How To Get Strata Approval For Hard Flooring In Sydney & NSW

Gordon Zhang
Founder 25+ Years Experience
Strata Approval to install flooring.

How To Get Strata Approval For Hard Flooring In Sydney & NSW

Disclaimer: FloorVenue is not a legal expert and hence does not offer legal advice. We are not responsible for any decisions made by readers as every Strata and Body Corporate has its by-laws which must be read and abided by.

Hard floors are wonderful. However, the approval process for hard surface flooring in apartments and townhouses is less than wonderful. It’s often wrought with setbacks and difficulties! The culprit behind the difficulty is noise transmission because flooring is simply noisier than carpet.

From the strata management’s perspective, it would be much easier to keep everyone happy if we all used carpets instead of flooring. That raises a big question…

Do You Need Strata Approval To Change Flooring?

Yes, you can have floating flooring (non-structural floor coverings) if you also install the right underlay to achieve noise reduction.

The owner’s corporation usually requires a combination of flooring and noise-reducing underlay that achieves a specific performance. This is usually measured by AAAC Star Ratings, often somewhere between 4 stars to 6 stars depending on the specific by-laws set by your strata.

Where can you find the noise reduction requirement?

You can check the noise transmission requirement by reviewing the by-law or contacting your strata manager. It’s easier to directly contact your strata manager because the by-laws tend to be extremely long.

Best Flooring & Underlay For Apartments

Most hybrid flooring will achieve 5 or 6 stars because they have pre-attached underlay. This makes them very popular amongst lot owners who need to minimise noise transmission. This saves you the trouble of matching flooring and acoustic underlay, because they are combined into one!

We also have a large suite of underlayments ranging from acoustic foam underlay to vibration-absorbing rubber underlay of various thicknesses and designs. These are all manufactured to meet and exceed the most stringent strata by-laws relating to noise transmission. Some commonly accepted hard floor underlay brands in Sydney & NSW include EverQuiet or Regupol, which we can supply for homes and businesses.

You can learn more about choosing the right underlay for your flooring in our complete guide.

Which Documents Will The Owners Corporation Require?

The strata will provide you with an application form that the lot owner must fill out. This has most of the details, however, Strata will also require four specific documents from your Flooring Contractor (FloorVenue):

  1. Underlay Test Report – Most strata schemes management act will require just a pre-test of the specific flooring system with underlay. This will indicate whether the performance will be enough to provide a peaceful environment for neighbours below you.
  2. Liability Insurance – In the extremely rare occurrence of damage to common property, the Strata needs to know that your flooring contractor has insurance to cover this.
  3. Workers’ Compensation – Similar to liability insurance, workers’ compensation will cover any potential injury or illnesses resulting from working conditions. This too will cover everyone in the extremely rare event where things go south.
  4. The Quote or Invoice – This has details about which product we’re putting down and which areas are being done. Usually, you can remove sensitive information like the prices because Strata just wants to know what’s happening and where.

Sometimes, your strata management may be extra stringent and require an on-site pre-test or post-test by acoustic engineers. This is often at the expense of the lot owners, typically ranging from $1500 – $2500 as of 2024 in Sydney & NSW.

Your strata may also request a contractor license for any major works involving solid timber flooring or tile renovations. A contractor license is not required for floating floors or carpets as “non-structural flooring work is […] no longer licensed by Fair Trading” (Source: Fair Trading, From 2009).

Solid timber flooring is a major renovation and is not recommended for multi-residential living as most strata committees will immediately decline.

How Long Does Strata Approval Take?

Once you have submitted all the required documents, your strata typically takes two to four weeks to approve flooring renovations… or decline. The exact duration will vary depending on your strata manager which can be outside your control.

If they require a strata meeting to cast votes, this takes longer. You can always reach out to your owner’s corporation to ask when the next meeting will be.

Choose FloorVenue When Installing Flooring In Apartments

Seems complicated? That’s ok, FloorVenue has installed new floor coverings in thousands of units across Sydney and NSW over the last two decades.

Let the experts at FloorVenue help with your strata approval and provide the documents you need. Our huge range of floors and acoustic underlay will achieve peaceful enjoyment for your neighbours above and below!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions! We’d love to assist.

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