How to Stop a Door from Squeaking

Knowing how to stop your door from squeaking is imperative when you want a peaceful home or office. Any sound that is annoying and distracts your concentration is bad, so let’s get that resolved.

Lubricating the hinges is the easiest and fastest way to stop a door from squeaking. If that does not work, there may be more serious repairs required.

How to Stop a Door from Squeaking

From replacing the hinges to the entire frame, we’ll walk you through the issues and how to fix them.

Also, check out my guide on soundproofing doors.

As an affiliate, I may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

You don’t need any form of technical expertise to get rid of that noise from your doors. All you need is a step-by-step procedure, which we have elaborated in this article on the simple DIY methods of getting rid of that brain-aching squeaking noise.

We have been able to identify the leading causes of this sort of problem, and our methods have stood the test of time.

Why Do Doors Squeak?

Before delving into solving a problem, a systematic analysis of the problem would be necessary. This analysis tells you the degree of the problem and would effectively open a wider variety of possibilities in solving the problem.

For example, why does your door squeak each time you push it open? This phenomenon arises from external factors such as atmospheric humidity and temperature changes.

First, however, we will start with the elementary causes and move up to the more complex ones.

Besides humidity and temperature change, other factors add to the reason doors squeak each time you open or close them. These factors include the following:

  • Handling during or after installation
  • Lack of lubrication
  • Inaccuracy in taking correct measurements during installation
  • The constant slamming of the door
  • Dust or sand grains filling up door sills for sliding doors
  • Tight hinges for swinging doors
  • Tight thresholds for sliding doors

Many people dwell on the door hinge for solving the squeaking noise problem, but you’ll find out that your door may continue to squeak even after lubricating the hinge pins several times.

Nevertheless, the hinges of your door are primarily responsible for the squeaking noises you hear every time you open or close your door. Below is a table that describes how temperature and humidity cause your doors to squeak.

FactorCause
TemperatureTemperature changes will cause wood to wrap in a variety of forms. Most times, the wood expands, and as usual, it will never shrink back to its original state. 
HumidityAir moisture will influence the behavior of your wooden door if the door’s Equilibrium Moisture Content doesn’t balance up with the moisture of the air that surrounds your wooden door. The imbalance will cause the door to warp or crack, thus changing the shape and size of the wood.Moisture in the air will also react with iron alloys used in manufacturing your door hinges, causing them to rust and increase the friction of its rotation.

How To Stop a Door From Squeaking

To stop a door from squeaking, follow the steps below.

1. Fix The Wooden Frame

We’ve seen that moisture and temperature change will affect the size and behavior of lumber wood, but how can we remedy the situation for our expanded wooden door?

It may cost you a fortune; hiring an expert in the field when in effect, it’s straightforward and much less expensive. 

You must check if the wood part of the door has grown more oversized and out of its frame.

In some instances, the doorpost may become smaller and would require a newer door post.

To know if your door has grown more oversized and out of its frame, you need to open the door and try to close it back from outside.

Use sandpaper to scrape off the paint of the sealer about 10 cm from the edge of the door that hits the door frame. It can be the distance of the width of your door handle.

Use a pencil to mark the line where the door post hits the door frame. Feel free to mark from top to bottom at different points lengthwise. The reason is that wood wrapping is never uniform across the length of aboard.

You will notice that the distance between your pencil mark and the edge of your doorpost either widens or closes up to the edge as you move down.

Unmount the door using an 8d nail. Close the door and position the nail vertically above or below the hinge such that the tip of the nail touches the hinge pin.

Use a hammer and carefully hit it until the hinge is out. If your hinges use screws, it would be easier to unscrew them.

Once the door is out, you can either take the door to a planning factory or use a hand saw to cut the protruded width of the door.

Remember to unscrew the handle before sawing. To get a straight line, use a ruler or a T-square ruler and connect your marks from top to bottom with your pencil.

Place your board on a flat table-top and cramp tightly to avoid movements. Saw out the portion an inch closer to your connected lines and sand the rest to flush on the line.

You can repaint your door entirely or the portions you sanded for the work. Now your door is fit to fit into its frame.

2. Lubricate the Hinges

lubricate hinges
Lubricating hinges will help in stopping a door from squeaking

You can quickly check for rusts and dust particles that fill up the hinge holes on your doors.

In some cases, the hinge hole fastens tightly against the hinge pin to prevent rotation.

In either case,  lubricating the hinge pin would be the most suitable method to fix the problem.

Firstly, you must shut the door and bear that screeching noise one last time. Next, pour a lubricating oil from the top of the hinge, making sure it sinks through the space between the hinge hole and the hinge pin.

Also, pour some oil around the rotating knob on the door handle. Swing the door open and close a few times to let the oils grease all the interior surface of the hinge.

Repeat this action a few more times until the noise dies off. Do the same for the handle.

If the noise and the stiffness persist, you may proceed to pull out the hinge pin from its hole.

If there’s rust on the surface of the pin, scrape it off with steel wool and a rust remover.

Dry and grease with oil using a foamy sponge. Use a star screwdriver to scrape the walls of the hinge hole and pour your oil gently to trickle down the walls on every side.

Please don’t wait for the oil to dry off; fit the pin in its place while it’s still moist, and swing the door a few times to spread the lubricant on all the internal surfaces.

