Why Does My Vinyl Floor Creak, Crackle, and Squeak?

Creaking, crackling, and squeaking is not a normal issue for any type of flooring. So, it’s not a normal thing for vinyl flooring either. In fact, not knowing the exact reason behind all these seeking, crackling, and squeaking sounds may damage the vinyl floor permanently as well.

And if your vinyl flooring is also manifesting problematic situations like creaking, crackling, and squeaking then you must want to know exactly why your vinyl floor creaks, crackles, and squeaks. 

Therefore, in this article, all of the possible major reasons that trigger your vinyl floor to make creak, crackle, and squeaking sounds are going to be explained. 

Why Does My Vinyl Floor Creak, Crackle, And Squeak? 

Vinyl flooring creaks, crackles, and squeaks if the leveling wasn’t done appropriately in those sound-making areas.  Also, an uneven subfloor moves and the movement causes tension between the plank and subfloor’s joint. Further, this situation makes vinyl floors cracking, crackling, and squeaking. 

Do Vinyl Floors Make Noise? 

Vinyl flooring does not make noises. Unlike traditional hardwood flooring, vinyl flooring offers silence and stability, therefore, quite apparently vinyl floors absorb noises. 

However, when some specific situations occur, vinyl floors can make those irritating noises. For example, When you properly haven’t made the subfloor level, there are voids and the empty spaces are filled up with air.

So while walking on the vinyl flooring those areas with air-filled up voids trigger the floor to make noises like squeaking, crackling. 

Another situation is when the subfloor moves too much it leads the vinyl floor to make noises like creaking or separating. So these are the situations where vinyl floors make noise.

Why Does My Vinyl Floor Creak, Crackle, And Squeak?

This section is going to break down all of the practical reasons that can make any vinyl flooring creak, crackle, and squeak.

Improper Leveling 

Improper leveling on the subfloor is considered as one of the major reasons that cause creaking, crackling, and squeaky sounds. 

If you didn’t do the leveling process properly before installing vinyl flooring, it surely will cause such disturbing sound popping situations. 

Because those areas where leveling wasn’t proper still have gaps that are filled up with air underneath. So when you will walk across those air-filled voids areas, the vinyl flooring planks will rub against each other making the floor creaking, crackling, or squeaking sounds. 

Uneven Subfloor 

An uneven subfloor has always been known as the root cause behind most of the flooring problems. And it’s another main reason that leads your vinyl flooring to create those creaking, crackling, and squeaky flooring situations. 

If the subfloor underneath the vinyl flooring is uneven, it makes the flooring planks move too much. And such constant movement of the flooring planks creates stress between the plank and subfloor’s joint.

Therefore, the vinyl floors start to get separated from each other and make a creaking sound. Crackling and squeaky noises are also a result of an uneven floor. 

Incorrect Expansion Gaps Between The Flooring Planks 

Incorrect expansion gaps between the vinyl flooring planks are the other reason that causes creaking, crackling, or squeaky noises. 

Even if the subfloor is even and has been leveled down properly, vinyl flooring will make those pooping sounds if there are incorrect expansion gaps between the flooring planks and the edges around the wall. 

The usual expansion gap is between 1/4 -3/8 inches. If you have kept the expansion gap less than this measurement, your vinyl floor will collide against each other while expanding or contracting. As a result, your vinyl flooring will creak, crackle, and squeak. 

How Do You Fix A Squeaky Or Noisy Vinyl Floor? 

Here some effective and easy ways to fix such squeaky or noisy vinyl floors have been described.

Redo Subfloor 

If an uneven or improperly leveled subfloor is the main reason behind the squeaky or noisy vinyl floor, you need to redo the subfloor to solve this problem. 

To do this, you have to remove the planks and prepare the subfloor again. If the subfloor has bumps or high spots, grind those areas to make it level like surrounding surfaces. 

Or if the floor has many low spots or voids, fill those areas will a floor leveling compound to make it level. 

Increase The Expansion Gap

If the expansion gap between the vinyl flooring planks and the perimeter near the walls is insufficient then expand the extension gap up to 3/8 inches in those spots.

When you provide a sufficient expansion gap, the planks will get enough room to expand in warmer times like in the morning and contract at cooler evenings. Therefore, expansion gaps will help to minimize the squeaky noises. 

Correctly Reinstall Vinyl Flooring

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly while reinstalling the vinyl flooring over the subfloor. And this time, use a floor roller over the vinyl floors after reinstalling so that it can get enough pressure that will lock the planks tightly and fix the squeaky flooring problem. 

