Re: Using carpeting as soundproofing in private units
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 15:39:14 -0700 (PDT)

On Aug 4, 2004, at 6:09 PM, David Heimann wrote:

        We are now in the process of writing condo documents as well as
rules and regulations.  How do we legally require carpeting or other
sound-deadening floor coverings in the upper level units, considering that
otherwise the unit owners or their successors could later on remove the
carpeting and replace it with much noisier hardwood or other hard
flooring?  Has anyone addressed this situation and if so how?

We don't have any requirements (and many hardwood floors above units) but in Manhattan where there are many very old condos and coops, the usual regulation is 80% of the floors have to be covered with rugs. This allows people to have whatever flooring they want but the sounds have to be buffered. No one inspects for rugs unless a resident below complains.

Personally, I prefer regulations based on expectations rather than specifying specific materials. If a person had hardwood flooring and always wore soft rubber soled shoes, for example, there could be less noise than with thread-bare rug and children running and jumping. The issue is noise, not what is on the floor.

After many years in rentals in Manhattan, my personal rule was "You are renting your apartment, not mine. If you want to play music in my apartment, you have to pay my rent. I'll send you a bill prorated by the hour."

That way of explaining things had much more impact than complaining about their music being too loud, which they never believed.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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