Intro: Silent (open) Stairs
Last week I finally got too tired of my squeaky / creaking noise making stairs. It had been bothering me for months, however some quick searches where not that promising. Its an open staircase, from my ground floor leading up to the first floor, so it's used heavily. In early mornings and at night each step sounded like an army of elephants crawling up. :) It was about 10% squeaky 45% creaking and 45% rocking. I tried to tighten the steps with a flathead, however this only damaged my screws. So finally, I freed up some time to try to fix it.
Rocking steps are very common. The wood of the steps is different in substance and direction of the fibers. So humidity works differently on each part.
I used an EPDM based product which turned out great! The rubber properties of EPDM are ideal for construction purposes. It has a high tolerante to temperature and humidity. I'm not sure how it wil hold over time under pressure, but i'm not worried. And it's easy and cheap enough to replace every 7-12 years.
Step 1: Remove One or Two Steps a Time
It must be more efficient to remove all steps, however it's not that comfortable to stand on the small support beams. Its also wise to test your steps before you move on. And this requires to be able to walk up and down as you world regularly do.
I removed two steps a time, and tested the effect.
Step 2: Apply Rubber Trips
I cut the 2 cm strips in half (in length) and used this to make an insert into the wall side of the stair case.
In order to avoid wobbling I did the front and back of the support beam of each step. I could have done the center, however when the beams are not entirely flat, you risk causing a rocking step because of the transfer of the shape of the beam (though I didn't test this theory myself).
To be clear, I added an additional picture with the red circles around the added EPDM strips.
Step 3: Attach the Step Using Clamps
I used clamps to attach the steps. Now the rubber is between it, it is far more difficult to apply enough torque using the flathead. The result is almost invisible, however the sound is amazing!!! It has a very luxiourious hard wooden feeling walking up and down. Squeaking is gone! Cracking is gone! Rocking is almost entirely gone!