Install An Underlayment 

Though vinyl flooring doesn’t need any extra underlayment, however, if you reinstall the vinyl flooring, install an underlayment also over the wooden subfloor or existing floor.

Because underlayment will work as an extra noise barrier that will fix the squeaky or noisy vinyl floor problem. Use the specific underlayment suggested by the manufacturer or a flooring expert. 

Glue Down The Flooring Planks 

If nothing seems to work properly, call a flooring professional and glue down the planks while reinstalling. It works best on an uneven subfloor. Gluing down the vinyl flooring will fix all kinds of creaking, crackling, and squeaky vinyl flooring problems. 

How To Prevent Noisy Vinyl Flooring?

To help you prevent the unpleasant noises coming from the vinyl flooring, here a few beneficial tips have been given for you. 

Prepare An Even Subfloor 

As it’s known, the subfloor plays a huge role in preventing noisy vinyl flooring. Therefore, prepare the subfloor very carefully.

Look for high and low spots and take proper steps to grind or sand down the higher spots to make them even looking and apply floor leveling compound to level the lower spots. 

And, clean the subfloor thoroughly so that no dirt, dust, or debris is left behind before installing. 

Install The Vinyl Flooring Appropriately 

Reinstalling is always a hassle. So if you don’t want to face it, neither want to face a noisy floor, install the vinyl flooring appropriately in the first place by following the manufacturer’s instructions. And, provide enough pressure to lock the planks tightly. 

Install An Compatible Underlayment 

Again mentioning that installing an underlayment is always a wise idea because it not only works as a moisture barrier, it works as a noise barrier as well.

So whether vinyl flooring needs an underlayment or not, you can install an underlayment that is compatible with the vinyl flooring planks. 

In that case, ask the manufacturer directly or take advice from a professional. And avoid installing a thick underlayment.

Should I Worry About Squeaky Floors?

You shouldn’t worry about squeaky floors. Though the squeaky floor is not a normal issue for most of the floorings, however, as long as it’s not happening because of a structural problem or termites, it’s nothing to worry about. 

Only if the flooring has structural damage or termites have damaged it making it prone to collapse anytime, you should definitely worry.  

But if you don’t notice such problems, be sure that such squeaky floors can be fixed easily just by adopting proper fixing methods. 

Does Baby Powder Fix Squeaky Floors?

To a good extent, baby powder can fix the squeaky floors. It’s considered as a quick solution to fix the squeaky floors. 

When you have squeaky flooring boards, you can sprinkle baby powder over the floorboards in the squeaky areas and the seams between the flooring planks. Baby powder will work as a lubricant and will lubricate the floorboards so that the floorboards don’t rub against each other and make squeaky sounds. 

Do Rugs Help Creaky Floors?

Rugs are plush and thick and known as the least costly method to reduce noise that comes from a creaky floor. But remember that rugs will not fix any creaking floor problem.

Since the rugs are quite thick, when you walk over creaking areas, the creaking sound will not be heard that much. Rugs will only curtail the sound and make the room quieter. 

Is WD-40 Good For Squeaky Floors?

WD-40 moderately makes a good choice for squeaky floors. Because this wood-safe “Dirt And Dust Resistant Dry Lube PTFE Spray” is a good choice to lubricate the squeaky floorboard joints and make the flooring quieter. 

However, the only issue with WD-40 is it’s flammability. So watch out while using it. 

Who Do You Call For Squeaky Floors?

You should call a framing contractor for solving issues with a squeaky floor. Because they know how a house is reckoned to be built properly and if there are problems how to solve it.

Don’t call any handyman service or floor guy to fix squeaky floors because they might not have that much knowledge about fixing it. 

Is Vinyl Flooring Quieter Than Laminate?

Vinyl flooring is not quieter than laminate flooring. And it’s a disadvantage of vinyl flooring. Due to the construction process of laminate flooring, it is able to absorb noise more efficiently than vinyl flooring.

And the sound dampening quality of laminate flooring is appreciated by all homeowners. 

A not properly leveled or uneven subfloor is the main culprit that makes your vinyl floor creak, crackle, and squeak. So, if you fix the issues related to the subfloor, your vinyl flooring will not make any noise.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Wax Vinyl Plank Flooring?

How Can I Make My Vinyl Floor Shine?

Do Termites Eat Vinyl Flooring?

Do Vinyl Floor Stickers Work?

Do Vinyl Floors Expand and Contract?

Do Vinyl Floors Increase Home Value?