Steps to Fixing Creaky Stairs

Steps to Fixing Creaky Stairs

Creaky stairs can be a frustrating issue that disrupts the tranquility of your home. Not only are they annoying, but they can also be a sign of underlying structural problems. Fortunately, fixing creaky stairs is a task that can be tackled with the right knowledge and tools. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various causes of creaky stairs and provide detailed step-by-step instructions to help you restore silence and stability to your staircase.

Here are alternative steps for fixing creaky stairs:

Step 1: Identify the Problem Areas

Carefully walk up and down the stairs, listening for the exact spots where the creaking occurs. Pay attention to the specific steps and parts of the staircase that produce the most noise.

Step 2: Apply Wood Glue

If the creaks are caused by loose wooden parts rubbing against each other, apply wood glue to the joints where the noise originates. Use a syringe or small applicator to insert the glue deep into the cracks. Wipe away any excess glue and allow it to dry completely.

Step 3: Reinforce with Wooden Shims

For creaks caused by gaps between the treads and the stringers, use wooden shims to fill the spaces. Insert the shims into the gaps, tapping them gently with a hammer until they are snugly in place. Trim any excess shim material to ensure a flush surface.

Step 4: Tighten Loose Nails or Screws

Inspect the staircase for loose nails or screws and tighten them using a screwdriver or drill. If the holes have become stripped, remove the old fasteners and replace them with slightly larger ones. Be careful not to overtighten, as it could damage the wood.

Step 5: Install Blocking

If the creaking persists, consider installing blocking between the stringers to provide additional support. Measure and cut a piece of solid wood that fits tightly between the stringers, then secure it in place using screws or construction adhesive.

Step 6: Add Carpet or Runners

If you prefer a less invasive solution, consider adding carpet or runners to your stairs. The added padding and fabric can help absorb the noise and reduce creaking. Secure the carpet or runner using carpet tacks or adhesive designed specifically for stairs.

Step 7: Seek Professional Help

If the creaking persists despite your efforts, or if you notice significant structural issues, it's best to consult with a professional carpenter or contractor. They have the expertise to assess the problem and recommend the most appropriate solutions for your specific staircase.

Step 8: Regular Maintenance

To prevent future creaks and maintain the integrity of your stairs, perform regular maintenance. Inspect the stairs periodically, tightening any loose components, and address any issues promptly.

Step 9: Address Squeaky Balusters

If the creaking noise is coming from the balusters (the vertical posts supporting the handrail), it's important to address them as well. Apply wood glue to any loose balusters and secure them firmly in place. Use clamps or braces to hold them in position until the glue dries. If necessary, reinforce the connection between the balusters and the treads or handrail with screws or nails.

Step 10: Check for Uneven Steps

Uneven steps can also contribute to creaking. Use a level to check if any steps are not level or are sagging. If you identify any unevenness, it may be necessary to adjust or replace the affected step. Consult a professional if the problem is significant, as it may require structural repairs.

Step 11: Insulate Against Noise

To further minimize noise, consider adding insulation material to the underside of the stairs. Acoustic foam or adhesive-backed foam insulation can help absorb sound vibrations and reduce creaking. Cut the insulation material to fit and attach it securely using adhesive or staples.

Step 12: Reinforce the Stringers

The stringers, which provide support to the staircase, can sometimes contribute to creaking if they are weak or damaged. Inspect the stringers for any signs of cracks or structural issues. Reinforce them by adding additional supports, such as metal brackets or angle braces, to strengthen their stability.

Step 13: Sand and Seal the Stairs

After completing the necessary repairs, consider sanding the treads and risers to remove any rough or uneven areas. Sanding will also help to smooth out any imperfections that could potentially contribute to creaking. Once sanded, apply a sealant or varnish to protect the wood and enhance its appearance.

Step 14: Monitor for Further Issues

Keep an eye on your stairs in the weeks following the repairs to ensure that the creaking has been resolved. Occasionally, adjustments or additional maintenance may be necessary. Promptly address any new creaks or signs of damage to prevent further issues.


Fixing creaky stairs requires a systematic approach and attention to detail. By following these additional steps, you can address specific sources of creaking and improve the overall stability of your staircase. Remember to address squeaky balusters, check for uneven steps, insulate against noise, reinforce the stringers if needed, and sand and seal the stairs for a finished look. Regular monitoring and maintenance will help keep your stairs in optimal condition, ensuring a peaceful and secure journey up and down your staircase.