How to Quiet Squeaky Stairs?

Squeaky stairs are quite a scary thing and you may have seen it in horror movies when it makes the home owners nervous as hell. In reality, the creaky stairs are quite a common problem and they are really annoying. One of the main causes is the wear and tear of the wooden staircase parts that cause friction against screws or nails.

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The noise can cause discomfort whenever you are resting and someone is using the stairs so it is ideal to fix the smaller issues before you have to fix the complete structure. Usually, you can fix these problems yourself instead of hiring a professional. We would like to tell you different kinds of solutions and there are some important terms that would be used further so we would first explain them:-

Treads: These are the horizontal surfaces where you place your feet while using the stairs.

Risers: These are the surfaces between the treads.

Stringers: These are the boards running up the sides of risers and treaders to complete the staircase. The stringers keep the staircase intact and provide the necessary support to the complete structure.

Banisters: These are the handrails beside the staircase.

Balustrades:These are the posts that are used for supporting the banisters.

Now you need to find out the area where the problem lies. You have to use the stairs one by one marking the problematic parts. After finding out the part that is problematic you can use the following solutions.

You may also check our other articles and read our tips on reducing noise for downstairs neighbors.

Use the Lubricant


The best way to solve the muffled noise coming from any part of the stairs is by filling the crack between the tread and the riser with the help of a lubricant. You can find different lubricants that can be used for this purpose. A tip would be not using an oil-based lubricant because it can warp wood or leave it slippery.

Using powdered graphite or even talcum powder would work wonders. For using the powder you need to put a piece of paper against the tread and pour the powder on the paper across the width of the stair with the help of your finger. Try to get the powder down the crack. This solution would remove the friction between the two wooden pieces canceling out the noise.

Screwing the Treads

screwing the threads

If the stairs are squeaking at the front you need to tighten the fitting of the tread and the riser. It can be done easily with the help of multiple screws. You have to find the screws of accurate size for this part and you would be able to easily find them.

After finding the screws you have to drill three pilot holes at the front of the tread where it meets the riser. Now drill in the three screws so they get below the tread. The screws would get in place after a while and you can use a wood filler for hiding the screws to make the staircase look better.

Nail the Risers

If the noise is coming from the side or back of the tread you would need a permanent solution. You can nail the tread into the stringer with the help of strong nails. You have to start this process by making two pilot holes on the sides of the tread. The holes have to be at a distance of opposing 45 degrees angle so they are aimed at each other.

Now you have to make two more pilot holes on the sides of the tread. Drive the nails into the holes at a 45 degrees angle and tighten the tread to the stringer. Make sure that you don’t leave the heads of the nails unattended as they could cause an injury. You can also cover the spots with wood filler or a putty.

Fixing the Stairs from Beneath

spiral stairs

There are a number of staircases that don’t have a proper access from below but if you can reach out the area underneath you can easily silence the noise. All you need are 3 wooden wedges also known as premade glue blocks. You can either find them in the market or you can make them yourself at home.

Once you find them you have to get glue and put it on the shorter sides of the blocks and press them into the right angle of the riser and the tread. Now get one of the blocks positioned in the center of the step and the other 2 at the opposite edges. Give each one of them a wiggle when you position them to avoid any kind of air bubbles.

After the blocks get at their place you have to drive the screws into each one the blocks in a way that one of the screws is into the riser horizontally and the other one is into the tread vertically to get the job done.

Getting a Tool to Deal With Squeak on Stairs with Carpets

If you have carpeted stairs you will have to drill holes in the carpet or drill it in order to make the job easier for you. There are special drills available for this purpose if you don’t want to replace the carpet altogether. Utilize the drill to enter 3 screws in the frontal part of the tread.

You have to position one of the screws in the end of the bit and drive the screw through the carpet down in the tread and the riser. The screw head will stick out of the carpet but you have to deal with snapping it off and leaving the rest of the screw intact to get the job done.


We have tried to cover different practical methods with all the possible details so you can easily quiet the squeaky stairs at your home. You don’t need a lot of material or machinery as all you need is a drill, screwdriver, screws, and a few nails. If the problem persists you may have to contact a professional as the noise can be really irritating in the long-term. Try to read our tips on how to quiet your sliding glass door.