How to quiet my creaking loft bed?
August 13, 2009 12:30 AM   Subscribe

How can I minimize creaking/cracking noises from my new IKEA STORÅ Loft Bed?

So, it's my first real New York apartment, and my room is pretty small. Not a closet, but pretty small. I knew I still wanted a full size bed (I'm a tall guy) and that a bed that size would take up most of the room, so I opted for a loft bed, so I'd still have room for a desk.

I picked this bed, the Stora bed from IKEA.

Three days later, I have the loft bed built, and it's my maiden voyage up the ladder. Ceiling height checks out; so far so good, and then...

Every motion I make, going up the ladder, getting under the covers, rolling over, is met by a loud cracking noise. We're talking about more than a simple creak; it's a series of loud, sharp cracks, with every motion of the bed.

So this is why they don't let you go up the ladder of the one in the store! I expected the bed to make some amount of noise, but this is rather more than I can deal with. I'm afraid my housemates are going to be woken up by it.

Is there any way to lessen the noise? I've tightened the bolts to no avail. Should I lubricate the joints somehow? Put carpeting under the legs? Cover it in duct tape and foam baffling? Please help, before I have to take a saw to this thing and turn it into a regular bed!
posted by raygan to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have much of an idea on how this particular bed is constructed, but my idea is to add rubber washers at all of the joints, to dampen the most likely friction spots. You can get a box of them at most home improvement stores for pretty cheap.

I don't know if this would solve the problem, but it'd be my first step.
posted by empyrean at 1:05 AM on August 13, 2009

I used to have the same bed. The creaking never disappeared completely, but it got less loud over time. I got used to it. Tightening the bolts didn't help (but is a good idea anyway). I'm afraid that it would be just as loud if you turned it into a regular bed...
These people recommend beeswax, I haven't tried it, but it sounds reasonable... (And re: lubrication: "WD40 is a good quick fix but it eventually swells the wood and makes everything worse." )
posted by The Toad at 1:07 AM on August 13, 2009

You can use woodglue to hook the joints tightly together. Will likely stop the creaking problem, but it will make the bed permanently assembled. Rather than the cute allen wrench you'll need a hammer and a saw to get it back out the door.

It might be a viable solution because people tend to not get very attached to their ikea furniture and the resale value on IKEA stuff is nearly nothing.
posted by JimmyJames at 2:29 AM on August 13, 2009

To me (I'm a woodworker and furniture maker), that bed looks extremely delicate and not very well engineered. With such delicate members and without any large panels or cross-bracing for stability, it's no surprise it complains about the shifting load of a largeish adult. Imagine what it would be like if you had company!

My inclination would be to return it and get something decently built. If that's not an option, some diagonal bracing between the legs might help.
posted by jon1270 at 2:54 AM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

I agree with jon1270 on the crossbracing. That thing is sitting way up on those splindly legs, with no other support.

I think a fairly easy fix would be to get some thin paneling, maybe like this or even some pegboard, then attach it on both sides and across the back of the legs, partially enclosing the space under the bed. Just tack it on with some light nails. This is basically what Ikea does with their bookshelves and other tall cabinet type things to keep them from falling over.

The bonus is you'll be able to make holes wherever you want in the panels to hang things, without having to touch the walls.

Added bonus: completely enclose the space and add a door on the front for a cool, secret hide out!
posted by orme at 3:32 AM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Imagine what it would be like if you had company!
As a former owner of a STORA bed, I can confirm that this, while doable (heh), makes you feel like you're in a slapstick comedy...
posted by The Toad at 3:36 AM on August 13, 2009

Best answer: I had this bed and this problem. I bolted it to the wall.
posted by rbs at 6:37 AM on August 13, 2009

Seconding rbs. My daughter sleeps in a different loft bed, and bolting it to the wall made a big difference.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:35 AM on August 13, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the replies! Unfortunately I'm in a rental, and I don't know any non-destructive ways to bolt the bed to the wall. That would be my favorite option otherwise. Is there a way to do this?

Diagonal cross-bracing is probably doable, but I'm not sure of my ability to find wood that would match the finish, be of sufficient length, and be available in Washington Heights. I am now a car-less Manhattanite, and everything like this is more difficult. It's also for this reason that I'm not planning on returning the bed. It was incredibly difficult to get the bed here in the first place, and the thought of disassembling and moving it gives me nightmares.

The woodglue is a possibility... If you were to guess at a few joints that would MOST benefit from a bit of glue, which would you choose? The spots where the sides of the bed join to the legs?

I particularly think some glue would help on the rungs of the ladder, so I'm going to start there.
posted by raygan at 8:03 AM on August 13, 2009

Ha! I had exactly one of these beds a decade ago in a tiny midtown apartment. I didn't notice any popping noises or anything more than what I thought was normal creaking, the same sort an old wood floor would make.

But, funnily enough, I did add diagonal cross-bracing in the back AND screwed the back posts into the wall.... but only because the wobbling scared me, especially during, um... active bedtime.

I don't know if that extra bracing was necessary or just quelled my fear, but it was very solid and lasted many years after that, even when additional occupants joined in. I gave it away because I didn't need it when I moved, but I would have happily kept it for another decade, otherwise.

As for matching braces... Ikea finishes are pretty basic. If yours is black, any black stain plus clear varnish will do. If it's natural pine... even easier. Take good measurements and get the "sticks" cut to the right size at the Lowe's, and you can carry them on the subway like skis.
posted by rokusan at 8:39 AM on August 13, 2009

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