Noisy Hardwood floors

How to ask guests not to make so much noise in hardwood floors apartments?

You can’t you will need to put rugs or carpeting down.

You can also ask them to remove outdoor footwear in the house.


What @Helsi said. All you can do is require them to remove outdoor footwear upon entry to the listing, as is done in Japan. Some hosts provide cheap slippers for guests to wear.

Simplest solution (but not cheapest) is to provide large area rugs. Expensive solution is to have a carpenter come in and add serious insulation to the space between floors.


We did that and it still squeaks a bit! All the suggestions are good ones. I just think real hardwood adds to the charm.

If it bugs you, get earplugs, use rugs and slippers, or find ways to cut down traffic at night.

This is a bit off topic:
I’m in agreement that the only thing you can really do is ask guests to remove there shoes/boots, in my case I supply those rubber pool type sandals, it helped a bit.
As Ken states it is terribly expensive to soundproof an existing structure, but I have found 2 applications that has definitely muffled the noise issue.
My upstairs Bach flat had a wooden painted floor in the bathroom that were in rough shape & I was tired of touching them up.
I started with cork underlay and then a cork plank on top, this has worked very well, it’s warm, water resistant and really absorbs the sound, but this application would have been quite pricey to do the main room of the flat.
In the main room I had painstakingly refinished the floor, ( had I known that there was so much noise transfer I would have never done it.) A friend mentioned that they use this thick acoustic felt product in their music room, so I decided to give it a try, they had a 5 X 8 foot piece left over, we did some testing in the upstairs foyer and there was a substantial improvement. The product is quite dense, perhaps 1/8 inch thick, made of wool & synthetic fibers, they call it “needlepunch felt” I used it as under lay for a 12X14 ft Persian wool rug & positioned the rug where the most amount of foot traffic is located.
It’s not “soundproof” but it does absorb the noise. You can still hear that there is someone upstairs, but now you can’t make out what they are saying & it doesn’t sound like elephants walking around.
I have included a link I found with a description of the product.

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Thank you Ken, great ideas, I am adding it to the House Rules. As I explained to other host I have 5 apts. and it will cots a lot of money to fix them all.

Well @grosas you didn’t actually mention in this thread that you have five apartments :slight_smile:

However, whether you had long term tenants or STR guests you would want to put in measures in place to minimise noise for others living nearby. It’s just a cost of doing business.

You can offset the cost against the income you are generating from your apartments. Having guests take their outdoor footwear off costs nothing and you can get reasonable quality rugs and carpet runners for a reasonable cost.

My mother had the wood floors upstairs refinished back in the 80s, and ever since, first she, and then me, after I bought the house, always had a house rule of no street shoes inside, no hard sole shoes, because every footfall comes right through my ceiling.

I have a storage bench in the front porch with signage reminding guests that they can either leave their shoes in/under the bench or take them to their room. The bench provides a handy place to take off and put on shoes.

I do keep the wood floors vacuumed and Swiffered for guests that didn’t bring slippers and just walk around in their socks.

I did find some terry cloth Japanese ryokan slippers at a garage sale, but I only have 2 pairs, so the only time I have offered them to a guest was my first Japanese guest last summer, who really appreciated my cultural understanding.

Hello Helsi, we have area rugs and runners, but still noisy, I will try to buy slippers, thank you for your advice.

I’ve previously posted that I can’t “just walk around in my socks” due to foot problems and my slippers are a little bulky. So I would have to avoid booking your Airbnb. I imagine this information is in the listing but if it’s not, just a friendly reminder for that small minority of us with foot issues that it needs to be. And it’s incumbent on us to read listings carefully to make sure they are a good match for us.

Thank you for your comment. I will not put on used slippers myself, I don’t expect my guests to do it, like you said some people have foot problems.I decide to buy disposable slippers, you can find them in Amazon, if you buy 100 they are about $1.00 a piece.

Thanks @Karma - what sort of footwear could I get that would be suitable for people who can’t use socks or ordinary slippers?

I don’t know of anything that would be perfect for everyone. I have plantar fasciitis and also recently the bones on the top of one foot ache if I don’t wear shoes. I don’t know what that is, haven’t returned to the doc about that. I’ve also had heel spurs. I use Haflinger wool slippers in the winter, flip flops with arch support in the summer.

I really think it’s on the guest to make sure the Airbnb meets their needs whether it’s locks, shoes, A/C, private bathroom and so on. Each airbnb cannot be everything to everyone. BTW, I stayed in an Airbnb that required shoes left on the porch (entire home) and I complied. But it did affect my comfort. That’s how I know, I never go shoeless at home.


Thanks @KKC that’s really helpful.

That is a fantastic quote that Airbnb ought to adopt on the site (with royalties going to @KKC of course).

Actually, Airbnb has a quote like that. I think I stole the thought from them. Unlike seemingly 90% of guests and hosts I actually read all the small print at one point. Under a section in help called “How can I be a considerate guest” it includes this:

I was just thinking today that I wish we could rate guests in more detail, closer to how they rate us. In addition we could have specific comments for areas of improvement without messaging in the private feedback and also give compliments from a menu. So when I read a guest’s profile I don’t just see star averages I see other strengths and weaknesses. (noisy/quiet, on time/late, self-sufficient/needy) LOL.


In many apartments in the UK it’s against the lease to remove carpet. That makes life easier for everyone.