I swear you will find this in every thriller written these days, “As (insert hero’s name here) silently crept up the stairs, he kept his feet close to the walls where it was less likely to squeak. Then…” Yes, those nasty little squeaks can take away the element of surprise, all right. They can just ruin a hero’s day. They can also ruin your day (actually night) when those nasty little squeaks can give away what time you actually got home or went to bed.
You are innocently watching the Los Angeles Kings clinch a trip to the Stanley cup finals for only the second time in history when you realize your host has not given you the heads up on the time. At our age, hosts should routinely shout out the time in half hour increments so as not to cause problems with your better half when you arrive home a wee bit later than you estimated. When you get home, you cover every angle as well as can be expected. You turn off your lights before turning in the driveway so as not to flash the master bedroom window. You lock the car using the lock button on the door instead of the remote, which beeps. You’ve WD-40’ed the front door hinges so they’re quiet as a mouse. You know how to open the door and reach around with your hand so the blinds don’t bang against the door. You can close the door without making a sound. But just before you enter the bedroom, the squeaky hardwood floor gives you away! At this time in the morning, the squeak from the floor might as well be a loudspeaker announcing your arrival. Correction: your late arrival.
It’s the same watching TV with your amazing better half. You are enjoying together-time watching the umpteenth rerun of Law & Order, or the Office, and when the show ends she says let’s go to bed. You say go ahead honey, I’ll be right there. You get a quick beer and switch to ESPN so that at work the next day you’re not the only clueless dude in the building that didn’t know Ron Artest, errr… Metta something, elbowed James Harden and is going to be suspended. Are you kidding me? This is a no-brainer. OK, so maybe you kinda doze off a little and now you have to make your way to bed stealth-style. And that nasty squeak ruins everything. See, if you get into bed and she stirs a little, it’s OK; she doesn’t check the clock. If she mumbles “What time is it?” you lie – only to keep the peace of course. But that damn squeaky floor wakes her up enough to make her look at the clock and say “It’s 2:30! What have you been doing?”
Here’s where Rockler Hardware comes to the rescue once again. They have a product called Squeeeeek No More. It’s a method of tightening up the hardwood floor to your sub floor to stop those pesky squeaks. You drill a pilot hole and then, using the spacer, you use their break off screws to tighten up the flooring and leave only a 1/8” hole to fill and make disappear. The break off spacer is a little plastic thing that positions the screw perfectly so when you screw down into the floor, using the square drive bit that comes with the kit, it spaces the break off point of the screw 3/8” below finish floor. As the screw tightens up it, breaks at the scored part of the screw.
All you have to do is mix a little putty the right color and you’re good to go. This kit also has an accessory to use when your carpet floor squeaks. Here’s a video from floorscrews.com that shows how it’s done.
At about $24, the Squeeeeek No More Kit is a great way to fix those squeaks in the floor, but just to be safe, I will continue to walk down my hallways with my feet close to the walls. Just like (insert hero’s name here) does.