Must have carpet or 'other suitable material for avoiding noise' : Is Cork suitable?

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    Must have carpet or 'other suitable material for avoiding noise' : Is Cork suitable?

    Hey!

    I’ve already read some great advice here about similar situations - but just wanted some more specific advice.

    I live in a flat, sharing the freehold with 3 others. I moved in just 5 weeks ago and had planned to get wooden flooring. My solicitor had told me that this wasn't prohibited in the lease. Unfortunately my new neighbours informed me that there was an addition to the lease made a few years back which neither of us had seen. Rather frustrating, but we are where we are - hardwood flooring is out.

    However my lease says:

    “To keep the premises comprised in the Lease including the passages in it substantially covered from wall to wall in carpets or other suitable material for avoiding the transmission of noise

    So I’ve been researching Cork flooring. Apparently it’s well known that the next best thing to carpet for sound insulation and is also very effective at reducing impact noise (which is normally the main problem with hardwoods). The brand is {Mod - name removed} - you can learn more about the sound insulation at {Mod - Link removed}

    The questions I’m struggling to answer are:

    - is it enough to satisfy the lease?
    - Is it the next best thing to carpet, or actually as good?
    - If cork isn’t good enough, then surely there exists no ‘other suitable material’?

    The added link think it’s as good. I’ve also been searching the internet for all the IIC info I can find but lots of it is contradictory, and I can’t get a conclusive answer.

    I'd be tempted to ask my neighbours what they think, but I doubt they know too much about cork and will be likely to automatically reject the idea. Hence, if I go, I'd prefer to go with more knowledge and a better understanding.

    Thanks so much!

    Inevitable Raisin
    LandlordZONE Forum Rules and Guidelines, Penalties and Terms of Use 1. By registering as a Member of the LandlordZONE Forums you agree to abide by these Forum Rules and be legally bound by the Terms of Use – see below. 2. We recommend you use an alias (User Name) rather than your real name – …

    #2
    Rubber floors cut impact noise too and are good for bathrooms and kitchens. Cork is a good sound insulator but it's difficult to lay properly so that it doesnt buckle when it expands and contracts. Rubber also needs to be carefully laid.

    You could try asking your neighbours if they would accept wooden floors with thick underfloor insulation and large rugs on top but I'd just put down a carpet, anything else is anti-social..

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the response.

      I don't think they'd accept wooden floors with thick underlay and from my research, it's not normally as effective as carpet due to the impact noise. I was just hoping that cork was a significant improvement on wooden floor with thick underlay.

      Have you seen the new cork flooring? It's more similar to vinyl or engineered wood than the old school cork flooring as far as I'm aware - hopefully easier to lay.

      Anyways, really I'm trying to find an answer at how effective cork is at reducing sound compared to carpet and whether it's sufficiently good to satisfy my neighbours and my lease.

      Re: your anti-social comment - do you just mean that doing anything which might anger my neighbours is anti-social?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by inevitableraisin View Post

        Re: your anti-social comment - do you just mean that doing anything which might anger my neighbours is anti-social?
        Nothing will be as quiet as carpet with a decent underlay so anything else is anti-social. I suspect your "question" is actually advertising so I'm pointing out the disadvantages and the considerably better alternative (to cork) for kitchens and bathrooms.

        Comment


          #5
          well that puts your response into perspective then.

          I can assure you I'm not advertising - I'm just a FTB looking for advice on flooring - although I can see why you came to that conclusion. I only shared links (did I break any forum rules there?) to show support from the manufacturer for the claims that I'm making.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by inevitableraisin View Post

            I can assure you I'm not advertising - I'm just a FTB looking for advice on flooring - although I can see why you came to that conclusion. I only shared links (did I break any forum rules there?) to show support from the manufacturer for the claims that I'm making.
            If you were not advertising you'd have more sense than to rely on an advertiser's promises and would have done enough research to show you were aware of the potential problems. Cork is easily damaged by the weight of furniture and by pets. It'll need to be carefully resealed every few years to prevent water damage.It may fade in direct sunlight.

            Comment


              #7
              And why would you have assumed I hadn't researched the potential problems? If only you were aware of the many number of hours research I'd done before posting here.

