Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures
Silencing A Squeaky Wood Stair
Hspg Prepared For Nps - Sero
Wood And Plastics
Stairwork & Handrails
Silencing A Squeaky Wood Stair
SILENCING A SQUEAKY WOOD STAIR
A. This procedure includes guidance on silencing squeaky
wood stair treads. Several methods are described.
B. Squeaks in a stair tread sometimes develop as a result of
building settlement, poor original construction,
shrinking or warpage in wood, or use and abuse over time.
A. Butt Joint - A square joint between two members where the
contact surfaces are cut at right angles to the faces of
the pieces; the pieces fit squarely against each other
and are not laped.
B. Rabbet Joint - An edge joint formed by fitting together
boards having a longitudinal channel, groove or recess
cut out of the edge or face of the member.
C. Tongue and Groove Joint - A joint formed by inserting the
tongue of one member into the corresponding groove of
1.03 SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
A. For the stair covering and structure to be considered in
good condition, any settlement in the building structure
must be controlled. Also, the treads and newel must be
rigid, the connections between all parts must be tight
and sound, and all trim pieces must be present,
undamaged, and adhered properly.
A. 8d nails
B. Wood filler
C. No. 8 wood screw
D. Paraffin or soap
E. Wood dowel to plug screw holes
F. Wood glue
G. Hardwood wedges
H. Prefabricated metal shelf bracket
I. 2x stock for blocking
B. Driving block - small block of wood to aid in hammering
wedge in place.
C. Drill with a variety of bits
G. Knife for determining joint type
H. Knife to cut off wedge excess
3.01 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
NOTE: THE SILENCING OF A SQUEAKY TREADS IS SOMETIMES A TWO
PERSON JOB. THE FOLLOWING IS A SERIES OF REPAIR PROCEDURES
ORGANIZED BY LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY AND QUALITY OF REPAIR IN
A. Nailing tread:
1. Locate source of squeak on tread.
2. While other person stands on the tread, drill two
3/32" pilot holes at opposing angles over squeak
and drive in two 8d nails.
3. Sink nails with nailset and fill holes.
B. Screwing tread:
1. Locate source of squeak on tread; screw will be
placed at tread/riser connection near squeak.
2. Drill 3/32" pilot hole through tread into riser and
11/64" shank hole into tread.
3. Apply paraffin or soap to 2-1/2" No.8 wood screw to
ease turning and install.
4. Countersink screw and fill hole with glue-soaked
dowel of same wood species. Sand dowel level with
C. Wedging from above: Determine joint type by removing
cove moulding under tread at riser and carefully
inserting a knife at joint.
NOTE: THE JOINT TYPE WILL DETERMINE THE DIRECTION OF THE
WEDGES. SEE SECTION 1.02 ABOVE FOR DEFINITIONS OF
1. Insert glue-soaked, sharply tapered wedge following
path of knife. Drive the wedge in hard using a
hammer and driving block.
NOTE: DRIVE WEDGE IN ONLY ENOUGH TO STOP SQUEAK;
OTHERWISE TREAD WILL BOW.
2. Using a utility knife, cut off excess wedge flush
with surface and cover by replacing moulding. If
joint repaired was at rear of tread, shoe moulding
could be installed to cover.
D. Wedging from below: If access to underside of stair is
possible, tighten existing wedges and add new wedges
E. Bracketing from below: Install metal shelf brackets to
underside of tread and inside of riser. Install with
screws shorter than depth of wood.
F. Glue blocks from below:
1. Use woodblocks, 1-1/2" square and 3" long. Coat two
sides of block with glue and press into place at
underside of tread/riser joint.
2. Attach block to tread and riser with nails or
screws. If previously installed blocks exist,
remove them, clean surface of tread and riser to
bare wood, and reinstall clean blocks or new
END OF SECTION