Remember to swing a few more times after the noise stops.

The hinge hole is smaller than the pin; use a slightly larger nail to hammer through the hole after pulling it out.

It will expand the hole for the pin to fit in neatly.

3. Remove Debris from Door Thresholds and Hinges

The sand and dust particles we pick up always find a perfect corner to settle.

Sometimes while sweeping the floor, these dust and sand grains pile up in between the threshold of sliding doors, causing friction each time we slide to open or close them.

Also, during handling, wood dust from sanding your wooden doors can fill up the tiny gaps between the hinge hole and the hinge pin.

The more you swing the door, the more the particles move into the hinge holes, and at one point, the door starts squeaking or may even stop swinging.

You don’t need to dismantle your door to get rid of the sand grains in the sliding door’s case. Instead, use a straw and blow the dust out of the hole a few times while sliding the door open and close each time you blow through the threshold.

For swinging doors, you will need to unmount the door from the hinges to clean them.

Then, grease the pins and fit them back in their hinge holes. Swing the doors a few times to ensure uniformity until the squeaking noise dies out completely. 

If you can’t lay hands on lubricating oils, you can get paraffin wax from melting a candle and dipping your hinge pin into the liquid wax.

Then, immediately pour some of it into the hinge hole and fit the pin while the wax is in its liquid state. Then, swing the door open and close until the squeaking dies out.

4. Use a Door Closer

The frequency of usage of your door may require the use of a door closer. It will help stop the squeaking noise by reducing the slamming speed of the door.

In addition, that soft close will preserve and maintain the swinging velocity of your door. Therefore, we highly recommend using a door closer for screen doors. 

5. Replace The Door Frame

Sometimes, the door frame doesn’t fit in the door gap of your building structure. It will squeak every time someone walks through it, and you may think this problem has no solution.

It either indicates inaccurate measurements taken during the installation of the wrapping of the door frame by the external factors we discussed earlier. 

The gap between the wall and the door frame will also provide a high level of insecurity, but here’s what you must do to prevent those gaps after your door has been installed.

There are two ways to remedy the situation, and they’re straightforward.

List of Requirements:

  • A plywood
  • Sandpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Concrete nails
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • A ruler
  • Some cementitious powder
  • Two pails and a trowel
  • A hand saw
  • Square battens
  • A cramp

Use the tape to carefully measure the gap between your door frame and the walls on both sides of the door.

It is the first step whether you choose to go with option A or option B. Also, measure the breadth and width of the door frame against the wall

Option A

Mark one edge of your plywood the measure of the total of both gaps. Mark an extra inch from your measure mark and draw a straight line on the plywood lengthwise.

Cut lengthwise with a hand saw and damp the piece on both sides. Carefully fix the cut plywood to lean against the edge of the door lengthwise. You should be able to seal the gap from that side of the wall.

You will need an extra hand in moving the door frame so that one side of it detaches completely from the wall that’s seal joint with the plywood. Control that the loose edge of the door frame lines up with your pencil marking

Cramp the top part of the door frame with the door lintel to keep it steady while mixing your cement with water to form a paste.

Use the trowel to shove the cementitious mixture into the gap until it flushes out at right a right angle to the wall. Smooth the surface and allow 4 hours for the cement to dry before peeling off the plywood. 

After two days of drying, you can paint the sealed part of the wall to make your mask the rough work. 

Option B

Uninstall the entire door frame and saw your battens a little smaller than the sum of the gaps you measured earlier. Hold the door in place with a cramp as in option A, and square fit your sawed battens into the gap at an equal distance from each other. 

Use your concrete nails to join the flat interior surface of your door frame and the battens that hinge against the wall between the gap.

Be careful not to let the nail heads stick out as they may hook your dress on your way through the door. Instead, hammer the nails to pierce entirely into the wood.

Take the exact measurement on the plywood and saw lengthwise. Next, make a double of the first slice and seal both ends of the gap.

Next, use your screws to fasten the plywood to the door frame on both sides. Now, you can paint over the entire door frame to mask scratches from your hammering and to make it uniform with your walls.

FAQ On How to Stop Your Door From Squeaking

Is there a specific lubricant to use when greasing the hinge pins?

No. You can use Olive oil, paraffin wax, hairsprays, and other highly viscous substances like Vaseline as your lubricant.

Is there an alternative method for removing sand and dust particles in sliding doors?

Yes, you can use water under very high pressure. It works well too. 

Would spraying lubricant on the hinge be as effective as pouring it on the hinge?

To obtain better results, we advise that you pour your lubricant on the hinge, even though spraying it may yield the same results. The difference lies in the quantity of the lubricating oil you’ll use to fix an entire set of hinges.

Sources

  1. Pella. Breaking Down the Patio Door Parts: https://www.pella.com/ideas/doors/patio-doors/patio-door-anatomy/
  2. Intouch. Wood Wrapping and How to Prevent It: https://www.intouch-quality.com/blog/wood-warping-and-how-to-prevent-it
  3. Thespeucecrafts. Dealing With Expansion and Shrinkage in Woodworking Projects: https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/allowing-for-expansion-and-shrinking-3536449
  4. Wikihow. 3 Ways to Stop Squeaky Door Hinges: https://www.wikihow.life/Stop-Squeaky-Door-Hinges