In feudal Japan, specially designed “nightingale floors” in temples and palaces were built to squeak when walked on to deter intruders. Today, squeaky floors or other household elements are a universal annoyance the world over. If your home is producing noises that you’d prefer to live without, there are often ways to keep them on the hush. Here’s how to eliminate squeaks in three common places: doors, floors and drawers.
Typically, a dry or corroded hinge pin is the source of a door squeak. Fortunately, it usually requires little more than a can of WD-40 or other joint lubricant to resolve the issue. Apply the lubricant to the top of the pin, and allow it to drip down and cover the hinge completely, catching any runoff with a paper towel. Coat the oil throughout the pin by opening and closing the door a few times.
Floor squeaks are almost always caused by floorboards either rubbing against each other or against the shaft of a nail. Either way, the solution is to stop the boards from moving or eliminate the friction. Movement can be prevented by driving pairs of finish nails into to the boards at angles to form a “V”. A colored wax pencil (available at home improvement stores) that matches the wood tone can be used to fill in the nail holes. The nails can also be driven right through carpet. Though tougher to accomplish, friction can sometimes be reduced by applying talcum powder or Teflon lubricant to the joints between squeaky floorboards, from either above or below.
Noisy drawers are often caused by either friction between wooden parts or between wheel and slide components. If wood grinding against wood is causing the squeak, remove the drawers and rub beeswax, paraffin or an old candle wherever wood meets. Then, put the drawer back in, and open and close it a few times until the squeak subsides. Repeat if necessary. For squeaks from nylon wheels and metal glides, apply liquid or Teflon lubricant to the parts. (First, remove the drawers below the one you are fixing so the lubricant doesn’t drip on their contents.) Clean up any excess lubricant, return the drawer, then open and close it to ensure the squeak has disappeared. If the squeak persists, repeat the process until it’s gone.
Silence is said to be golden, and with this squeak-silencing knowhow, you can help preserve a bit of that precious peace and quiet in your home.