Condo Hardwood/Laminate Floor Question

ahsonFebruary 4, 2012

Hi there! We just bought a condo and planning to install hardwood or laminate flooring before moving in. Though we read the bylaws from the management, and there is one says, 'After successful installation, at least 60% of the hardwood floor area is required to be covered by rugs or runners to prevent noise development'.

If 60% of the area must be covered by carpet then I don't see a point of spending the money to do the hardwood floor? I thought if they approved the kind of hardwood/laminate and padding, it should be no problem?

Please help..

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The area rugs are to keep the noise level down for the people below you. From my experience, it's a good rule to have.

Even if 60% of the hardwood floor is covered, you still have 40% of the floor as bare wood, and that's a significant amount--you'd be surprised at how much square footage that will be.

Mind you, when I was growing up, nearly every house had hardwood floors, with area rugs over them. Wall to wall carpeting was just being introduced and many people didn't like it. Area rugs over wood is a classic look.

You may also find that wood floors can create a very "echo-y" room, and that the area rugs help with noise inside your unit.

Bottom line, if you want wood floors, you'll need to get area rugs. If you feel that you can't justify the expense of wood floors, then just replace the existing carpeting.

Your other options are to sell this unit and buy someplace where you can have bare hardwood floors, or work to get this rule changed where you are (and if I lived in your building, I'd resist that change, as I think this is a good rule for shared housing).

You should have been able to read the by-laws before making an offer on the place. If you were not given access to the by-laws, then you might have a legal case here. But this would mean checking the laws of your state very carefully (most states require that the by-laws be made available to prospective buyers) and you'd probably need a lawyer. And if the by-laws were available and you just didn't read the fine print, then you wouldn't have a case.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:09PM
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I agree with the camlan. Additionally, I Like you post. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 12:43AM
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My condo is a ranch style, two units per building with one shared wall, full private basement, and no one above me. We have no such by-law! However; I am familiar with by-laws. Like camlan said, if you were presented with the by-laws prior to signing, then it was your responsibility to read them. If you were not presented with the by-laws, you have a lawyer's dream case, you just have to prove it!

All hardwood with no area rug will be very noisy, somewhat cold, and will produce a hollow echo. The echo factor will be especially noticeable if you have a TV in the room and doubled if the TV room has a vaulted ceiling. Also, you will probably want to place an area rug under the furniture to protect the floor from the legs of the furniture scraping and gouging the floor. An area rug will also help to anchor the room and 40% wood showing is a lot.

If you are enamored with all the hardwood showing as a result of watching home staging shows on TV, just remember, those shows are staging a home for sale, not for daily living!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 12:50AM
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If you do decide to use the hardwood or laminate, talk to the installers about using some kind of sound absorbing underlayer. It will cost more, but will pay for itself in the lack of complaints from the people below you.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 6:35AM
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My suggestion is what camlan suggested. We have a split-level house and upstairs we put down hardwood floors, but put special padding underneath (not uber expensive), it does help. There is still noise that can be heard in the lower level, but it's muffled a great deal. You don't hear that 'hard' echo like in older homes, for example, where solid wood floors were done 100 yrs ago with nothing to cushion underneath them. As far as rugs, I only have a 6x8 in the living room and that's more for decor, not a sound buffer. There is also a nice laminate product that Mannington makes that has a PVC under layer. It's commercial grade, but also makes a good residential choice for say basements or below grade areas that might be prone to moisture/ dampness. It's called iCORE. I'd suggest that as an option to investigate. It's has a hint of cushion and little to no echo. Here is an article about it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 7:49AM
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