Do you know what type of floor your apartment has? Checking your apartment’s floor type may not always be as easy as it sounds, but there are ways that you can tell.
This article will go into those methods, including checking common signs such as denting, and asking the landlord.
Ways to Tell If Your Apartment Has Concrete Floors
When it comes to flooring, concrete is one of the most durable options. It can last for a long time and does not wear out easily.
This means you can expect your new apartment to be free from any cracks or holes in the flooring. However, it is important to know whether your apartment has concrete floors.
Here are some ways to tell if your apartment has concrete floors:
Heel Drop Test
The concrete heel drop test is a method of determining the type of flooring in your apartment. It is the most common way to tell whether you have wood floors, laminate floors, or concrete floors.
Tapping on a floor with your toe or heel can reveal a lot about the state of your apartment—but only if you do it right. You do not just want to tap on the floor; you want to tap in a particular way!
The best way to tap on an apartment is to use a hard-sole shoe, like a boot or a shoe with a heel. To get started, lift your heel to be on your tiptoes.
Then apply weight on it and drop it back. Tap three times and listen for each. If the heel makes a solid thud, you know your apartment has concrete floors.
The heel drop test is not always accurate, though, because some types of flooring can make your heels sound hollow when they are not.
So feel free to try it out, but do not rely on it as the only method of determining whether or not your apartment has concrete floors.
Masonry Nail Experiment
Another way to tell if your apartment has concrete floors is by doing the masonry nail experiment.
The masonry nail experiment is just like it sounds: you place a masonry nail in a hole and then strike it with another object.
If the nail goes through easily, then there are no concrete floors in your apartment.
This method works because masonry nails are made of steel. They can penetrate through wood very easily, as they are used for this purpose.
But when you hit them with another object on a concrete floor, they tend to get bent out of shape instead of going all the way through your flooring material.
This method is also useful when trying to find out whether there are other materials besides wood or concrete in your apartment.
Listen for Sounds
The most effective way to figure out whether your apartment has concrete floors is to listen to the sounds in your apartment.
If you hear loud footsteps upstairs, even if it sounds above your head, your apartment probably has wooden floors.
If you hear a slight echo while speaking, but the noise is muffled and hard to pinpoint, your apartment might have carpet.
If you occasionally hear a high-pitched screeching sound that does not stop when you leave the room or close the door, your apartment may have metal floors.
If you hear a faint hum, almost imperceptible, when there is no other sound in the room, your apartment might have concrete floors.
This method will serve as a helpful indicator that your apartment has concrete floors.
Bouncing Tennis Ball Off the Floor
The bouncing tennis ball method is another way to determine whether an apartment has concrete floors. It is similar to the heel drop test but can be more accurate.
This method involves bouncing a tennis ball off the floor and listening for the sound. If you hear a thumping sound, you know that your apartment has concrete floors.
However, if it bounces back softly with little or no noise, then there is a good chance that your apartment has hardwood floors or possibly laminate.
This method works best on small areas of floors, such as hallways or closets, because you will have to keep track of where the tennis ball bounced from as well as its original angle to the floor.
Check the Building’s Floor Plan
If you live in a large apartment building, a floor plan may be posted in the lobby or somewhere else that would tell you whether your apartment has concrete floors.
The building’s floor plan will show the layout of each floor and identify which rooms have concrete floors.
If you cannot find the building’s floor plan that has structural drawings attached, try asking someone who works at the building if they can help you.
If they do not know, ask them to contact their manager or supervisor so that they can look up the information for you. This will help you determine whether your apartment has concrete floors or not.
If the floor plan does not have this information, you may have to go back to listening for sounds or using other methods to tell if the apartment has concrete floors.
Look for a Visible Seam at the Edge of the Room
Once you have determined that there is a high probability that your apartment has concrete floors, it is easy to confirm this by looking for a visible seam at the edge of the room.
There will be an obvious line between the carpeting and the concrete. This seam can usually be seen from any angle in your apartment, but sometimes it may be hidden behind furniture or other objects.
If you cannot see this seam, then there is a good chance that your apartment has wooden floors or carpeting.
Another way to determine what type of flooring you have is to look at the baseboards around your door frames.
The baseboard will be directly above your floor, so if you cannot see any baseboards and there is no clear line where the carpet ends, then the flooring is probably concrete.
Look Under the Cabinets
One of the easiest ways to determine whether you have concrete floors is to look under your sink.
Chances are the cabinets under your sink are not attached to the floors, so all you have to do is slide out the cabinet doors and look at what is underneath.
You will know immediately whether you are dealing with concrete or something else, maybe even wood!
Not quite sure where to start looking?
Another option is to check around the edges of your cabinets for any signs of water damage—a telltale sign that concrete lies below.
If you do not see any signs of water damage, run your fingers along the edges and feel for some roughness, which is another clue that concrete is lurking.
Still not sure?
A good old-fashioned feel-around will never fail you. Slip those hands up underneath your cabinets and see what you come up with.
If it feels like there are little pebbles in there, you have probably got concrete on your hands!
Use a Drill on a Corner of the Room
Your first instinct to figure out if your apartment has concrete floors might be to go around whacking it with a hammer.
Aside from being an incredibly inefficient way of going about it, that method also is not the most accurate or effective.
A far better way is to use a drill on a corner of the room. Since concrete is a very hard substance, it is possible to tell by listening for a change in the pitch of the drill.
If it sounds like it is hitting something hard, you know that you have concrete floors. If your floor is not concrete, the drill will easily pass through it.
If you are still determining whether or not your floor is made of concrete, this is a good way to find out without having to pay somebody else to come in and check it out.
Check Records From the Seller or a Contractor
A not-so-direct way to find out if your apartment has concrete floors is to ask the seller or a contractor. If you are buying a home, the buyer’s agent will be able to tell you whether it has concrete floors.
You can also ask the seller directly, to get as much information as possible before signing a contract.
If you plan on renting an apartment, contact the landlord or manager to see if they know what type of flooring is in the apartment.
If they do not know, ask them if they can have someone check for you and call back with an answer.
If they cannot do this for some reason, then go ahead and hire someone else who does know how to tell if an apartment has concrete floors for you.
However, suppose it turns out that your landlord did not know what type of flooring was in your apartment when they rented it out.
In this case, they may be required to pay for their negligence in knowing what type of flooring was in the building before renting it out again.
Make an Informed Decision
While visual inspection is often the easiest way to detect concrete floors, sometimes it can be hard to tell based on appearance. We hope these surefire tips for finding out if an apartment has concrete floors will help you make a decision.
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