Is It Illegal To Have Wooden Flooring In An Upstairs Flat?

This blog post will answer the question of whether or not it is illegal to have wooden flooring in an upstairs flat. While we will mainly focus on the main topic in our discussion, we will also explore the steps one can take if the noise from your neighbour’s wooden flooring causes a nuisance.

Is It Illegal To Have Wooden Flooring In An Upstairs Flat?

No, it is not illegal to have wooden flooring in an upstairs flat. However, it is more common to have carpets in upstairs flats as they usually reduce the sound that can potentially disturb neighbours who live a floor below you.

Even though it is not illegal to have wooden flooring in an upstairs flat, it has generally been observed that when residents remove the carpeting to have wooden flooring laid down in their flats, ordinary, everyday sounds in their flats can disturb neighbours.

Some people believe that it is only when you drop something on the floor or if children are playing with toys on wooden flooring that there can be enough noise to disturb neighbours who live below them and commit to remaining careful about such situations. 

However, there have been instances when regular housework has caused sound loud enough to be considered noise by neighbours; who have then gone on to complain about the situation to the building authority or local council office.

That said, if you live in a converted building, you will need to check the planning application to check if soundproofing is required in the case of wooden floors. Some home leases may have a covenant that bans using wooden flooring. Landlords may choose this option to avoid neighbour disputes in the long run. 

According to an article in the Mirror Online, a couple was taken to court for the noise caused by their wooden flooring and were fined nearly 1 million pounds by a UK court.

Research also suggests that carpets reduce sound by at least 22 decibels. This is the reason why despite not being illegal, wooden flooring is not recommended for an upstairs flat.

What Can You Do If Your Neighbours Have Wooden Flooring In An Upstairs Flat?

There are some steps that you can take if your neighbour’s wooden flooring in an upstairs flat is causing noise or disturbance to you. Some of these are suggested below: 

  • You can address the matter directly by talking to your neighbours and raising your concern in a friendly manner.
  • If you don’t prefer a face-to-face conversation and would prefer an alternate way of communication, you can write a letter to them and slide it under their door or leave it in their postbox.
  • If the above suggestions don’t lead to a positive change, you can talk to the neighbour’s landlord. This can either be a private landlord, council authority or social housing landlord.

If none of these steps helps in resolving the matter, you can seek the services of a third-party intermediary such as a Civil Mediation Council to help in conflict resolution.

Can You Complain About The Noise From The Wooden Flooring In An Upstairs Flat?

Yes, you can complain about the noise from the wooden flooring in an upstairs flat. Your first complaint should ideally be lodged with the landlord; whether it is a common landlord that you and your neighbour share or a separate one. It will help your case if you maintain records of incidents when the noise from the wooden flooring has caused enough noise that it causes a disturbance or nuisance.

While it is highly unlikely that the noise from wooden flooring can be classified as a “statutory nuisance”; should it substantially interfere with the enjoyment of your premises, you can complain to the local council as well.

Can You Get Penalised For Having Wooden Flooring In An Upstairs Flat?

Yes, you can get penalised for having wooden flooring in an upstairs flat in case of the following situations:

  • Your neighbour has complained about the noise caused by your wooden flooring to you, your landlord or the local council and you have failed to take any action
  • The noise from your wooden flooring is classed as a “statutory nuisance”

Your local council has the authority to issue a fixed penalty notice (FPN) in such cases. This means that you will have to pay a fine of up to £110 with a time limit of 14 days. If you fail to meet the deadline, you can also be prosecuted. If you are prosecuted, this fine can go up to £1,000.

As an alternative to a fine, you can also be issued with an abatement notice by your landlord.

To avoid being fined or having any other action taken against you, it is advisable to have soundproofing installed if you wish to keep your wooden flooring or replace it with carpets.


The above discussion helps to conclude that while it may not be illegal to have wooden flooring in an upstairs flat if it causes a nuisance for your neighbours, you will be required to take preventive action.


Is It Illegal to Have Wooden Flooring in an Upstairs Flat? – Quiet Living

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