Hardwood Floors in 3 Story Apartment?

10 Replies

About to close on an early 1900s 3-story building in Kansas City that was split into six apartments some time ago. Apartments all currently have nasty carpet and/or resilient flooring covering the original hardwood floors. 

What advice do folks have on pros/cons of hardwood floors in an apartment? My  main concern is noise projecting to units below without any padding to deaden the sound.  I'll be ripping up all the flooring regardless and installing lifeproof plank in the kitchens/bathrooms at a minimum. 

The quality of construction was of a much higher back then. I think you will be surprised and there won't be much noise. That said - if you are allowing cats/dogs that noise will carry.

Also, even with a good finish hardwood can easily get ruined.  Hardwood floors carry more value though than almost any other type of flooring. My personal advice would be to refinish them and put a very hefty plenty in place if they are scratched/ruined. Then provide floor sliders, etc... for when people move.  

I have the same question in a similar thread! Still trying to get more opinions. Does anyone have hardwood flooring and get noise complaints?

We bought a 6 flat that had all nice oak flooring. Beautiful stuff and it was a selling point when we bought the building, not knowing it causes problems. I can 100% tell you that it's too loud for most tenants. Nothing is muffled. We are in the process that when each unit is vacated, we install carpet and a thick pad. We are keeping hardwood flooring on the 1st floor though, since it's just the basement/laundry room below. Noise complaints are the most common call we get from that building, and it stops after every unit with new carpet and a nice thick pad installed. It's like magic when the carpet goes in! No more calls about TV on late at night, radio, etc... 

Many condos have cc&r stipulate only carpets.  There are acoustic dampening subfloor material that will seal the moisture and dampen noise.  The acoustic ceiling was there to attenuate noise.

@Jeremy Marek

So you put carpet down in the entire unit (living/dining rooms) and not just the bedrooms?  Or are you only referring to the bedrooms in the unit?

@Sant Ii

We carpet the entire unit, living, bedrooms, hallways, except for the kitchen and bathroom (for obvious reasons).

@Jeremy Marek

Wow that must be painful to cover up all that hardwood. How old is the 6plex? How many floors?

Another option I've considered is insulating between floors. I haven't run the numbers, but high level it seems like costs could be comparable to demo ceiling gyp/plaster, insulate, put up new rock, and refinish hardwood floors vs. cost to purchase/install carpet or laminate flooring every few years. Anyone done this or am I just crazy? 

Some buildings are already insulated between floors. I had a ceiling I had to demo and made sure to insulate for the sound barrier. I am considering double insulating at this point.

@Sant Ii

The 6plex was built in the 1960s. 3 floors, (two apartments on each floor). I don't buy what another poster says about "older buildings built better, better sound proofing" If anything, I believe the opposite.

@Dar Fornelli Yes, you are crazy! lol. Carpet and pad is wayyy less work than that. Remember, part of your job as an investor is to control costs. :)

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