Re: Floor Covering for Common House Dining Room & Loud Talking
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2008 06:28:04 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 21, 2008, at 6:48 PM, Charles Maclean wrote:

By comparison it would helpful to know about what kinds of carpeting or Other flooring are being used with what result especially sound deadening.

We have wood floors and they are loud. They are cleaned every two weeks. Personally, I think they are ready for a professional cleaning and resurfacing (just polyurethane, not sanding) since the cleaning seems to be laborious. The cleaner us a mop with a cloth under it so they can scrub.

The dining room is loud and it definitely affects some of us who just cannot stand the noise of the children playing while the adults talk before, during, and after meals. The children seem to sit at the tables less time and eat FAST, because they seem to be always moving. Some parents have started putting on a movie in another room so the meal is quieter, particularly for special meals with a program following.

The most effective sound reduction is to quiet the sound. I've found a phrase that seems to help with children with loud voices and I'm hoping it transfers to adults. We have at least three with booming voices:

"If anyone can hear you talking who is further away from you than the person you are talking to, you are talking too loud."

Or "Jimmy, Sally is right in front of you. Talk only as loudly as you need to for her to hear you."

Some parents want me to say "I think" as in "I" statements but I don't. I think there are standards of behavior that are universal and should be taught as universal standards, not just mine. (As in socialization.)

Next I'm starting on stair stomping. We also have wooden stairs (hollow) that the children stomp up and down all day and some adults run down to similar drumming effect -- like those 20 foot Japanese drums. A fourth grade teacher told me how to do it. "Place a foot on the step above and then shift their weight so you are quiet as a mouse. If you are quiet, you may even see a mouse."

Does it have permanent effect? It would if more people used it but the jury is still out.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing,Washington DC

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