Wood Floors Making Noises at Night (Do This FIRST!)

The most annoying thing is waking up in the middle of the night because your wood floor is making noise. That’s intolerable, but it’s a pretty common situation faced by a lot of people. 

Let’s check out what your wood floor wants to tell you by making various noises at night to prevent lifetime damage to the wood floor! 

Why Does the Wood Floor Make Noise at Night?

A typical situation for wood floor owners is wood floors making noise at night. Though the situation is expected, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to look into this. 

You must know, ” Why does the wood floor make noise at night?” The imbalanced Humidity and temperature of the house cause your floor to make noise at night. Humidity changes during the night because, at that time, your house cools down enough; this humidity transition influences your wood floor to make noise at night. 

I will explain the scenario to you, so you will comprehend better why your floor is noisy at night.

Walking on wooden floor image

1. House Temperature

Your house temperature from day to night affects the Humidity of the house. 

Because the temperature is not the same for 24 hours, the temperature becomes low at night, and the sudden cooldown of the house can impact the wood floor. 

The wooden products expand when they get a lot of heat, and in the daytime, your house gets the heat which cools down when it’s nighttime. The sudden cooldown process makes the wood shrink at night; for this reason, it’s pretty common to hear wood noise at night. 

2. Low Humidity of House 

Low Humidity can cause your wood floor to make noise at night. When the humidity level drops below 35 %, the wood floor of your house shrinks. 

The humidity level dropped most of the winter because, at that time, you used a heater to heat your house. Also, there was a lack of moisture in the air, which makes your wood floor shrink or crack, and this noise you might hear in your house at night. 

3. Excess Humidity of House

Even though insufficient moisture might cause damage to your floor, that is not the only issue you need to watch out for. 

If the relative Humidity is higher than 55%, there is a possibility that moisture will penetrate the wood and cause damage. 

If there is excessive Humidity, the floorboards may start to swell. Because of the swelling, there may be pressure between the boards, which may result in the boards becoming cupped or warped, and these cupped or warped sounds you hear most of the night time as the nights are quieter than daytime. 

Fixation: Wood Floor Noise at Night

The noise made by the wood floor is tolerable during the day, but at night it’s not considerable. Also, the noise the wood floor makes is because of the humidity level of your house, so you need to fix it before it damages your floor excessively. 

The humidity level varies from dry season to humid season, so you need to fix it according to the weather. 

For Dry Season

  • First, you need to buy a Hygrometer because this device helps you measure your house’s humidity level. 
  • Humidifiers are very important to have throughout the colder months because the moisture in the winter season is insufficient. Rehydrating the wood floors of your house with a good moisture humidifier will help you. 
  • When you use a heater or wood stove, please find the best place to put the humidifier around it. 

For Humid Season

  • To know the proper humidity level of your house, measure the Humidity with a Hygrometer. It helps you to take forward steps to maintain the Humidity of your house.
  • During the warmer months, the humidity tends to rise; to maintain the Humidity, place a Dehumidifier. You can find the best Dehumidifier for under $200 from your nearest store. 
  • To prevent excess Humidity, you can turn on your heater. 
  • Dry your floor quickly after cleaning it so it can’t absorb moisture. 
  • You can also use Air Conditioner to maintain the Humidity of your house. 

Wood Floors Making Noises: Few Other Reasons

Your wood floor doesn’t make noise just because of Humidity, and some other factors affect wood floors. 

You may hear popping, crackling or squeaky noises from your wood floor. Your wood makes these noises for several reasons, which I discussed below.

1. Popping Noise

  • When the plank of the floor becomes loose, that makes popping noises.
  • Your floors may be making popping noises if they are attached to the subfloor and the nails rub against the subfloor.
  • It is possible that the noise is emanating from the subfloor if your floorboards are not securely adhered to the subfloorJ.
  • When your floor planks are installed without setting up any humidity barrier, that could be a reason for popping noise. 

2. Crackling Noise

  • Leading causes of crackling noise include improper installation, dampness, or an unlevel concrete slab or subfloor.
  • A cracking sound can be heard when walking on an unlevel floor because the flooring is bending down into the tiny gap between the concrete slab and the subfloor.
  • There could be problems with the wood flooring if it wasn’t appropriately acclimated before installation and high Humidity caused it to absorb moisture. 
  • If there is no system to prevent the vapor.
  • When the pieces of wood are put without the appropriate amount of gap to allow for expansion and movement.

3. Squeaky Noise

  • When the humidity level of your house is less than 35% or more than 55%, that will make squeaky noises. 
  • Installation issues or faulty subfloor installation also could be the reason for the squeaky noise of the wood floor. 
  • The squeaking sound is due to the wood’s contact with the nail heads. Walking makes a sound transmitted through the floor and into the room when the nails rub up and down.

