What can I do about creaky stairs?

John Conlin / 19 February 2018

A reader writes to chartered surveyor John Conlin with a question about creaking stairs.



Question

Our stairs are getting increasingly creaky. Is there anything that can be done to stop the creaking, short of installing a new staircase?

Answer

I’m assuming that your stairs are timber and of the traditional ‘closed tread’ pattern with a vertical panel, called the ‘riser’, linking the rear of one tread with the front of the tread above. With such stairs the ‘creak’ is often caused by worn joints between tread and riser allowing a friction noise to occur when the tread flexes under foot pressure.

If the underside of the stairs is accessible reinforce the risers and adjacent treads using metal ‘L’ repair brackets. If the underside is inaccessible remove any carpet, buy a disposable syringe and the largest gauge needle available from your local vet, fill with wood glue and inject the joints between treads and risers.



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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.