You’re trying to sleep. It’s late and you have an early day tomorrow. Unfortunately, your downstairs neighbours don’t feel the same way and they have a party going well past midnight.
You can complain. You can talk to them to try to get them to stay quiet. Or, you can take matters into your own hands and try to improve the soundproofing in your condo. With the right engineered flooring in Toronto, you could sleep like a baby no matter what your downstairs neighbours are up to. Best of all, you’ll limit the noise that your neighbours hear from you as well!
What are the best soundproof flooring options for your condo? Let’s take a look.
There are two types of sounds you can reduce when you look at your flooring choices. The first is impact sounds. That’s the amount of noise your neighbours hear when you drop something on the floor.
The second type of soundproofing affects sound transmission. If you want to hear less of your neighbour’s noise, this is the type to focus on. As an added benefit, they’ll hear less of your noise as well, which will make the living situation much easier for everyone.
Many flooring types reduce both types of sound, while others focus more on impact or transmission. Fortunately, we can help you with your flooring choices no matter what your goals are.
What flooring is best for condos when you don’t want to hear your neighbours? There are a variety of options, and much of it can be used under a beautiful hardwood floor so that you can reduce sound without giving up the style that hardwood flooring brings to your home.
Cork is an excellent choice because it helps absorb sound extremely well, which is why it’s used in recording studios and other places where noise reduction is essential. Cork floors are also renewable, as cork is harvested from the bark of the cork tree without damaging the tree.
Choosing an environmentally-friendly subfloor can help reduce the noise in your condo as well as give a great foundation for your beautiful engineered hardwood flooring.
Carpet can be a great choice to start with, as it’s soft and can reduce the impact sounds of people walking around in your home. Your neighbours will appreciate the reduced noise… for a time.
Unfortunately, carpet is not very durable and tends to flatten over time. This dramatically reduces its usefulness in reducing sound. On top of that, carpet is hard to keep clean. As a result, we don’t recommend carpet, although it’s very inexpensive and available if you don’t have other options.
As we mentioned above, cork can be used as a sound-buffering flooring option, but it’s even better as an underlayment under engineered hardwood flooring.
Because engineered hardwood is a floating floor, it’s not glued or nailed down. That means you have a lot of underlayment options. For maximum sound reduction, you can use shredded rubber mat as an underlayment. It’s heavier than cork so it absorbs more noise. Fibre and foam are other options.
You can also add a damping compound under your flooring. This combines with the underlayment and helps reduce sound even further. As the floor is installed, you can fill gaps between the floor and the wall with acoustic sealant. This will reduce the amount of noise that carries through the structure of the condo building.
Insulation does more than keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also reduces the amount of sound you hear from your neighbours. Best of all, you can not only install this under your flooring, but you can also place it in the ceiling the dampen the noise from your upstairs neighbours.
The insulation goes below the subfloor, between the floor joists. It can be combined with the other flooring options we’ve talked about to make your soundproofing stronger.
When you don’t want to cover up beautiful hardwood floors with carpet but are still looking for a soundproofing option that improves your situation, you might consider rugs. Rugs and rug pads help cushion your walking as well as block some noise from below you.
Rugs can be attractive statement pieces in their own right, so don’t assume you won’t find one you like. There are countless colour and design options.
Updating your flooring is a great way to not only make your home more beautiful but to improve soundproofing as well. Wondering what other steps you can take to reduce the noise you hear from neighbours in your condo? Consider these suggestions.
If you’re trying to sleep and are dealing with minor noise that is nonetheless keeping you awake, consider having ambient noise in your bedroom. You can often find free apps for your phone that will play sounds like soothing music, rain, ocean waves, and more.
If you need a little more sound blocking than that, consider getting headband earphones that are flat and made for wearing during sleep. These headbands are comfortable and allow you to hear your soothing music or sound directly in your ears, blocking out more of the surrounding noise.
A door draft stopper is an expensive item that you place in front of a door to keep air from passing beneath it. The good news is that they also help block noise. Consider having one or two around the house to block noise when you’re working or sleeping.
You can simply put them in front of your closed door to keep sound out, and then remove it in the morning. If you work from home, the same trick works in your home office.
Noisy neighbours might seem like a fact of life, but there are several steps you can take to reduce the sound you deal with every day and night. Knowing what flooring is best for condos is an important step to getting better sleep and enjoying your condo more.
If you’d like to get started with engineered hardwood flooring and appropriate soundproofing, Capital Hardwood Flooring is here to help. Contact us today! Call 416-536-2200.