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Need help - creaky engineered flooring
Old 04-26-2010, 09:35 PM   #1
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Need help - creaky engineered flooring

A few months ago, my sister and my parents installed engineered hardwood flooring in my sister's 3rd floor condo. The sub-floor is concrete and they used what they thought was a higher quality soundproofing layer (from the floor retailer), then the flooring. The boards get glued together but not to the sub-floor, so it floats.

They had never installed this kind of floor but my parents are extremely experienced at home improvement and it all seemed to go very well. Until this week, when her downstairs neighbor complained that he's been hearing "creaking" noises for a while now. He wasn't more specific than that, but my sister will try to talk to him some more this week.

When you walk on the floor in her place, there's no creaking. And he didn't mention that footsteps or other kinds of noises are an issue. Does anyone have any ideas about what would be causing the noise? Or even better, how to fix it?
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by WM View Post
A few months ago, my sister and my parents installed engineered hardwood flooring in my sister's 3rd floor condo. The sub-floor is concrete and they used what they thought was a higher quality soundproofing layer (from the floor retailer), then the flooring. The boards get glued together but not to the sub-floor, so it floats.

They had never installed this kind of floor but my parents are extremely experienced at home improvement and it all seemed to go very well. Until this week, when her downstairs neighbor complained that he's been hearing "creaking" noises for a while now. He wasn't more specific than that, but my sister will try to talk to him some more this week.

When you walk on the floor in her place, there's no creaking. And he didn't mention that footsteps or other kinds of noises are an issue. Does anyone have any ideas about what would be causing the noise? Or even better, how to fix it?
Goofy neighbor- especially given that the subfloor is concrete.

All the floors in my building are good red oak hardwood, edge nailed into a wooden subfloor. Given the building's age, more likely fir panks than plywood. It creaks, but I can hear it as I walk. I can also hear the guy above me when I pay attention to that. But I never thought that I lived alone in the building, so it bothers me not at all. Below me is the laundry room, so I even dance on my floor, most every day, and no one has ever said-hey, I am having trouble hearing the washers and driers, could you pipe down up there?

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Old 04-26-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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If you can't hear any creaking when walking on the floor it seems improbable the downstairs neighbor should be able to hear it through the concrete sub-floor.

Does the neighbor have bad knee joints perhaps?
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:42 PM   #4
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I know, right? That's my mom's argument - how could he be hearing noise if she can't hear it when she walks on it? But this neighbor hasn't otherwise been problematic.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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It may not be the newly installed flooring... it might be the building itself.

A hotel that we stay at occasionally, "creaks". It is of relatively recent multistory concrete construction. The floors are concrete, and I assume that they were pre-cast as structural panels, and then put in place by crane. On the ceiling of each room there are small long bevel seams that run the width of each room. The seams are about six to eight feet apart, from what I remember. That would be the width of the floor panels. No sound comes from them, unless someone walks just right upstairs. I have no idea what "just right" means, as no sounds of footsteps makes it through the ceiling. But the creaks match a portion of walking cadence. Then all is quiet till next time. I can't tell if the creaks come from a seam, or if they come from where a panel sits on a wall. Each time we stayed there, we had a different room each time. Later in the evening, when the place fills up, I noticed the sound in each room we had. It's not very loud, and in a stay one or two nights hotel, it's OK. Would I want to hear that forever in a place I lived? Hell no!

I'm not really familiar with commercial multilevel concrete construction, so I can't really add more than that.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:24 AM   #6
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It may not be the newly installed flooring... it might be the building itself.

A hotel that we stay at occasionally, "creaks". It is of relatively recent multistory concrete construction. The floors are concrete, and I assume that they were pre-cast as structural panels, and then put in place by crane. On the ceiling of each room there are small long bevel seams that run the width of each room. The seams are about six to eight feet apart, from what I remember. That would be the width of the floor panels. No sound comes from them, unless someone walks just right upstairs. I have no idea what "just right" means, as no sounds of footsteps makes it through the ceiling. But the creaks match a portion of walking cadence. Then all is quiet till next time. I can't tell if the creaks come from a seam, or if they come from where a panel sits on a wall. Each time we stayed there, we had a different room each time. Later in the evening, when the place fills up, I noticed the sound in each room we had. It's not very loud, and in a stay one or two nights hotel, it's OK. Would I want to hear that forever in a place I lived? Hell no!

I'm not really familiar with commercial multilevel concrete construction, so I can't really add more than that.
Interesting. I wonder if it is something like this, and the carpet that was there previously somehow muffled the sound. Although I'm guessing the hotel you were in was carpeted, so maybe not. Or maybe it has been there all along but he's only noticing it now because he knew she installed the floor.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:41 AM   #7
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Or maybe it has been there all along but he's only noticing it now because he knew she installed the floor.
Mr. Occam votes for this.

Peter
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