Email from a reader about noise level at Westlee condominium.
"Renting from an owner in this building. The rules are ridiculous and you can hear everything that happens above and below you. Be prepared to shell out some more money for required rugs to try and dampen the sound."
Most condo associations have 80/20 rules buried in reams of pages within their condo documents, which basically says, "that you have to cover 80% of the your living area with carpet." The other twenty-percent you can leave it out with no carpet. How condos built have something to do with the noise absorption level. Most likely in high rises or older buildings that uses concrete in between floors have thick or better insulation systems in place, with exception, of a condo building in Old Town. I happened to show a unit to someone and while in the unit we could hear a dog walking above the unit. Imagine if you have to deal with the noise every single day....it will get "under your nerves!"
The point is this: Yes, hardwood floors looks nice but it doesn't help the noise level. And if you find a condo you like, since you're going to be living in it for awhile -- make sure that you check the noise level.
For new condos, one of the things you can do is to ask question about how they build the condos. If they use concrete in between floors -- you'll know that there will be less noise from above and below. So, your gleaming hardwood floor won't bother the neighbors below you. Or vice versa.
One more thing -- understand that living in a multi-family unit environment meaning that you should prepare yourself to have some sort of expectations about the noise.
>> Tips for reducing noise level from Housing Zone.