I own a 2-family house ... I live upstairs and rent out the
downstairs. I removed all the carpeting on my floor due to
allergies. My entire flat has hardwood floors that need
The problem is that noise travels too easily between floors.
Besides my footsteps and my/their entertainment/talking/sex
noises, my floor also squeaks and clicks a lot.
The second problem is that smells travel from the 1st floor up
to mine. They smoke and cook a lot.
I can't think of any options for quieting the noises ... I can't
get to the floor joists and I can't put screws through the
hardwood from above because I don't plan on covering it again
I also can't think of anything for the smells ... will sanding
and refinishing my floors stop them?
I used to own a 2 family house, only I lived downstairs and my tenant
lived upstairs which was carpeted. I still heard movement up there,
despite my tenant was a single woman.
You are greatly going to amplify your sound if you leave hardwood
And I don't think finishing the floors will stop the smell problem
Think about taking up the hardwood floors and upgrading your subfloor.
With the joists now in view you can deal with the noise problem with
suitable insulation. Reinstall/repair/refinish flooring as needed.
> The second problem is that smells travel from the 1st floor up
It's your house, right? Put in an outside-vented range hood and some
type of air purifier on the heating /AC system. Explain to your tenants
(pleasantly) why this is necessary.
Remediation as above may not be cheap, but it won't be a financial
disaster either. You'll need to carefully choose your tradesmen for the
work, multiple estimates, etc. Keep in mind that that the lower
apartment upgrades mean that the rental should refect the inprovements
in a modest way. In the end, you'll find that it was money well spent
on a win-win situation. HTH
First is the smoking. Next time make it a strict non-smoking apartment.
Probably too late now to change existing tenants.
Squeaks can be stopped. Since the floors will be re-finished, drill a
countersink hole, screw the flooring, put a plug on top. Once sanded and
finished, it will not be visible.
As for insulation for the noise, it may be possible to put a laminate with
some barrier between that will help, but I don't know for sure. Maybe talk
to a flooring expert.
As for the odors, there are many paths for them to get into your space.
Seal around piping, ducts, etc between the two floors. It may not be
perfect, but should get a lot of the odors. Get the a range vent also.
They may appreciate that, especially knowing it keeps the landlord happy.
The outside vented range hood is the answer to your odor problem, along
with telling your tenants to smoke outside. Cigarett smoke should not
be making it's way into your flat. Do you have comon heat ducts or
cold air returns ? It could be getting up there that way. The squeaks
can be fixed as described before. Carpet would be the best way to
absorb the noise. Depending on how much money you want to spend you
could have resilent channels installed on the ceiling of the lower flat
and sheet rock installed over the channels. This creates an air pocket
or buffer space between the ceiling downstairs and your floor,
muffeling the noise. You could also take your shoes off in the house,
that will have the benefit of keeping your newly refinished wood floors
clean. Good luck !
No, I'm sure it seeps up to me directly through the floor. I could not
smell any cigarette smoke until after I removed the carpet, and before
I did that, I could always smell smoke inside my washer/dryer closet
(which never had carpet). Then why did I do it, you ask? I forgot
about this before I removed the carpet because I used to smell smoke
in that closet two tenants ago (they smoked), then one tenant ago was
when I removed the carpet (they didn't smoke), and now the new tenants
Lesson learned on renting to tenants that smoke. I didn't know they
smoked until after they moved in. Next time it will be in my ad.
I think I am going to go with something like another poster said ... I
will forget about refinishing these floors since they are in bad shape
anyway. I will drive screws throughout the entire floor from above, then
I will install a noise-deadening, non-porous mat that will also seal out
odors, then install a new hardwood floor over the top of that.
Thanks to all for your input!
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