Floor construction exceeding the requirements of building regulations and yet occupants remain extremely unhappy about footfall noise. This has become a common occurrence across the UK especially in new builds. A lot of complaints often leads to legal disputes if matters can't be easily resolved.
Compliance to the requirements of Approved Document E of Building Regulations does not guarantee that noise will not be a problem or that sound of walking will not be audible in room spaces below.
The test procedures simulates the reaction of a floor system to the impact of a heel tap by a walker. However it does not often represent the full effect of the loading and unloading weight of a walker. When a person steps or stands on a floor it will deflect under the load of the persons weight and if the underside of the floor is exposed to the room below, sound will radiate directly into the receiving room.
Noise generated by floor deflections is often characterized by low frequency thumps which occupants might find annoying and irritating.
In wood floor constructions, this problem can be addressed by increasing the stiffness and dampness of the floor by using stepped blocking between floor joists during the construction stage. It is prudent to involve an Acoustic Consultant as early as possible on all residential projects to advise on separating party floor as carrying out remedial work at a later stage is often found not to be cost effective.