No matter where you live, noise is inevitable. Considering the number of vehicles present on today’s roads, noise has become a constant nuisance. Apart from outdoor noises, disturbances from neighbors also cannot be ignored. Unwanted noises are extremely irritating. Wanting to know how to get rid of unwanted noises? Improve the sound insulation of your walls, ceilings, and floors. If you are wondering how to do that, you have come to the right place. Read this guide given below to know about the various ways of soundproofing between existing floors.
Remember when noise is emitted in your vicinity, either it will be absorbed or transmitted or reflected by various surfaces. Therefore, while soundproofing your room, you must aim at two things: preventing transmission of sound waves from one floor to another and reducing the entry of background noises into your room. Depending on your requirement, budget, and other factors, there are several methods that you can implement, for instance,
- Using interlocking floor mats
- Using carpet padding
- Laying rubber mats
- Installing soundproof floor underlayment
- Adding noise proofing compound
- Installing a floating floor
- Using floor joist insulators
- Using cork tiles
- Soundproofing the ceiling
A detailed description of each of these methods is given below.
How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors Without Removing Ceiling?
Needless to say, before you begin to soundproof between existing floors, you have to find out the source of the noise. You also need to know what kind of noise is causing the disturbance, is it airborne or impact noise and take steps accordingly. Not just that, the type of flooring must also be considered.
- In timber floors, sounds can easily travel through them again they have cavities under them, allowing sounds to easily reverberate. Therefore, you should opt for installing floating floor or acoustic grade underlay to soundproof timber floors.
- Concrete floors are thick and dense, therefore they are good sound insulators by nature. But, they do transmit impact noises. To soundproof such floors, homeowners must add an extra sound absorbent layer beneath the main flooring. Combining underlay and carpet would be a great solution for enhancing the sound deadening qualities of the concrete floors.
In this guide, we have listed 9 effective solutions to soundproof between floors.
Use Interlocking Floor Mats
Adding interlocking mats is one of the most convenient methods of reducing noise between floors. They are available in a variety of colors and designs. Choose a suitable design for your home and buy in enough quantity so that you can spread it across the room. They are similar to padded floor tiles.
These mats are thick and dense, hence, they absorb noise and sound waves that try to pass through them. They are durable, easy to maintain, and are made up of antibacterial materials. They, obviously wouldn’t help you to enjoy a 100% sound deadening effect but will render effective results when used alongside other soundproofing methods like carpeting and underlayment. When you spread these mats all across your floor, sound waves will have a hard time passing through the mats. Similarly, noises from your room wouldn’t escape.
Use Carpet Padding
Nowadays, carpet pads are available in different sizes and textures, and varying thicknesses. If you buy a lightweight carpet pad, it will certainly provide comfort to your feet while walking but will be futile when it comes to preventing the transmission of noises through it. Therefore, hit carpet pads that are thick, preferably made up of rubber. Thicker pads are dense and hence they deaden sound between floors effectively.
Before choosing a particular carpet pad, we advise our readers to keep in mind the traffic. (Means number of family members present in the house. More the number of members, more will the traffic.) If it’s a room with high traffic, purchase top-quality rubber carpet underlay, that has cell foam layers beneath the soundproofing barrier.
To soundproof between floors, place your carpet padding under the carpet. Take the measurements of the carpet and bit accordingly. If you have a rug, place a rug pad underneath.
Lay Rubber Mats
If you think carpet pads are too expensive, you can consider buying rubber mats. Instead of installing underlays, this is a hassle-free option. Rubber is thin but effective enough to absorb impact noise. Also, it’s sufficiently dense to obstruct airborne sound waves from passing through it, causing sound deadening between existing floors.
Even the most affordable rubber mat is designed to provide considerable sound insulation to your room. The results would be evident. It increases the mass of the floor, making it difficult for the sound waves to pass through it with the same intensity. When sound waves finally pass through the rubber mat and the carpet, they become too weak.
Get Soundproof Floor Underlayment
Another option to soundproof between existing floors is laying an underlayment. This method is preferable when there’s a naked floorboard. In that case, you can make another subfloor using a sound-insulating material easily. But, if there’s already an existing subsequent floor made up of tiles or carpets, or linoleum, you must remove them to install the acoustic flooring underpayment to get effective soundproofing results. The acoustic underpayment will absorb impact sound much before it’s transferred into the main floor structure. Besides reducing impact noise, these structures are also effective reducers of airborne sounds.
For maximum noise reduction between floors, you must install acoustic flooring underlayment along with acoustic mats.
Before installing, inspect the floor and see if there are any holes or cracks. Fix them, if any, before proceeding to install. Remove any kind of dirt. There are different types of underlayment materials, with varying textures. Choose the one as per your choice and ask for professional help to install the underlayment.
Use Noise Proofing Compound
You must have heard of the population Green Glue noise-proofing compound. It’s an excellent sound dampening compound that provides effective sound insulation between floors. You can apply this compound even to your ceiling while installing drywall. Homeowners can apply it to the existing subfloor, or in between the underlayment and the flashboard.
