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The other posters were correct when they advised you to keep the peace with the neighbor, but as it stands that may not be possible, I think you can relate to what I am saying here.
There are many things that you can do to soundproof your floor from voices, TV, stereo, and answering machines etc. traveling downstairs. This also includes impact noise as well which would be transmitted down to the disgruntled neighbor. The methods used will depend largely on what type of floor covering you presently have. If you have hardwood or tile floors, you have some seriously hard surfaces and that is precisely what the neighbor is hearing when you walk. When you walk across a hardwood floor with, say leather shoes, it sounds like the inside of a stereo speaker to the lady down below. This I know from first hand experience!
To do a proper soundproofing job, you're going to have to resign yourself to installing carpet and pad. Now the carpet and padding will be installed over a material called Mass Loaded Vinyl. I would recommend the (MLV) with the foam backing which is expressly designed for under carpet use. This material will be rolled out onto your subfloor (wall to wall), and the the seams will over lap. I would recommend caulking between the over lapped seams as well as all around the perimeter of the rolled out (MLV) (use only approved acoustical caulk), then you would nail the carpet tackless (tack strips) directly through the (MLV)into the subfloor and then simply install your new carpet and pad directly over the vinyl underlayment. It's that simple! It's definitely NOT Rocket Science!
Now if you are able to make peace with the neighbor (basically have the wife bake a bundt cake or cookies) and both of you go downstairs and discuss the soundproofing issues with her. Ask her about specifics and tell her to be perfectly honest with you. It may hurt to hear the truth, but it will also put you on good terms with this woman. Once you have done this and she realizes that you are sincerely concerned about her well being, then she will be an asset in helping you with your soundproofing project, plus, when you have established a relationship with her, she will be much less likely to be leaving nasty messages on your answering machine.
Ko, I have been doing soundproofing for many years now, and I think I have dealt with every soundproofing issue there is, I once even helped a guy soundproof a Motorcycle helmet. Go Figure? That was a trick.
The bottomline is simply this, there are methods of soundproofing your condo effectively, but if you have the help and the support of the complaining party, you have half the battle won. May all of your future days be happy and quiet.
(The Bob Vila of Soundproofing)
Super Soundproofing Sales/Technical Associate.
Ph: (760) 752-3030 FAX: (760) 752-3040
e-mail: [email protected]
Orders only (888) 942-7723
When Peace of Mind is all that Matters!
Ko, I hope this helps, I know what it's like to have a complaining neighbor.
[This message has been edited by Soundproof Bob (edited October 16, 2003).]