take it from us : squeaky hardwood floors

We're starting a new series at thishawksnest. So new in fact that I don't even have a little button or banner for it yet. Here's the plan: we keep finding a number of projects we want to try out but we don't know if they're going to work. We figure let's document it and save others their time and moola. Since we aren't perked for anything on the blog and I don't anticipate that changing anytime soon, you can rest assured you'll get our honest opinion.

Raise a pint to our first challenge: Squeaky Wood Floors. With the exception of the bathrooms and kitchen, every room in our home boasts original hardwood floors. While we LOVE this and it was a must in our home-buying search, it makes for a rather difficult bedtime routine when everywhere you step a major CREEEAKKKK scars your baby's eardrums for life. 

As many of you know, Mom Hawk is working on our basement to make it kid-friendly. A month or so ago we asked the carpenter how he might go about repairing some of the creaks. He wasn't optimistic with the nail it down, sally method in such a style house where there isn't much padding and insulation between ceiling-floor space. I'd read before about shaking graphite powder between the boards as a lubricant. The carpenter hadn't heard of this solution, so I put it off for a while.

Today, I came across an article in Southern Living online magazine. 

Since Ace and I are running a few errands today I figure it's now or never. So I'm going to pick up whichever is cheaper, talcom or graphite powder, and give it a whirl in some areas upstairs where Ace is least likely to lick the floor or practice his with-help walking skills.

I'll let you know how it goes after the job has been completed with an update to this post!

During Ace's morning nap I tried the liquid graphite fix. We'd purchased a small 2 oz bottle from our Village Ace for $3.99, so I knew it couldn't be a total bust if it didn't work out.

I started by pouring the graphite according to the directions over a two-board squeak (about 6 inches square). I then tried to shovel it between the boards and into the nail hole where someone had previously attempted to silence the squeak. You can see (in my sub-par iphone-with-flash pics) that it smudges everywhere. 
As I shoveled I also pressed down on the wood, hoping to sprinkle it more deeply between the boards and even start the lubrication---much like how we do with WD-40 and hinges. After about 5 minutes of work, there wasn't a noticeable difference.

After smudging it, I tried to wipe away the residue, but I was left with some pretty clear dark smudges. Yikes!
I finally grabbed our scrubbing-the-floor old toothbrush from the bathroom, some Mrs. Meyer's floor scrub, and got to work. It dredged up some of the residue from between the cracks but otherwise cleaned up perfectly. 
I'm still hopeful that over the next day I'll notice a difference but thus far, nothing has improved.

Attempt: Liquid Graphite Fix for Squeaky Hardwood Floors
Conclusion: No noticeable improvement
Cost: $3.99 + tax
Overall Conclusion: Worth the attempt

Hope that helps you folks out! Thanks for following the trial:)



  1. can't WAIT to hear about it as we have the same problem. I know exactly where to/not to step every time I put Matthew to sleep but it involves a giant leap to get myself to bed after he's down :)

  2. I was holding my breath that this would work! So looking forward to a solution to this problem in our house.

  3. Oh, I know, Ladies! I was really really hopeful. I've even gone back over the area to see if there's any improvement. I may try it one more time, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Next time, it's a test of talcom powder:)


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