Engineered timber floors in strata unit - sound insulation

12 days ago
last modified: 12 days ago

I'm looking into replacing the old carpet and tiles in my 2nd-floor apartment with engineered floating timber floorboards.

The body corporate and strata committee has approved the installation of floorboards. But I have some concerns about noise transference from my apartment to the downstairs unit (and also to the units either side) if timber floors are put in. The block is about 15 years old (with concrete subfloors).

The flooring company I've been chatting to claim they've been laying timber floors in apartments across Melbourne for years without issues relating to noise, and they claim a 3mm high-density underlay will be adequate for sound insulation (normally what they use if a body corp doesn't give specifics).

However, the internet is teeming with expensive horror stories of noise issues in strata blocks related to people installing floorboards in upper floor units.

Adding to my concern is the fact that the acoustics/sound insulation in my apartment building isn't the greatest. Having said that, my upstairs neighbour has hardwood floors, and I've never heard so much as a peep from that apartment in 5 years.

So, as much as I'm itching to ditch the old carpet and ugly tiles in my apartment, are timber floors (even with the recommended acoustic underlay) in a 2nd-floor unit just too risky in regard to potential noise issues?