              I'm aware and have considered each and every one of those things. To break them down:

              Furniture damage - furniture protectors can prevent this. Additionally, cork is known to recover to it's initial shape after some time.

              Pet damage - I don't have any pets. I might get a cat, but apparently cat claws cause far less of a problem than dog claws. Cats are likely to cause less damage to cork than they would to many popular carpets such as loop or berber.

              Water damage - there's waterproof varieties now. And even if I didn't get them, I'd just have to avoid spillages like I would on carpet. It's in the living room and not the kitchen or bathroom so water damage likely isn't a huge risk.

              Resealing every few years - untrue, but even if it were, I'm likely only sticking around for 5 years or so so it's not a big problem for me.

              Direct sunlight fading - sadly it's a north facing room so there really isn't much of this.


              I didn't mention those things because my many hours of research told me they weren't a problem. I came asking for help about a very specific question I couldn't answer elsewhere. I'm unsure where the hostility is coming from?

              Comment


                #8
                Clearer than ever that you are advertising.

                Cork does not recover from furniture damage. Carpet does not necessarily require professional installation, cork does. Carpet is cheaper and there are no arguments about putting it in. For a first time buyer (normally short of cash) and looking to move after 5 years its no contest. And people do drink in living rooms, spillages happen.

                Comment


                  #9


                  In my case, both would require professional installation as I work with computers and alas do not know how to fit carpets.

                  It's possible many FTB are short of cash but fortunately I'm not, so again that point is moot. To repeat, I asked specifically about acoustics, not price.

                  I give up. Again, I am not an advertiser - just somebody optimistically looking for some advice on his lease and flooring. I now know that this is not at all the place for that. Thanks buzzard1994 for your help - too clever by half.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I’ve now seen a couple of ‘reported post’ messages for this thread so will try to clarify a couple of things here.
                    1. Many internet forums do not allow new posters to post links (typically less than 15 posts), that function does not always work here for whatever reason. The purpose of that restriction is to help avoid spam adverts.
                    2. It is very common for companies to post ‘fake recommendations / questions’ which have the effect of advertising a product or service, in a most despicable and dishonest way. I will typically ban the person and delete the thread (or edit out any links). I expect this is the suspicion Buzzar1994 has.
                    In this case I have given the benefit of the doubt to the OP and just removed the link, I don’t believe that the link is particularly necessary to get the question across.
                    I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Marcel Proust famously lived in a cork-lined room which suggests that cork is a sound deadening material. A quick Google ignoring sites selling flooring seems to confirm it. If you are going to put a case to your fellow freeholders a report from an acoustician will help - assuming naturally that it supports you.

                      " Unfortunately my new neighbours informed me that there was an addition to the lease made a few years back which neither of us had seen." Have you seen it now? What exactly does it say? How was the addition made?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for clearing that up Moderator2. I'd be happy to provide evidence in private that I'm not in fact an advertiser if you'd like. Will take your steer on that.

                        Comment


                          #13

                          Thanks for your response Lawcruncher!

                          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                          Marcel Proust famously lived in a cork-lined room which suggests that cork is a sound deadening material. A quick Google ignoring sites selling flooring seems to confirm it. If you are going to put a case to your fellow freeholders a report from an acoustician will help - assuming naturally that it supports you.
                          I'd be happy to get a report from an acoustician - is that something I'd have to arrange or do you know of any reports already online? I do know the Delta IIC for lots of flooring, but it's strangely incredibly hard to get that for carpet so I'm finding it very difficult to prove that these products are as good as carpet. Of course, they might not be, but I can't prove that either.

                          Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                          " Unfortunately my new neighbours informed me that there was an addition to the lease made a few years back which neither of us had seen." Have you seen it now? What exactly does it say? How was the addition made?
                          I have seen it now. I'm unsure whether it wasn't shown to me before purchase due to accident or design, but I guess there's nothing I can do now. It's an 'additional regulation to the 5th schedule of the lease' signed by the Company Secretary (he lives below me) of the Management Company of the freehold. It's dated from 2004. The important line is:

                          "To keep the premises comprised in the Lease including the passages in it substantially covered from wall to wall in carpets or other suitable material for avoiding the transmission of noise

                          I've also sent it to my conveyancer to get their advice on what other materials they believe would be 'suitable'.

                          Comment

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