How to fix squeaky stairs

Squeaky stairs can be a nuisance, disrupting the tranquility of your home and potentially even waking up sleeping family members. Fortunately, fixing squeaky stairs is a task that can be accomplished with some basic tools and a little bit of know-how. In this article, we will guide you through the process of eliminating those annoying squeaks, allowing you to regain peace and quiet in your home.

squeaky stairs

Squeaky stairs can be a nuisance, causing disruption and discomfort in your home. Fortunately, there are several effective methods to fix this issue. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to regain the peace and quiet you deserve.

Lubricate the Stairs

One of the easiest ways to muffle a squeak is by filling the space between the riser and the tread with a dry lubricant. You can use talcum powder, powdered graphite, or even baby powder for this purpose. Apply the lubricant generously, allowing it to seep into the gaps. This method is particularly useful for squeaks coming from the back or sides of the tread.

Re-attach the Tread to the Riser

If the squeak occurs when you step anywhere along the front of the tread, the problem may lie in the connection between the tread and the riser. In such cases, you can often solve the issue by re-attaching the tread to its riser using screws or nails. Locate the area where the tread and riser meet and secure them tightly. This method effectively eliminates squeaks caused by loose connections.

Add Shims and Glue

For squeaky stairs with gaps between the treads and the stringers, adding shims and glue can provide a reliable solution. First, tap shims into the voids between the treads and the stringers, ensuring a snug fit. Then, apply a suitable wood glue to enhance the bond. Finally, secure the stringer to each stud using screws. This method strengthens the staircase structure and minimizes movement, effectively eliminating squeaks.

Replace Nails with Screws

Loose nails can be a common culprit behind squeaky stairs. If you find nails that have come loose, consider replacing them with screws. Choose screws that are slightly longer than the nails to ensure a secure connection. By swapping out the nails for screws, you create a stronger fastening system that reduces the likelihood of squeaks.

Add Additional Support

Sagging or flexing stairs can contribute to squeaks. To address this issue, consider installing additional support between the stringers and the treads. Brackets or blocks can be used for this purpose. These supports provide extra reinforcement, reducing movement and eliminating squeaks. Ensure proper installation and alignment to achieve the desired results.

Consult a Professional

If the squeak persists or if your stairs are in poor condition, it may be best to seek professional assistance. An experienced contractor or carpenter can assess the situation and provide expert advice on the most suitable repair or replacement options. Professional intervention ensures a thorough evaluation and guarantees long-lasting results.


Squeaky stairs can disrupt the peace and comfort of your home, but they don’t have to remain an ongoing annoyance. By following the methods discussed in this article, you can bid farewell to those creaks and groans. Remember, the best method to fix squeaky stairs depends on the cause of the squeak and the condition of the stairs. Choose the appropriate solution based on your specific situation, and enjoy a silent and stable staircase once again.


Q1. How long does it take to fix squeaky stairs?

The time required to fix squeaky stairs depends on the complexity of the problem and the chosen repair method. Simple solutions, such as lubricating the stairs or re-attaching the tread, can be done in a matter of minutes. More extensive repairs, like adding additional support or consulting a professional, may take several hours or even days.

Q2. Can I use WD-40 to lubricate squeaky stairs?

While WD-40 is a popular lubricant, it is not recommended for fixing squeaky stairs. WD-40 is a temporary solution that may wear off quickly, necessitating frequent reapplication. Instead, opt for dry lubricants such as talcum powder or powdered graphite for a longer-lasting effect.

Q3. Are squeaky stairs a sign of structural damage?

Squeaky stairs are often a result of normal wear and tear or loose connections, rather than a sign of structural damage. However, persistent squeaks may indicate underlying issues that require attention. If you suspect structural damage or if the squeaks worsen over time, it is advisable to consult a professional for a thorough inspection.

Q4. Can I fix squeaky stairs without professional help?

Yes, many methods for fixing squeaky stairs can be undertaken as DIY projects. However, it’s important to assess your skills and knowledge before attempting any repairs. Simple solutions like lubrication or re-attaching the tread can be done by most homeowners. For more complex issues or if you lack experience, it is recommended to seek professional assistance.

Q5. How often do I need to maintain my stairs to prevent squeaks?

Regular maintenance can help prevent squeaky stairs. It’s a good practice to inspect your stairs periodically and address any minor issues promptly. Lubrication, tightening connections, and adding support when necessary can keep your stairs in optimal condition and minimize the chances of squeaks.

Sharing Is Caring:

The Howtowise team has helped thousands of homemakers fix their household problems with step-by-step tutorials. Howtowise has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more.