Creaking and squeaking stairs

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: My stairs are creaking a lot and I want to fix this. I have taken up the carpet but can’t find any nail heads to get an idea where I should put in wood screws. I also do not know where the joists are. I can’t access the stairs from below. Help! What should I do?

A: Generally, there is a wedge hammered into the bottom of the tread along the stringer, and this has probably come loose. To actually fix this, I believe you have to get access to the underside of the staircase.

I suppose you could try drilling and countersinking a screw through the tread and into the stringer, on an angle. But I always like to go to the source, if possible.

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Noisy stair treads

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We have beautiful oak hardwood floors on the stairs in our 3-family home. The problem is they are very noisy. Other than carpet, which gets very dirty, and vinyl or rubber which need to be installed with adhesive, is there anything I can put on the stair treads to lessen the noise?

A: If you had access to the rear of the staircase, you could tighten up the wedges that hold the treads in place or if need be, put in a few of your own.

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