Noise reduction for condo


Old 05-08-01, 10:04 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

I am moving into a condo shortly that currently has carpet installed. I have decided to remove the carpet and install some inexpensive engineered hardwood that can be glued down or floated. I have a few options. While I am looking to save as much money as possible I also want to make sure enough noise is reduced so that the people in the condo below do not complain. These are my alternatives:
1. Install the engineered wood as a floating floor over foam
2. Install a cork subfloor and then install the engineered wood as a floating floor over foam
3. Install a cork subfloor and then glue the engineered wood to the cork
4. Glue the engineered wood right to the concrete.

I am leaning toward #1 or #2. #1 is less expensive than #2, but does foam actually reduce noise? Keep in mind that my installer would be using one of the cheaper foam products. Will the cork actually reduce the noise made by a floating floor (I hear the movement of floating floors causes noises)? In other words, will the noise made by a floating floor even over foam or cork be quieter than a floor glued directly onto concrete. When I refer to noise, I mean the noise in the condo unit below mine.
Is #3 the only way to properly reduce noise. Currently I would like to choose #2 over #3 because the cost of the glue for #3 is expensive.

Any suggestions?
Old 05-09-01, 12:38 PM
Elite Flooring/Ken Fisher
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

I'll suggest a few items as cork is the primary source used for sound reduction in condo's in my locality. Install the cork and either glue or float over it. If you do glue the enginnered over the cork it's imperative to use a urethane based adhesive for the cork and not the standard latex cork adhesive. It will get expensive, but necessary.

Most of the wood flooring adhesives today are much stronger and will pull the cork from the subfloor if this is not followed. Trust me on this one, as I've heard of more than a few failures over the last few years that have run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

It's your call now. Good Luck
Old 05-14-01, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,818
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Engineered wood on concrete

If you have a concrete subfloor and you are doing engineered wood, I don't think you have to worry about the noise factor. Most modern motels/hotels have concrete subfloors. Noise is not a factor.
Old 05-15-01, 11:30 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
My hardwood floor store has convinced me to go with option #1. They can sell me the cork and the glue, but they don't think it is necessary. The problem is that the bylaws of some condos where I live require cork to be installed in order to reduce noise. My condo has no such requirement but it makes you wonder why some condos have such rules if the noise produced is not too bad. I have been told that the engineered floating floor over 1/8inch foam (on top of the concrete subfloor) will be sufficient to make sure loud noises are not heard below. Can you guys confirm this?
Old 05-15-01, 01:05 PM
Elite Flooring/Ken Fisher
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a


If there aren't any restrictions through the condo association I'd have to go with what your hardwood floor store says, as it sounds like they have dealt with the issues before.

Most older condos won't call for cork underlayment as they weren't required when the initial flooring work was done. So it wouldn't make sense for you to have a cork underlay when your neighbor who has had ceramic tile down for 20 years(guess) without the same type of accoustical underlayment.

I can't really help on whether or not the foam will act as a good sound supressor for the neighbors below, as I deal in condo/highrise construction that is rarely over ten years of age. Perhaps someone else can assist. Or you could always contact the people that manufacture most of the better foam underlayments used for floating engineered hardwood floors.

The name is Volara. Can't help with any phone number or web site. Keep us updated as we can all learn something new!

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: