Installing a quiet tile floor

PriestlyJuly 12, 2012

We're on the second floor of a multistory condo. We want to install tile in our bathrooms and possibly at our entry. The subfloor is concrete. The condo board says we must outline our sound mitigation plan before they'll approve our install.

I want to go to them with something that they can't shoot down as well as something that will work well and keep the downstairs neighbors happy.

We'd like to be able to install electric floor warmers in the bathrooms. Budget is a concern but the bathrooms only 9x5 and the entry area we want to tile is probably 5x3.

What are some good products and techniques?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm confused how is subfloor concrete wile on 2nd storie condo?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

With a little peeking and poking I've found self-leveling compound under the carpeting in the living room and under sheet vinyl in the bathrooms.

I haven't cracked through the SLC or drilled into anything to see what comes up yet but it was suggested in another thread that I have concrete. So that's what I went with.

I'll find out for sure this weekend when we go over to the condo.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's the oddest thing I have heard. If they put slc it's because of dips and or slopes in the floor which is not recommended to do over wood unless you have the correct framing and ply to back it up.
Try putting a gulf ball on the floors see if it rolls to any side.

Unless there was tile in there before you I'm still

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thought the same thing that you did when I pulled the carpet for a peek underneath.

Here is a link that might be useful: Self leveling compound over subfloor under carpet?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well if your floors are like this where you want to tile then my suggestion would be to add 1/4" cement board to the slc in thinset bed, I could say tile right over the slc floor but the cement board will cushen the sound and make for better tile bond.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or install warming wire then ditra mate.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 10:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You must submit a sound mitigating/attenuation plan to the condo board. Some condo associations specify the materials approved for use and the method to install.

If you attempt to DIY this, then you need to learn all you can about the materials and techniques used in such a project. You cannot miss a single thing, or your project will suffer from sound transference. Acoustic caulk is a part of any sound attenuation installation...don't leave it out.

You will never "sound-proof" your floor, but you can attenuate the sound significantly.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My condo association doesn't have a materials preference but after having two new owners install hardwood without review, the Board is hard-line on seeing a plan.

I'm not going to do the actual work myself. I'm happy to do the tear out and the finish work but will leave the most important stuff to the pros.

My job is to learn all I can about the process and materials, then make the wisest material purchases and then get the hell out of the way. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Is anyone familiar with QuietGround products from

Their rep says heat mats can be installed under or over the product but I don't know what the process would be with,say, Ditra.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, it's official, what I have on the floors of my condo is about an inch of SLC over plywood. WTF?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As far as the SLC, I don't understand why some think it's abnormal. I had the floor of my basement(previous house) leveled years ago by the local Gypcrete company. The vast majority their work is pumping the stuff into condos and office buildings.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's gypcrete, (gypsum based concrete) not SLC. It's a light weight more sound absorbing form of concrete. SLC is darker, thinner, and very fine grained in texture. You don't typically see buildups of more than 1/4" with SLC because of the expense. My guess is that the gypcrete is there as a form of sound deadening and that chipping it away is a mistake.

If you want to install tile, look at restoring the gypcrete and doing some type of isolation membrane like Ditra.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 1:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

livewire, maybe I missed it, but does priestly know for sure that this is SLC and not Gypcrete?
In any event, your advice is solid although I'm not sure about the footfall isolation qualities of Ditra, AFAIK, it's for isolating the tile from floor movement.
Priestly I've some experience with sound isolation as I built a theater\music room that used these principles extensively. In addition to the website you looked at I would try Acoustic Solutions(ASI) and GIK. The rubber mat is supposed to be very good but I would be wary about installing it under tile. Green Glue would be better as far as an under tile solution for footfall but why not propose just the Ditra solution to the committee and see what they say?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the replies. I posted my question on another forum and the answer came back Gyp-Crete as well. I'd never heard of it before today which is why my guess was SLC and why I thought it was bizarre to find under carpet and throughout the unit.

Now I see that it's fairly common and used for sound and fire barrier solutions in multistory spaces.

That chunk in the photo is the only one I chipped up, to see what was under it.

I was planning on Ditra in the tile installations but they make no claims about sound isolation. I want to hit the Board with dB reduction stats to bulletproof my plan and to be friendly to my downstairs neighbors.

Thanks for the sites, dougmh. I know how my Saturday will play out now. :)

Really appreciate the help, guys.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 3:33PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Floor sanding/screening question
I just purchased my first home and decided to get the...
Need help getting ink/marker off hard wood flooring
Anyone had a child mark on their hardwood floors with...
has anyone put down oiled wood floors?
i fell in love with floors by a company called DuChateau....
Bridget Helm
farm house Floors
Hello everyone. I live in a old farmhouse in new england....
Review on Taun wood
Has anyone used Taun wood for flooring? We are looking...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™