The intimate environment of condominiums, townhomes and apartment buildings require a unique set of elements to consider when making flooring decisions. Solid “hard” woods (i.e. oak, maple, walnut) may not be the best choice for condominiums due to the significant neighbor noise resulting from footfall and other structure borne sound and vibration.
Sound Dampening Techniques
Due to proximity, multi-unit etiquette and often governing board rules require impact noise dampening or sound insulation measures. An owner or tenant has several options for attractive aesthetics or maintaining the richness and character of wood for instance, while also reducing noise.
Carpet and the padding underneath are the optimal sound dampening flooring surface choice. The thickness of the padding will directly affect both the durability and level of sound absorption.
What is underneath your flooring matters. Sufficient sound dampening may be achieved by installing a layer of soundproofing underlay (i.e. cork, rubber, acoustical board) between the subfloor and flooring surface.
Engineered Wood, Laminate or Vinyl
Engineered wood, Laminate and Vinyl are all flooring surfaces with multi-ply construction that will provide additional sound insulation when compared to solid hardwoods. These options are viewed as even more ideal when considering budget, resilience and ease of installation.
Waterproof vinyl allows you to maintain the elegant look and feel of traditional hardwood flooring, is one of the most technologically advanced and most popular surface choices, while also ideal for sound dampening.