Noise disputes among condo owners can be one of the most troublesome problems for Board of Directors and Property Managers to deal with. Not only can they be expensive to resolve, they cause unrest and bad feelings. However, if the BOD’s acts quickly and assertively, it may be able to improve the current situation and keep the corporation out of court.
Noise issues often involve an owner’s complaint of noise coming from the unit above. This is typically due to improperly installed flooring, or lack of a proper sound control product installed underneath the floor. It’s typical to see the same set of facts repeatedly. A new unit owner decides to replace the existing flooring and opted for installing hardwood or laminate flooring. The typical complaints are owners can hear furniture moving, footsteps, kids running or objects dropping. Once the manager is aware of the noise problem, is when a complaint is made by the owner of the unit below to the owner of the unit above.
Far to often, flooring contractors and owners will go out and purchase the cheapest and most inexpensive product claiming to have an exaggerated rating of IIC 70 or higher. Upon quick review its easily determined these products are in fact bogus and nowhere near the advertised sound rating when installed in high-rise condominiums. Simply put, these products were all tested with a built-up suspended ceiling consisting of a ton of insulation and several layers of drywall. The vast majority of high-rise condominiums do not have suspended ceilings, instead they typically have a 6”-8” concrete slab separating neighbours living above one another.
Adding a suspended ceiling during testing dramatically increases the impact sound rating of the product. Realistically, when tested over a bare concrete slab many of these products barely meet the recommended minimum rating of IIC 55, which is a far cry from the advertised IIC 70.
Here are a couple provisions that can be added to the high-rise condominium condo rules whenever a resident is looking to replace their floor.
The first one prohibits hard-surface floors unless approved by the property manager and/or board of directors.
Second, any flooring change must provide a sound insulation of RHINO Sound Control FIIC 70 or equivalent. It must be Field Tested over an 8” Concrete Slab, without a suspended ceiling assembly.
The corporation through property management should impose these conditions prior to approval. For example, it would require the owner replacing the floor covering to provide evidence of RHINO Sound Control FIIC 70 by means of specification sheet, testing documents and proof of purchase in the form of an invoice.
Where the “standard” is met, but noise could still be objectionable, the board should reserve the right to require owners to use area rugs or runners to mitigate the sound transmission.
The fact is noise issues are subjective, and no two owners will perceive them alike. People sure can’t stop all noise transfer, but they can do a much better job in minimizing it and making lives more peaceful.
Company Name: RHINO Sound Control FIIC 70
Contact Person: Steven Vasconcelos
Email: Send Email
Address:149 Norfinch Drive, Unit 8