Prevent Wood Floors From Making Noises 

The wood floor noises not only give you a headache but also worry whether your wood floor is fine or not. 

It’s essential to prevent the wood floor from making noise because the noise from the wood floor is an alert that your wood floor may suffer from any damage. Below you will find the best and most crucial instructions to help prevent the wood floor noises. 

1. Install an Underlayment 

Installing Underlayment under wooden floor image

Underlayment should be installed if you have wood floors. Underlayment helps to reduce the noise. You can find various types of underlayment like foam and cork. 

When you install the understanding under your wood floors, it will help to reduce both airborne and impact noises of your house

Many people use roofing felt as an underlayment for their laminate flooring. You can also use it for your wooden floors. 

2. Use Carpet

Placing a carpet or area rug on your wood floor will prevent the wood noises.

When you walk over your wood floor, you won’t hear any noises from your wood floor if you use a carpet because that will absorb the sound. 

3. Rubber Mats

Rubber mats are another type of soundproofing element which will also absorb the wood floor noises. Rubber mats can cushion your floor from impact and dampen the sound it makes.

These mats are tough enough to withstand heavy foot traffic but soft enough to cushion the floor, making them ideal for exercise studios, kid’s playrooms, and pet sanctuaries.

4. Use Lubricant on Floorboards

The noises happened because friction can be reduced using a lubricant on the wood floorboards.

Fill the spaces between your floorboards with a dry lubricant, like talcum powder. Cover the floorboards with a towel and tread lightly. Keeping going is necessary if you wish to use the lubricant to fill in the gaps.

There will be less resistance between the boards because of the powder.

5. Put Wood Shims

If more than one section of the newly installed wood floor is shifting, the subfloor beneath it should be repaired. 

Install wooden shims underneath the floor, wedged between the floor joists and the subfloor

Continue doing this until the shims are secure and there is no longer any wiggle room between the floor joists and the subfloor. Insert wood screws into the underside of the subfloor to secure the shims.

6. Apply Green Glue 

You can use Green Glue’s noise-proofing compound to make your wood floor soundproof. 

Putting Green Glue, a noise-dampening product, between your subfloor and new wood floor. This is done to prevent sound from being transmitted through your floor.

7. Fix the Floor Planks

Floor plank fixing image

If your wood floor makes noise from loose planks, then you should fix it.

If it is possible to reach underneath the floor, drive your screws into the loose plank area and solve the issue. 

Now you know all the solutions for preventing noise on the wood floor, it’s your turn to take the proper steps to solve the matter by identifying the reasons for the noise. 

The Closing Remarks 

If your mind is stuck thinking, “Why does the wood floor make noise at night?” Then let me help you to sort out your issue of the wood floor making noise at night, because:

  • The temperature of the house.
  • Low Humidity, and
  • High Humidity of the house.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Do wood floors squeak more in winter?

More floor squeaks can be heard during the winter because the indoor air is drier, which can cause materials like wood to shrink and lead to movement between flooring components.

2. When should I be concerned about creaking floors?

It is not uncommon for wooden flooring and subfloors to make noise. However, it would be preferable if you were concerned.

When squeaky floors that are accompanied by a spongy sensation, that occur in extremely oldest or very new houses, that occur in seismically active places, or that suddenly become very loud can be a sign of trouble.

3. What humidity level is insufficient for wood floors?

The main concern of wood floors is that the relative Humidity in your home should be kept between 35 and 55 percent, regardless of whether you have solid or engineered hardwood flooring. 

The reason behind this is as follows. Your hardwood may experience issues if the humidity level falls below 35%. This level is considered to be problematic for wood floors.

4. Is it normal for wood floors to creak?

Similarly to other flooring materials, new wood floors can make annoying cracking and squeaking noises which is normal.

You are able to place the blame for the noise on the moving boards and their friction with one another. That’s how it usually goes for brand-new flooring when they settle into their new house.

5. What happens to wood in high Humidity?

High Humidity, on the other hand, can cause wood to buckle. Because of this, the wood materials in your home may eventually swell, creak, strain, and even break or crack. 

If the wood is exposed to humidity levels that are too high for an extended period of time, the wood will decay. Even if humidity levels are reduced, the wood is given a chance to recover its original size.

6. How do I make my floors less creaky?

The creaky floorboard can be treated with baby powder, baking soda, or powdered graphite by sprinkling it on top and working it into the seams. 

This will lubricate the wood, preventing the floors from rubbing against one another and making a squeaking sound.