Code requirements are usually satisfied with carpet. However, hard-surfaced flooring creates noise transmission problems. The following are recommended FIIC guidelines for hard surface flooring.
|NOTE: Buildings are not sound-proof and sounds will continue to be audible even when the requirements are met.
As part of their Rules or Architectural Standards, many boards have adopted standards which are higher than local building codes. Because 45 is unacceptably noisy, many associations have adopted a minimum standard is 52 and others are using 55. Recognizing the problem that excessive noise creates, many local jurisdictions are also setting higher STC ratings. One example is the City of Redondo Beach, California which requires an STC of 55 (see City of Redondo Beach Municipal Code, Section 10.2.1608).
Associations without an acoustical standard should consider adopting one. Adopting a reasonable acoustical standard will allow the installation of hardsurfaced flooring while minimizing noise transmission to lower units. This increases property values and minimizes disputes between neighbors.
Recommendation: For condominium associations, boards should implement remodel agreements for all future remodels which implement the higher acoustical standards as well as standards for plumbing fixtures (such as angle stops and supply lines) and any restrictions the association may have on construction.
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