Second Floor Noise When Walking – What To Do?

The squeaking sound on your second floor might be troublesome. Most of the time, the cause is loose nails, friction between two hard materials, or sometimes the nails need lubricant. You are probably thinking of a major repair to fix the floor, and looking for a step-by-step guide to work on it. We gathered all the information to answer your questions in mind.

First, find the area that squeaks. If there is a carpet, pull it back to check the cause of squeaking. Then, you need to secure the subfloor to fix any loose areas.

Have you found the squeaking spots that need some fix? Continue reading this article for different options for fixing the 2nd floor.

Polyurethane coated hardwood flooring, Second Floor Noise When Walking - What To Do?

Should I Replace The Creaky Floorboards?

The squeaking sound from the floor is easy to fix. However, there are tell-tale signs that the floor needs repair. If the creaky sounds continued after repairing it, and the wood seemed worn out, there could be an underlying problem aside from the loose nails.

Up close photo of hardwood flooring

Floorboards will need extra care and attention in due time. There are times it would split, crack, termites, or wear out over time. There could also be water damage in the subflooring. You may need to replace them. If it has more damage than just having loose nails, talk to a carpenter and seek advice.

Things You Need In Fixing The Noisy Floor

  • Hammer
  • Wood Screws
  • Drill
  • Wood Shim
  • Carpenter's Glue or Wood Glue

Check Gorilla Wood Glue on Amazon.

Fixing A Squeaky Floor Using Screws [Including Carpet Removal]

  1. Find the squeaking sound.
  2. Pull the carpet.
  3. Lightly tap the wood.
  4. Secure the wood using screws.
  5. Use thin wood shim and carpenter's glue.

Find The Squeaking Sound

Walk through your floor to check all possible loose nails or wood.

Pull The Carpet

Worker pulling the carpet in the living room

Once you figure out the affected areas, lift the carpet from the corner to easily pull it back later on once you're through fixing the floor.

Lightly Tap The Wood Using A Hammer

You will hear a hollow sound while tapping the floorboards if you are in between the floor joist.

Secure The Wood Using A Screw

Screw the wood using the Drill with Phillips head attachment and screws. Wood screws have more grip than ordinary nails so the wood won't become loose again. 

Use Thin Wood Shim And Carpenter's Glue

You can also use this as an additional fix if there is a little gap between joists. Coat the shim with carpenter glue and gently tap it between floor joists. Don't tap too far and too strong because it will loosen the flooring.

Click here to check Wood Shim on Amazon.

Fixing A Squeaky Floor With Tile, Vinyl, Or Hardwood

Wooden planks of flooring and cork flooring

This could be a hassle, but figuring out the extent of the damage will save you money. Check if the squeaking sound is coming from the surface. If that is the case, repairing the tile is better rather than replacing it.

In case your second floor's issue is in the subflooring, joists, and seems all over the place, you may have to remove the tile or redo the vinyl and hardwood. If you plan to redo your flooring and your budget is sufficient to fix it, you can go ahead and do it. You may need to consult a flooring installation company to evaluate the condition of your floor.

Do Carpet Installers Fix Squeaky Floors?


Are you planning to install carpet, and you found squeaky sounds on the floor? Most flooring companies do fix the subflooring before installing carpets. The process includes complete reinstallation of the subfloor.

Inform the installers ahead about the creaky sounds for them to solve the issue. Of course, it will have an additional charge depending on the damage and amount of repair.

For more details, read "How To Fix Squeaky Floor Under Carpet."

How To Soundproof A Squeaky Floor?

Soundproofing on the laminted flooring

There are ways to soundproof the squeaky floor.

  • Use a thick carpet with a thick pad underneath. It can reduce noise, even footsteps. The thicker pad, the more noise reduction you get.
  • Place interlocking floor tiles over the existing floor to reduce the impact of friction that causes it to squeak. Just purchase enough to cover your entire floor.


Fixing A Squeaky Floor Without Removing Carpet


You probably have difficulties removing or even lifting your carpet that you want to stop that squeaking sound from the floor. There is a way to fix it without removing the carpet, but you need to sacrifice a bit, and this is a trial and error. You need to find the joists underneath the carpet. To do this, you can use a stud finder.

Click here to check Stud Finder on Amazon.

The stud finder will make a sound for two seconds which means it detects the edge of wood or metal behind that carpet.  Use a hammer and nail the part. 

Nailing the floor through the carpet is not a good idea if there are too many creaky sounds everywhere, we recommend lifting that carpet to see the situation of your floor.

Does Talcum Powder Stop Creaking?


Floors expand and contract depending on weather conditions. It causes the floorboards to rub against each other. If the creaking sound came from friction between joists, then put talcum powder inside the gaps of the floor. Talcum powder acts as a lubricant that the friction causing sound will reduce.

Are Squeaky Floors A Structural Problem?

Don't be alarmed if your floor produces squeaky sounds in some parts. It is not a structural problem, and your house will not collapse. Having a few creaks or squeaks sounds doesn't mean your second floor is full of termites.

Unless you hear it in every corner of your second floor or you noticed some tell-tale signs of termite infestation, then that is a different issue. You'd need to evaluate the extent of the damage.

Do Termites Cause Squeaky Floors?

Termite infestation on the second floor flooring

If the floor is producing an excessively squeaky sound other than normal and it spreads out on the second floor, the possibility of damage is high. One cause could be termite infestation. Repairing the damaged flooring is a complicated process.

Termites can damage even the innermost part of the floor. Evaluate the extent of the cause of the squeaking sound and figure out if there are underlying issues.

Wood floor damage is mostly not visible from the beginning, but termite infestation over the years weakens the wood. Hence, it will become a big problem anytime soon. Listed down are signs your floor is infested with termites.

Tell-tale Signs Of Termites Infestation

  • Excessive squeaky sound.
  • Hollow sound. Knock the wood. If the sound seems empty, termites have already eaten most parts of the woods.
  • Sometimes, it looks like water damage. The wood seems to bubble up and sag.
  • You can see tunnels in the wood, although sometimes they are not visible on the surface.
  • Termite leftovers of grainy woods are visible.
  • Sightings of flying termites or discarded wings on floors.

Termite treatment is necessary before repairing the floor because termite infestation could spread not only in flooring but also in your walls. It is recommended to contact a professional for treatment.

If you notice that the termites are just building up in one part of the flooring, you can use termite and ant treatment. Just mix it with Disodium Octaborate Tetrahydrate Powder and spray or inject it into infested parts of the floor. You can also use it in any wood in your house. Termite and ant treatment can also control wood rot and mold.

Check Termite and Ant Treatment on Amazon.


Polyurethane coated hardwood flooring

A squeak on the floor is sometimes disturbing at night, but it is not uncommon. Simple remedy would work in minor floor squeaks and loose nails. However, analyzing the condition of your flooring is necessary to figure out whether it needs repair or replacement.

If you want to know more about floor squeaks and other useful topics in taking care of floorboard, you can read these following posts:

Why Do My Hardwood Floor Squeak?

How To Find A Crack Floorboard

Does Wood Rot Spread?


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