking is caused by an uneven subfloor. Especially, if it’s an existing laminate floor and you have changed the floorboards quite a few times to stop creaking. 

In that case, fixing the subfloor is a solution. For that tap shims in between the joist and subfloor to stop the movement of flooring planks. Or you can draw the subfloor down by using special braces to screw the subfloor and hook it near a joist. 

Or you can reinstall the underlayment again by removing the flooring if it was caused by an underlayment issue. 

How To Fix Creaking And Squeaky Laminate Floor?

Below all the effective fixing methods to fix the creaking squeaky laminate floor have been explained for you to know what methods you can apply to fix such problems.

Even Out The Flooring 

When an uneven subfloor is the reason, the only solution is to even that out. To make the uneven subfloor even, lift up the flooring and identify the areas where creaking and squeaking are occurring. And fix that with a few more nails to even out the subfloor. 

Let The Floor Acclimated 

When the dodgy installation is the problem creator, you can fix this problem by reinstalling new flooring. But before that, you must keep the flooring planks for at least 2 days so that those planks can get acclimated to the temperature of the room. 

When the planks are adjusted to the temperature, they will not expand/shrink that much after getting installed. So as a result, there will not be any squeaking or creaking sound underfoot. 

Cut The Flooring planks.

If you don’t want to replace the entire flooring then you can try applying this way to fix the creaking and squeaking problem.

If an extension of flooring planks is the problem, you can remove the flooring near walls and chop it off. Chop until it sits nicely in the hollow. This way you will create space for the planks to extend. 

Add Adequate Underlayment 

Adding extra underlayment is the quick fix to the creaking and squeaking problem when it is caused due to lack of underlayment between the subfloor and laminate floor. 

All you have to do is, remove the flooring planks and add adequate underlayment sheets by dabbing them together. Once the underlayment is reinstalled, put back the flooding planks. 

Reinstall The Laminate Flooring 

In cases where excessive moisture caused the creaking and squeaky laminate floor, reinstalling the flooring planks is the best solution.

As it’s nearly impossible to retrieve the water/moisture-damaged flooring planks because the planks swell as it absorbs water and moisture. Therefore, they don’t fit together. So, you better reinstall the planks instead of cutting the edges of the planks and try to retrieve them. 

How Can I Make My Laminate Floors Quieter? 

Laminate flooring can make sounds as you walk on it. So, to prevent such disturbing sounds coming from the flooring and to make the flooring quieter, you can follow these tips given below.

Here, 3 effective tips have been described that can make the flooring not make any creaking and squeaky sound. 

Keep Expansion Gap 

According to your room’s size, keep enough expansion gap while installing the laminate flooring. Laminate flooring expands and contracts as time passes as laminate floors float.

Therefore, if it doesn’t get enough room for expansion, it will rub against each other making noise. So keep gaps between the planks also between the planks and the wall. 

Install Underlayment 

Underlayment plays a great role as a sound barrier too. Installing an underlayment underneath your laminate flooring not only will absorb moisture but also will absorb the floor’s sound. Which will make your residence quieter. 

Underlayment also will provide your laminate flooring with thermal insulation, gap deduction, and moisture protection. 

Install Transition Between Different Rooms 

Install transition between rooms with laminate flooring. The transition strip reduces the noise drastically.

When you install laminate flooring in the mid areas like through an entrance, transition strips slops the pressure away and will reduce sound. Also, transition strips are as thick as a carpet so they effectively can deduct sound. 

Is It Normal For Laminate Floors To Creak? 

Generally, it’s not normal for laminate floors to creak. Because the laminate floor might be a floating type of flooring but it doesn’t creak or squeak while walking on it as long as the installation is done perfectly. 

However, if the installment of laminate flooring wasn’t proper or you have an uneven subfloor that you did not fix before installing laminate flooring then it’s normal for laminate floors to creak and squeak. 

Also, insufficient underlayment and excessive humidity are the other two main reasons that make laminate floors creak. So, when you are aware of the reasons but still not taking steps then creaking the laminate floor should be a normal issue for you. 

Should I Worry About Squeaky Floors?

There is nothing to worry about squeaky laminate floors. Because the squeaky laminate floor is not that big of a problem or structural problem that can not be fixed. In fact, quite simply you can fix a squeaky floor. 

Squeaky laminate floor will not make the whole flooring or joist to slump down. So, don’t worry about your squeaky floor, just take steps to fix it. 

Are Squeaky Floors A Structural Problem? 

Squeaky floors are not a structural problem. So you can be sure that due to the squeaky floor no other flooring structural issues will occur. 

And, just know that squeaky floor occurs when flooring planks dry out due to change of humidity and planks extend and they collide against each other. Also, if there are gaps between subfloor and the flooring or any nails are loose, a squeaky floor occurs. 

Do Floors Creak More In Winter? 

During winter floors will creak more than other seasons. Because during winter the weather is drier and it makes the flooring planks expand and contract with each other more.

As a result, the planks stroke against one another. Therefore, nails can pop out or gaps get increased causing more creaking in floors during winter. 

Your uneven subfloor, underlayment issue, excessive moisture, or dodgy installment are the most obvious reasons why your laminate floor creaks and squeaks. Apply proper fixing methods to fix this problem.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Much Do Laminate Floors Expand and Contract?

How Much Water Can Laminate Flooring Take?

How Much Weight Can Laminate Floor Support?

How Uneven Can a Floor Be for Laminate?

How Soon Can You Walk on Laminate Flooring After Installing?

Should Laminate Flooring Be Installed Under Cabinets?