looking for optimal solution to address noise issue in condo
We have a 1-br rental condo with hardwood floors. Recently the person living below started complaining that our tenant are too loud. The tenants are a middle-aged couple who are both fairly big people + they have 2 small kids who run around the place. Since the complaints tend to come on Sundays and he told us he usually "relaxes" on Saturday night, my guess is that hangover-induced hypersensitivity might play a role here as well. :-)
Anyway, we're trying to figure out an optimal solution which (i) will not cost us a lot of money, (ii) will stop the complaints and (iii) adheres to the condo policy as much as possible. The (ii) is the most important since if there are no complaints, the condo office does not really care whether a unit is carpeted or not.
After we purchased the condo, we learned about one of their new rules: Wall-to-wall carpeting is strongly recommended. At minimum, however, 90% of the floor area in every room of your unit (except for the kitchen and the bathrooms) must be carpeted, with 9/16-inch (minimum) commercial-grade padding underneath
So the easiest thing to do is to install wall-2-wall carpeting in each room. We don't want to do it for a couple of reasons:
- This would mean putting nails through the hardwood which we prefer to avoid
- Tenants' child has allergies. Wall-2-wall carpeting is harder to clean and it's likely that at some point we will need to rip it up and replace. Since the guy below is so sensitive, we would need to get thicker carpet which will collect more dust etc.
So here's one question: would a good alternative be to buy some thick padding (9/16-inch or thicker), throw it on the floor without nailing it and then get some area rugs to put on top? Do you think this would be a good solution? Is there a way to secure the padding to the floor without using nails?
Only way you are going to know is by going over there and finding out. Having a SPL meter in hand helps to see what levels the noise is.
There really is not an optimal way of getting rid of noise, other than decoupling walls to not allow them to act like drums, insulating all walls and floors, and also not allowing duct work to carry noise. Really becomes expensive when you start adding costs up.