Renovation Causes Permanent Noise Problems

September 2022

Open concept suites are increasingly popular.  Removing walls to create an open concept home can create noise problems for others.

When walls are removed the floor becomes more flexible thus making it easier to transmit sound.  When floors flex, sound can more easily transfer from the slab to adjoining walls and migrate down to other units.  It becomes easier for other residents to hear foot steps coming from the renovated unit.  If the wall is not isolated from the slab, it can create a creaking sound also heard by others.

When one building resident complained of noise problems, an acoustical specialist was brought in.  They found the ceiling track that connects down to the wall had not been isolated from the slab. There was no isolation pad to absorb sound from the floor and prevent it from vibration down through the wall.  This was not a common practice years ago.  Without isolating – or separating – the wall from the slab, vibrations more easily travel down through the wall.

That sound, which seemingly was coming from a next-door neighbour, was coming from a recently renovated unit higher up which failed to incorporate proper sound protection in floors when removing walls.