Wood floors look great, and they surely add appeal to your house. But walking on them can also be quite annoying with lots of noise from several feet and squeaky floor. So, how do you walk silently on wood floors?
You can walk silently on wood floors by taking off your shoes and walking on your toes and heel. It also helps if you wear socks. But you can eliminate noise wooden floor noise by adding fabrics and furniture to the room, installing thick underlayment, adding rugs, blocking gaps in the floor, etc.
Wooden floors usually make noises due to the sound waves bouncing from the floor and around the room. Thus, walking silently alone may not solve the noise problem in the room. Here, we discuss how to walk silently on wood floors and deal with creaking floors.
Best Way to Walk Quietly on Wood Floors
The best way to walk quietly on wood floors is by walking on your toes and heels while your knees are slightly bent. Keep your weight on the rear leg until you’re able to feel the floor with the toes of the front foot, and then shift the weight back to the heel of the front foot. The goal here is to not walk flatfooted and make sure that nothing will compromise your balance or cause noise when you take the next step. When walking this way, slightly bent knees help to prevent any bumping or vibration. You also have to make sure you’re walking on the joists rather than the gaps between them.
Of course, walking in this manner would only make sense if you’re trying to sneak around your house and avoid being caught. If you’re only trying to be as quiet as possible and don’t want to disturb others, you don’t have to go to this length. You can take off your shoes as these make noise against the hard floors. You can walk barefoot or, even better, wear socks to cushion the sound of your feet against the floor. It’s also best to walk slowly as this ensures you’re more careful and less likely to make any noise. You can also count on the wall or anything sturdy and lean on them as you move to maintain your balance.
How to Deal with Creaking Floors
The annoying noise that the wood floor makes is the sound waves bouncing across the room. Thus, you can make the space quieter by interrupting the sound waves. Ways to do this include:
1. Adding Fabrics to Windows and Walls
This achieves two things; it makes your house more beautiful and reduces noise. Attractive quilts, woven rugs, colorful tapestries, and more are just examples of creative ways to reduce the noise when walking on wood. You can also add curtains and draperies to the window to take in some of the noise. The thicker the fabric, the better it’ll absorb sound. You can also choose to install fabric-covered wall panels on some of the walls in your house so they can soak in the irritating noises.
2. Add Upholstered Furniture to the Room
If you have wooden floors in a room, you can reduce the noise by using furniture in the room. Sofas, chairs, ottomans, headboards, and sectionals with plush and heavy fabrics are great. In addition, cozy furniture such as throw pillows, table cloths, and more can absorb the sound coming from the wood when you work on it. That’ll help you to reduce the noise in your room.
3. Install thick underlayment below the floor
If you’re yet to install wood flooring for your house, you might want to pause a bit. You should first seek to install a thick underlayment to cushion the wood floors. Doing that will make it easier and more comfortable to walk on it, and it’ll reduce the sound that comes when you walk on wood.
4. Add Rugs to the Floor
If you don’t mind rugs covering some part of the floor, you can get plush rugs that’ll cover the floor. This can add more uniformity to your room design while also reducing the noise coming from the floor. Rugs can easily eliminate the unpleasant sounds resulting from the squeaky floors and help you make the house quieter.
5. Block Gaps in the Floorboard
Squeaks are usually due to extra space between floorboards. If you can identify the gaps, you need to block them. You can do this using a tiny wood shim and gluing it into that space with glue. That’ll fill the void, ensure the floorboard isn’t moving up and down, and eliminate the squeak. If the gap or crack is long, use a construction adhesive to fill up the space. Use a fast-set adhesive and let it harden. Once it does, the noise from the squeak will diminish.
6. Lubricate the Floorboards
Another way to eliminate the noise coming from your wooden floor is to apply dry lubricant to the area. Add powdered graphite, talcum powder, or lock lubricant into the joints. Use a cloth to rub the powder in and walk it so the lubricant can get into the cracks. Doing this will reduce friction between the planks and help deal with any small squeak. You can also spray dry silicone lubricant on the floorboards.
7. Fix the Joists
If you notice that the problem is coming from the joist, there are also ways to fix it. A warp or shrunken floor joist could result in squeaks due to space opening up between the subfloor and the joist. You can fix the problem by adding a 2×4 board to the problem joist. You don’t need nails for this. Just apply adhesive to the board and slide it into the gap against the subfloor underside. Then hammer it in till it’s tight and uses drywall screws to secure the board to the joist. Another way to deal with squeaky floors is by installing wood blocks between the joists. The blocking should be the same dimension as the lumber in the joist already. Add two to three blocks between two joists. Make sure they’re evenly spaced, and use adhesive glue to key it against the subfloor. Then you should fasten the blocks with screws at the end of the block and the side of the joists.
The appeal of wooden floors is limited by their noise when you walk on them. But you can minimize that with how you walk and by fixing the problem at the source.