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Legal Dispute: Wood Floor Noise a Nuisance?
Click, click, click, click … The noise of heels on a wood floor is unmistakable and, according to Londoners Hameed and Inan Faidi, can make for a "living hell." So is the noise enough to mandate a carpet cover-up?

Right now, the Faidis are waiting for a legal decision on that question, according to The Telegraph. The Faidis had lived in peace with their upstairs neighbors since moving into Eaton Mansions in 1995; however, the arrival of the wood floor—sometime between 2007 and 2009—shattered the peace.

The Faidis claimed their neighbors live "in a normal way" upstairs, but the wood flooring creates a "noise nuisance," the Telegraph wrote. A previous suit against the apartment's landlord, the Elliott Corporation, failed, and the Faidis appealed. This time, the Faidis are suing the building's owner, the Grosvenor Estate. A lawyer for the Faidis told the court there is a clause in the apartment's lease dictating that every room be carpeted except for the kitchen and bathroom.

How noisy is the wood floor? An unnamed neighbor of the Faidi family told the Telegraph: "I understand that the previous owner got permission to take up the carpet but now it’s posing a problem. It’s like hammering when people walk on it, and it does cause a disturbance."
This just happened at a friends condo. The upstairs folks put down a floating floor. It is now way noisier in her downstairs apartment.
Comment By retired floor guy At 3/5/2012 2:22 PM
Anyone ever heard of socks or slippers? That will fix the problem right up, and keep the floors cleaner.
Comment By Skoda At 3/5/2012 2:27 PM
I am involved in three of these issues presently and I will average about 6 complaints of this description throughout the year.

The main problen is; The installation firms are using the mfg standard underlayment material. This works fine for the people living in the unit, but creates an obnoxious acoustical problem for the tenent living below.

The best way to prevent and/ or resolve an exisiting issue is to use a quality sound underlayment such as a 1/4 ' thick Regupold rubber product or a 1/2 Inch thick Synthetic fiber underlayment.

Another component that is often overlooked is the placing of a 1/4 inch wide, sound reduction abatement strip around the perimeter of the laminate floating flooring installation (Placed between the edge of the underlayment and the drywall).
The abatement strip material greatly reduces the sound from Transitioning into the walls that will act as conduit for foot traffic noise.

Traditional floating floor and laminate flooring underlayment materials are not sufficient to mitigate the foot traffic sound trnsmissions experienced in todays multi level apartment and condominium construction.

The condo BOD's need to retain the survices of professional people that are experienced in these issues to write the building a proper specification for all the flooring products the HOA is going allow for use in their building.
Comment By Ralph Godfrey At 3/5/2012 2:55 PM
With wood being installed everywhere, here in Canada, there must be a sound buffer installed in all multi-level buildings. Make it part of the code and this problem goes away.
Comment By Steve At 3/5/2012 3:19 PM
I agree that codes and BOD governances should mandate the requirements as do most of the condo complexes at the beach where I live, BUT did it ever occur to the tenants that it would probably be cheaper and less stressful to move to a different complex where the landlord cares about their facility?
Comment By John Shepard At 3/5/2012 4:07 PM
Cork underlay works well under floating and glue down floors
Comment By Tim Woulds At 3/5/2012 5:37 PM
Carpets now, but best to preclude issue or minimize impact and airborne sounds with acoustic fiber underlayment designed especially for under glue down, nail down or floating wood floors. For example, take a look at VersaWalk at
Comment By Bill At 3/5/2012 6:36 PM
Its funny how people with two story houses don't complain about wood floors being noisy, on the second floor. But when its a condo/apartment and its neighbors walking around, its TOO LOUD.

This is just people who suck, using wood floors as and excuse.
Comment By bobba fett At 3/5/2012 7:59 PM
Can anyone tell me what a sound reduction abatement strip is and where to get them?
Comment By Kelly Henwood At 3/5/2012 8:50 PM
I have gone throught his a few times now in condos on the Beach and Hollywood. Even with sound barriers, cork etc. Some people just walk like elephants and some buildings transfer noise more than others. Here is one solution if you truly care about your neighbor. A nice runner down the hallways and throw rugs will give you the richness of wood floors and the decency to keep your noise to yourself. Quality throw rugs or carpet runners are used by most designers when decorating the million dollar homes and condos we work in. There is still plenty of wood for the customer to enjoy, it does not get rid of all noise but most. I have seen some rugs that cost ten times the price my customer paid for their new floors. Quality decorating and easy solutions give us great pictures and more work.
Comment By Patterson Hardwood At 3/6/2012 12:04 AM
Yea, I suppose a German product (Regupol) is good answer. However, we make the same product here in the USA, QuietSound (here's a link to our 'impact video' (3 minutes)):

Comment By J.R. Snyder At 3/6/2012 2:43 PM
Can anyone tell me what a sound reduction abatement strip is and where to get them?
Comment By Kelly Henwood At 3/5/2012 8:50 PM

This is most likely a peice of material made to go around the perimeter of a room at the end of the underlayement and under the floating floor that is being marketed and priced beyond crazy.
Comment By Dave Kelly At 3/6/2012 7:24 PM

Regupol is made in the US as far as I know, yes, it is a german idea/engineering.
Comment By Johannes At 3/7/2012 2:23 PM
Soundproofing flooring in highrise buildings is nothing new.
Walking on shoes over a woodfloor without accoustical underlayment is ridiculous and will result in soundtransfer in concrete floors or wood subfloors.
I'm surprised that in EU they even get away with this since codes are a lot strickter there than in the US.
It is easy to soundproof the expansion gap with a closed cell foam backerrod before installing baseboard.
Soundtransfer will occur anywhere the flooring is in contact to the slab/wall.
In this case it involves an updated victorian mansion so I assume it is a wood subfloor. We all know how much sound transfer can occur thru that without good accoustical insulation.

You would expect that if you fork out 5 M UK pounds for an apartment that the landlord would have some rules/guidelines about accoustical insulation with a hard surface flooring.
Comment By Johannes At 3/7/2012 3:05 PM
as a manufacturer of enginnered floors designed for float-in installation I say beware of claims on sound reduction claims from underlayment manufacturers, do a field sound test for multifamily installs (now called an 'AIIC' test), and do not install two hard materials against one another to avoid 'flanking' sound (i.e. wood flooring ajacent directly to steel doors, ceramic tiles, ect)
Comment By Tim Colgan At 3/12/2012 3:51 PM
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Comment By Hardwood Flooring Installation At 3/13/2012 11:42 PM
What about the lack of insalation in the ceiling and the amount of can lights in the unit below? these can negate the iic ratings of most sound underlayments
Comment By richard larson At 3/15/2012 7:54 AM
High performing acoustic underlayment engineered for optimal performance under wood floors quiets impact sound and floor to ceiling noise and inhibits sound from traveling into the room below. To be sure you are getting the performance capabilities you want (such as those that QuietWalk carries, look for 3rd party certification of sound performance, often found on product packaging or on manufacturer's website.
Comment By Bill At 3/15/2012 11:24 AM
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