How Do I Fix My Creaking Stairs?

Creaking stairs are a very common occurrence because the majority of staircases up and down the UK are wooden.

How To Fix Creaking Stairs - Example
How To Fix Creaking Stairs – Example

Over time some wooden parts of your staircase will move or warp creating a gap that moves when you put pressure on it.

This will cause your staircase to move when you are walking up or down. To fix this issue you need to discover where the two pieces of wood are rubbing.

The most common parts of a moving staircase are the rises or the kites and winders.

  1. Stair risers are a rectangle piece of wood that holds up the step
  2. Kites and winders are corner pieces connected to the newel post
  3. The strings are the two pieces attached to the wall on either side

Fixing Kites And Winders

Kites, Winders and Newel Post - Example
Kites, Winders and Newel Post – Example

These two steps tend to move the most because they have become loose from the newel post.

When you attach kites and winders you must always use PVA and pins, but also skill and experience are needed to create a solid platform that does not creak.

Fixing Creaky Steps - Example
Fixing Creaky Steps – Example

To fix creaking kites and winders you should:

  1. Figure out if it’s the kite which is in the shape of a kite or the winders above and below the kite
  2. Use PVA glue and apply to the section of the newel post where the kites and winders are notched
  3. Apply PVA the full length of the steps
  4. PVA/wood glue dries clear
  5. Use 2″ pins and nail them into the steps and the newel post
  6. Using quadrant underneath the riser and step if you can get behind the staircase
  7. Attach this with 1″ nails and PVA glue, make sure the nails are flush and not sticking out

Fixing Steps And Risers

Steps And Risers - Example
Steps And Risers – Example

Steps and risers are other sections of your staircase where movement is likely. You can use a quadrant bead underneath the staircase.

If you cannot get to the underside of your staircase then carefully run a bead of PVA glue and connect the step and risers with a 1″ nail being careful not to split the riser.

Three or four nails across the width of the step will suffice and stop your staircase from creaking.

Fixing Strings

The Strings are the two long pieces of wood that each step slots into. These keep the steps solid and is another weak point of your staircase.

You can use the quadrant underneath but not everyone can get to the underside of their staircase without removing the plasterboard.

To reinforce your staircase you can use 2″ nails and hammer them into the step and string, so angle the nail away from the string so it goes through the step and then into the string.

This will make your steps more secure and far less noisy, PVA is not needed here unless you can underneath and add a small length of a quadrant bead.

Conclusion

Fixing creaky stairs can be a tricky job, strong PVA glue will suffice if you have open stairs and no carpets.

If they are covered with carpet then remove the carpet and then nail the steps or strings depending on where the creak is coming from.

Always nail down because you do not want anyone stepping on nails.

If you can get to the back of your staircase then use a length of batten or quadrant to help support the risers and steps/treads, you can also use batten to help support the step across the stringers.

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