Floor making popping noise at night

Q: I have a four year old house with a basement in NC. The first floor is all hardwood. Probably nailed down. For the past month, there is this loud popping sound that seems to come from the floor every once in a while, but only at night, after 11 PM. It happens a few times to a dozen times per night. One popping sound at a time.

It is scaring my dog crazy. Is this temperature/contraction related? Our central air turns from 68 degrees to 63ish at night. Why is my floor making popping noise?

A: Yes, it indicates contraction of some boards because the tongue and groove were milled a bit too snug. Is the floor also 4 years old?

Follow-up Q: Yes. The floor is 4 years old. My wife says that the snapping popping sound may come from the dinning room. We notice the dinning room hardwood floor now developed openings between many strips of wood of about 1mm. So, I guess contraction is very likely. Interesting, that’s the only area of the house with these openings and that’s the only area where the orientation of the board is perpendicular to the hardwood floor of the rest of the house.

A: That is interesting. Why did the installers change direction in the dining room? The hardwood floor should be installed across the floor joists, and if that wasn’t done in that area, I would consider it a mistake.

2 thoughts on “Floor making popping noise at night”

  1. The hallway floor in my sixty year old home is still creaking at night when no one is walking on it. The same happens with some of my old, almost 100 year old Maple furniture, but mostly at night. Spooky. Why is that happening?

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