This compound is extremely environment friendly. Neither does it emit odor nor is it hazardous. Also, installing it doesn’t require any professional help. One can install it within a few minutes. Within 30 days of application, homeowners are sure to get evident sound-insulating results. This compound works like magic, dissipating sound to the fullest.
Install a Floating Floor For Sound Insulation
Wondering what’s a floating floor? Well, it’s a floor that is installed on top of the subfloor but isn’t attached to it. It sits freely in between the subfloor and the top floor, allowing space for movement and absorption of sound waves. Obviously, they have to be attached to something. Absorption pads are used for that purpose. These pads are however not attached to the joists.
In this way, the floating floor, prevents sound waves traveling through it to get transferred upwards through the joists.
Also, the floating floor creates a gap, because it’s not attached to the subfloor. That gap captures the vibrations and prevents them to pass through the floating floor. Thus, they effectively reduce noise between floors.
Before you proceed to install a floating floor, be aware that the height of your floor might be raised. Therefore check if you have sufficient space. If you can successfully install a floating floor and an acoustic underlayment, you will be amazed to notice the significant reduction in noises in your room.
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Use Floor Joist Insulators
If you can separate the floor joists from the subfloor, there will be a space between these two surfaces, that will definitely impede the speed of noises and sound waves. Floor joist insulators are used for that purpose. These items are nothing but thick pieces of rubber. It not only separates the subfloor from the main floor but also reduces impact noise. Rubber is also a good absorber of airborne noises.
These rubber pads effectively eliminate as much noise as possible while sound waves try to pass through to the main floor. Also, if there is any chance of the subfloor and the main floor to rub against each other and produce a squeaking sound, the rubber pieces eliminate those changes.
Thus, insulating floor joists is an effective way of decoupling your main floor from the structure underneath. Try it out and enjoy evident soundproofing results!
Try Cork Tiles
Have you heard of corks? They are another effective soundproofing material, that can be used either beneath or above the floorboards. They are usually thick in structure. Being thick, they soften the floors. Even if you leave these tiles exposed, they don’t affect the overall decor of the room and make your floor look weird. The only downside is that most of the cork tiles aren’t waterproof. They are, however, water-resistant. Homeowners are, nevertheless, advised to maintain them properly.
Wondering how does cork flooring yield effective results? Well, cork reduces noise in the room by capturing sound waves and vibrations in its cell structure. They reduce transmission of sound through walls, (if installed on wall surfaces) and absorbs the impact noise of feet.
Besides being popular for its sound-resistant qualities, it’s also a good absorber of heat! It traps heat, preventing the floors from getting heated.
Besides floor soundproofing, you must also soundproof the ceiling above to enhance the soundproofing effects. Soundproofing a ceiling is however more tricky, than improving the floors. Nevertheless, improving the sound-resistant qualities of your ceiling is worth your money.
If you live in multi-story apartments, you must have become tired of the constant disturbing noises made by your inconsiderate neighbor. If you are irritated beyond limit and looking for solutions to the problem, we have brought to you two effective suggestions.
Install an Extra Layer of Drywall over the Ceiling
In this process, your main concern is to increase the density and thickness of the ceiling. That’s why an extra layer of drywall is being added to it. When it comes to soundproofing ceilings, the most preferred option nowadays is adding drywall.
Place the drywall keep a gap of one-inch minimum. Wondering how’s that possible? Use resilient channels to create an air pocket of 1/2 inch, between the ceiling and the drywall.
This air pocket is significant in the sense that it captures the sound waves and vibrations that try to pass through it. When sound energy is trapped in one space, it weakens with time and by the time it passes through the drywall, the sound becomes too faint.
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Install Acoustic Foam Panels
Apart from installing drywall, the next best thing you can do to soundproof your ceiling is add an acoustic foam panel. Nowadays, foam panels are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs, and colors. Choose any of your choices, that complements your home decor and install it to your ceiling.
They work differently from the other soundproofing materials we talked about. They eliminate echoes and background noises, not by obstructing their transmission but by absorbing it. Acoustic foam panels are an excellent solution for controlling reverberation sounds. However, they also absorb airborne and impact noises equally.
Typically, one cannot avoid noises. It’s everywhere nowadays. It’s created outside and you can’t completely prevent noise from entering your rooms. What you can do is reduce the amount of noise entering your rooms. To do that, you must implement effective soundproofing techniques to your ceilings, walls, and floors. To get the best results, homeowners are advised to implement multiple soundproofing suggestions.
If you are unable to make out which solutions should you apply together, talk to a professional. Remember that, sounds are transmitted equally through the walls, doors, windows, floors, and ceilings. Therefore, soundproofing each of these mediums is necessary.
We understand that soundproofing is an expensive procedure, but it’s definitely worth your investment. If you are tired of hearing unwanted noises from your neighbors or outside, it’s high time to prioritize your comfort and take necessary steps. So, soundproof your home and enjoy peaceful living conditions.