Quiet Your Stairs
Get rid of squeaks with construction adhesive and closed-cell foam.
This tip can quiet the squeaks often found on both new and old stairs. If we’re working on an older stairway, we shim the treads and risers from below or drive the existing shims deeper so they’re fully seated, and glue them in place with a high-quality construction adhesive (I like Loctite PL 400). Then we apply the same adhesive to all the seams between the treads and risers and tool it into the joints, and add screws to all treads and risers to better secure them to each other and to the stringers. Finally, we spray at least 1 in. of closed-cell foam on the underside of the staircase, which deadens sound and locks the whole assembly together.
Doing the same thing on new stairs is cheap insurance against squeaks, and customers love asking their friends, “Did you notice how quiet the stairs are?” Drywall on the underside of the stairs provides the necessary fire protection.
—Jarrett Kravitz, Clinton, Conn.
Edited and Illustrated by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #290