Having the necessary knowledge about building materials and systems is very important to be successful in mitigating vibration and sound transmission. This is especially true when dealing with people who have personalities that are challenging.
Noise issues often involve an owner's complaint of noise coming from the unit above. This is typically due to improperly installed flooring, or lack of a proper sound control product installed underneath the floor. It's typical to see the same set of facts repeatedly. A new unit owner decides to replace the existing flooring and opted for installing hardwood or laminate flooring. The typical complaints are owners can hear furniture moving, footsteps, kids running or objects dropping. Once the manager is aware of the noise problem, is when a complaint is made by the owner of the unit below to the owner of the unit above.
Far to often, flooring contractors and owners will go out and purchase an inexpensive product claiming to have a rating of IIC 70 or higher. Upon quick review its easily determined these products are in fact bogus and nowhere near the advertised sound rating. Simply put, these products were all tested with a concrete slab along with a built ceiling assembly or suspended ceiling attached to it.
It’s also important that condo boards, property managers, H.O.A. members, individuals and business’s demonstrate due diligence in order to protect its reputation. Doing so can help prevent it from getting into legal trouble.
Due to the increasing number of people living in multi-family housing and condominiums, the need for sound control underlayment has become more prevalent. Before approving or buying a product, it’s important that the company provides the necessary information about its testing. This includes the type of building assembly and the test report.
The material's composition is also important for downstream problems. As the product ages, will it harden, crush, or absorb?
These are some of the most common questions that need to be asked when it comes to approving sound control underlayment.
Due to the lack of proper quality sound control underlayment, many people have experienced issues with noise in their condos. These issues have caused frustration and anger among the residents, property management and condo boards.
How was the product tested?
The first sign that a property manager might have a problem with a product is its packaging or literature, which doesn't show the building assembly that was subjected to the testing. This is typically the result of the company's strategy to hide the true IIC rating.
When we are discussing high-rise building made of concrete, if the indicated IIC rating is IIC 71 +plus, this is a red flag. These products were likely tested with an additional suspended ceiling assembly offering 25 points to the test result. These products are likely to offer IIC 46 when tested over an 8” concrete slab without a suspended ceiling.
In an upscale building, the residents and board of directors will expect the management company to ensure that the building does not go bad due to the lack of proper quality sound control underlay. This class of owner doesn't want to have their reputation ruined by noise complaints.
What is the Product made of?
The new Granddaddy of all underlayment’s is now rubber, which is made by RHINO Sound Control FIIC 70 ®™. Its superior sound control properties and strength make it ideal for sound control applications.
Unlike other types of flooring, rubber can't be crushed out. It's also a timeless material that will last for the lifetime of your building. Although other products like felt or Styrofoam may provide some sound control, it can also cause problems due to its downstream properties. A good underlay should be able to endure the effects of the environment.
The sound-control underlayment is a building component that is installed underneath the floor over the substrate. Its main function is to prevent sound from passing through the building materials. When sound does manage to pass through a building, it can cause this building to become very noisy, which can make the occupants uncomfortable. Underlayment not only helps reduce noise but the overall quality of life for all residents.