Author Topic: Help me help my neighbor...  (Read 4401 times)


  • Guest
Help me help my neighbor...
« on: October 21, 2004, 10:17:01 PM »
I am renting an apartment on the third floor of an old (110-years-plus) Baltimore building.  My apartment is one room (with small attached kitchenette and a bathroom), meaning that all my activity goes on in the main room.  The entire second floor is one apartment, and unfortunately the bedroom of the guy renting it is right below my apartment.  All my floors are uncarpeted hardwood.

The problem: this neighbor can hear me moving around when he tries to sleep.  He's especially complained about walking and my desk chair, although I'm not clear on whether it's the floorboards squeaking (cuz a lot of them do) or the actual noise of the rolling chair and the footfalls.  I respect his need for sleep and I try to limit my late-night activity and go to bed at a reasonable hour- but given that he works a regular job and I have classes starting in the late morning and work a part-time job in the late evening, our ideas of reasonable are sometimes different.  There are times when I just need to be up late a lot to get my work done.  My landlord has passed on his request to me that I place a rug under my desk chair, and possibly between my desk and bed.  I expressed my willingness to comply, IF it will be effective and if it doesn't cost too much (students are poor by definition).

My question is therefore twofold...

1.  Would a rug have any effect if the problem is floorboard squeaking?  If not, is there another solution besides the landlord tearing up the floor?

2.  Would a rug help muffle the sound of footfalls and the chair rolling in a significant way?  Would it need to be a particular kind of rug?  Would I need some kind of padding or something for this plan to work?  And perhaps most importantly, how much would this cost me, roughly?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


  • Guest
Re: Help me help my neighbor...
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2004, 02:31:14 PM »
Hi Lindsay,

You need to respect your neighbor and put down rugs and padding.  It is a horror to hear someone moving around on bare wood floors any time of the day or night.  It will help a great deal but may not solve the problem 100%. He may still hear your footsteps and hear you moving around, but at least you can muffle the sound for him.

If you have any loose, squeaky boards, get your super or management to nail them down.  It helps the squeaking.  I had the same problem and by nailing down the upstairs boards, it almost solved the squeaking by 100%.  However, I have heard that the boards loosen up over time, and may have to be nailed down again in the future.

You can get inexpensive rugs at Home Depot or other home improvement stores.  Thick, good quality padding would be very helpful to your downstairs neighbor. Since, your place is so small, it shouldn't cost that much.  

I hope that this helps you out.  Remember that we all live in buildings with different types of construction, so any soundproofing results may vary.  Good luck.

Kent Beuchert

  • Guest
Re: Help me help my neighbor...
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2004, 12:54:38 AM »
I agree with Diane about connecting the wood floors
solidly with the floor joists, but I always used
screws along with a little glue in the threads to prevent them backing out. I would never use nails when
you need a solid connection betwen pieces of wood,