How to Fix a Squeaky Bunkie Board
A bunkie board is a thin, sturdy surface that was conventionally used in bunk beds to support the mattress. Nowadays, it’s available for other types of beds such as daybeds, platform beds, and trundle beds. Bunkie boards support the whole mattress evenly. They were initially built from plywood, which was then enfolded in a fabric cover. Today you can find bunkie boards made of metal or wood planks that are combined with metal or wood bed frames. While they’re easy to assemble, they can make squeaky noises if not secured correctly during installation. The sound does not originate from the bunkie board itself, but from the friction between the board and the bed elements or the mattress.
To fix a squeaky bunkie board, follow these steps:
- Discover the source of the squeaky sound.
- Tighten and lubricate all bolts or screws.
- Pad the area where there is friction.
- Wrap the bunkie board in a quilted upholstery fabric.
Step 1. Discover The Source of The Squeaky Sound
Start by removing the bedding. Then remove the mattress from the bed base and lay it on the floor. Sit and move around on the mattress to figure out if it is the source of the annoying sound. This is more likely if you use an innerspring mattress. Frequent pressure on innerspring mattresses will cause the springs to rub against each other resulting in squeaking. However, if your mattress is not an innerspring model with coils and springs, then the culprit is likely something else.
Therefore, move to examining the bunkie board. Bunkie boards are usually designed as a full panel surface and only occasionally have separated slats. Apply some pressure on the bunkie board on different locations and shake it. If you hear a noise, then the plank is not properly attached to the bed frame. In fact, the bolts and nuts naturally loosen due to frequent use and pressure on the board as well as changes in temperature. Tightening and lubricating all the connectors will help reduce the squeaky bunkie board sound (see step 2).
Alternatively, If your bunkie board is made of wooden material, temperature fluctuations may cause the wood to expand or contract and hence cause rubbing and squeaking. If your bunkie board doesn’t perfectly match the exact dimensions of the bed base, that could also cause the squeaking. Add some padding between the mattress and the board or in other squeaky areas (see step 3) or wrap the board in a quilted upholstery fabric (see step 4) to help muffle the sound.
The culprit could be a squeaky bed frame and not a squeaky bunkie board. Disassemble the bunkie board and shake the bed frame. If the sound persists, you will have to tighten all the bolts and lubricate the components of the bed frame to solve the problem. If you still hear the sound, then check the legs or wheels of the bed rubbing against the ground.
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Step 2. Tighten And Lubricate All Bolts or Screws in the Bunkie Board
Check what is holding the bunkie board together and how the bunkie board is connected to the bed frame. Tighten all the bolts or screws using a wrench or screwdriver respectively. You may want to add washers between the bolts and the bed frame to make the bed sturdier and to quiet the squeaking sound.
Lubricating the joints will help prevent future squeaks. If your bunkie board and bed frame are metal, grab a can of WD40 (or any cooking oil) and spray it over the metal joints. However, if you have a wooden bunkie board or a wooden frame, do not use oil because it will cause a bad smell and heavy dust build up. In this case, use wax to lubricate the wooden surface instead of oil. Warm a brick of paraffin or a candle, and rub the wax on the squeaky area.
Step 3. Pad The Area Where There is Friction
If there is space between the edges of the bunkie board and the bed frame, then you can fill the gaps with old fabric (such as old clothes or socks for example) to stop the friction between the sides of the boards and the bed frame. Moreover, if your bunkie board is made of slats, and the width between the slats is more than two inches, the slats can dig into the mattress and cause a squeaky sound. In that case, use cork to fill the gaps. Cut a roll of cork into sheets and use the sheets to cover the empty spaces. This will help reduce the sound.
You can also add foam-padded tape on top of the steel frames to muffle the noise, or even add a non-slip tape to prevent the mattress from slipping and moving around on the board. For noise free bunkie boards with foam-padded tape, check out the Zinus Gulzar and Zinus Deepak bunkie boards (not suitable for memory foam or latex mattresses).
Step 4. Wrap The Bunkie Board With a Quilted Upholstery Fabric
As mentioned earlier, bunkie boards may make a creaky sound. Covering the board with a quilted upholstery fabric cover, will muffle the sound. In order to do so, cut two pieces of the fabric (one piece for each side of the bunkie board). Leave a few extra inches on the top piece to fold over the sides and corners. The bottom piece should be the same dimensions as the board. Spray the bottom side of the bunkie board with fabric-adhesive and then stretch and glue the fabric along the surface. Turn over the board, and again spray the surface with fabric-adhesive and glue the oversized piece of fabric. Fold the extra inches on each side inward the bottom side of the bunkie board and staple them in place.
Cheap Alternatives to Bunkie Boards You Can Use, Instead of Fixing a Squeaky Bunkie Board
Bunkie boards were initially made of plywood. The material is sturdy, durable, available in large pieces, and provides even support to the whole mattress. However, it needs to be laminated and covered with suitable pieces of wood to make it look better and more water resistant. Plywood can sag and bend, and can also tear and damage the mattresses and beddings.
Slats, on the other hand, provide great support and proper ventilation for your mattress. They prevent moisture and heat from being trapped within the mattress. However, they are thin and light, and therefore can shift if not secured properly. The slats can also dig into memory foam or latex mattresses and void the warranty. For these mattresses, use plywood or bunkie boards come.