Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Grumpy Old Man - People who like hardwood floors in mutli-family dwellings...

People Who Like Hardwood Floors in Multi-Family Dwellings...
Live on the Top Floor!

Hardwood floors are excellent for people who suffer from allergies I am sure and they do look beautiful, especially if you are a lover of wood grain. But if you live in a multi-family dwelling like an apartment building and the people upstairs replace the carpeting their suite was designed with, with hardwood or cork flooring - or with tile or other hard flooring option it is not a resoundingly good choice. ...or that is the problem, it is a resounding choice.

I might have this wrong, but I believe that part of the design of many apartment and condo complex is that of floor covering and that includes acoustic design and what sort of sound carries over to the neighbouring suites. Carpeting with underlay is chosen in many situations because it deadens the sound, not just of footsteps from the tread of folk upstairs, but of sounds in general travelling through floor through the structure. In strata developments, there are most often regulations on making certain structural changes and especially in multistory ones this covers flooring. It makes a large difference in quality of life for the neighbours downstairs if hardwood floors are put in upstairs. Every sound seems then to resonate.

Even with side-by-side units it can be an issue. I know at my parent's townhouse unit, that when their next-door neighbour put in hardwood floors to replace the carpeting the noise went up multi-fold. Instead of just hearing it when they were yelling at each other at night, you would hear them clomping up and down the halls and stairs as well. That was something that went unnoticed before the hardwood went in. The "yellers" moved out, but their legacy - the hardwood floors - remained and probably increased the resale value as well.

I guess I am just getting grumpy. I got used to the muffled sound of carpeting quieting the elephantine tread of upstairs neighbours in buildings. Hardwood floors were common when I was young and are common now - and if not hardwood, then cork floors, parquet, or tile. You'd think people had become dust mite phobics fearing that dust mites might carry off their first born.

But I am just being grumpy. I probably should have a more allergen free setting myself... I really want tapestries hanging on the walls and thick carpets... but should have air filters and hardwood with hepa-filtered vacuum cleaner to keep things tidy.

Oh! I hear they bought tap shoes for the cat upstairs! Wonderful! ;)

~ Darrell

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