Noise pollution has become a drawback to comfortable living. In this case, soundproofing between existing floors can be a practical solution. The process of soundproofing between floors involves various steps that can be executed systematically.
According to the reports of WorldHealthOrganization, due to exposure to noise pollution, people face many health diseases like cardiovascular and sleep disturbances. So, to avoid noise in your house you must know how to soundproof between existing floors.
In this article, we will guide you through the whole process of soundproofing your existing floors so that no noise from the neighbor enters your house. Also, we have explained to you the types of noises so you understand soundproofing well.
So, let’s get started.
What are the Types of Noise
Mainly you will experience two types of noises and both can be overcome using the soundproofing materials.
Here is a major difference between both.
You are familiar with the noise coming from the whispering, distance chat, TV, or music noise from the various areas that are all part of the airborne noise.
Airborne noise needs just a medium of air to travel a long distance and will not stop unless it found a strong barrier. So in order to tackle such noise is to set a strong barrier but how?
Already covered in this guide.
Structure Borne or Impact Noise
Have you ever heard a noise coming from footsteps or due to the fall of any object on the floor, that type of noise is known as impact or structure-borne noise?
In summary, the noise created due to the collision of two objects is known as impact noise. If still need more explanation then here is the best guide on airborne vs structure-borne noise.
This means, if you are living in the middle of the apartments you will get both Airborne and impact noise from upside and downside or in other words from the ceiling and flooring of the apartment.
Let me get you through the steps on how to soundproof between existing floors to avoid unnecessary noise in just 11 steps.
The Major areas which we will be focusing on these purposes are first flooring then the ceiling and later on some gaps which need immediate attention.
SoundProof Flooring in between Apartment
Most of the time when the noise coming from various sources especially the person living just below the apartment pass through the flooring and transmitted it to various areas of the room.
Flooring is the hardest surface in the house, which cause more reflection of the noise and will get amplified and create problem in your peaceful life.
So if you are familiar with the types of flooring then most probably we have two major types of floorings such:
- Timber joist flooring
- Concrete flooring.
If you are living in a ground-level apartment then obviously you should not be worried about any type of noise but this is not the case when living in between multiple apartments.
How to Soundproof Timber Joist Flooring
Let first discuss the number of ways through which you can soundproof the timber joist flooring as it is the source of both airborne and impact noise.
Remember the key takeaway to make any flooring soundproof is to increase its mass or density, the higher the mass the less noise transmission.
Below are the ways you can use soundproof timber joist flooring.
Use of Underlayment
Underlayment is the material used just below the sub-flooring or below the top floor covering. It increases the density of the flooring if your floor is made of plywood plank or timber.
Underlayment should be thick enough to lay just below the top covering so if there is any impact on the top of the floor that got absorbed by the underlayment.
Underlayment not only offers noise absorption but is also a strong resistive to moisture. It also adds evenness to your uneven floor covering.
If your flooring is laminated flooring then use of the underlayment is most recommended.
Use of the Thick Carpet or Rubber Mat
Carpet plays an important role in increasing the thickness or density of the existing flooring as the use of underlayment could be an expensive solution.
The carpet will be used just above the surface of the flooring and will create a strong blocker for the noise coming from the other side of the house.
But if the use of carpet is not effective then head over to the most favorable sound dampening material rubber mat.
A rubber mat will dramatically improve the ability of flooring to absorb the noise coming due to airborne or impact noise.
Use of the Drywall
Ideally, the main purpose of using drywall is to either wall or ceiling but if you need the best result of floor soundproofing then it is all up to you, how you can place drywall just below the floor covering and carpet.
Again drywall is dense enough and creates a strong blocker for the noise.
Let’s focus on the other area what if you have concrete flooring and how to deal with that.
How to soundProof Concrete flooring
The best part with concrete flooring is we have to deal with only airborne noise as the impact noise or the noise due to squeaky shoes will not be the case with concrete flooring so how to deal with the same.
The solution is easier and cheaper as we don’t have any major maintenance with the existing floor.
Use of Acoustic Mat or Carpet
Here the purpose of the mat or carpet is to increase the sound-absorbing capacity of the flooring. As ceiling and flooring are the major areas from there the sound gets reflected.
By having a concrete floor you will definitely be having an issue with sound absorption due to complete hard surface, so use the acoustic mat or carpet all over the flooring is the cost-effective solution.
Use of Drywall
Mat and carpet will be an affordable solution to soundproof flooring but the use of drywall will be the most efficient solution.
While placing drywall over the flooring make sure to have space for at least an inch.
This will not only reduce noise transmission but also help you maintain the room temperature low especially in the summer season.
If you are really keen on soundproof flooring then I strongly recommend reading the complete detailed guide,
Must Read: how to soundproof flooring
No matter you are living between the floor or wiling to soundproof basement flooring, this is a really helpful resource.
Let cover the other area of the apartment ceiling and how to soundproof between the existing floor.
SoundProof Ceiling in between Apartment
Probably floor soundproofing can be achieved without more hassle as you have to buy a few things which you can fix immediately but ceiling soundproofing is the most tricky job.
In order to the soundproof ceiling, you have to focus on below major areas as it not only a source of the airborne noise but also the impact noise.
Both the noise in case of the ceiling are very irritating as the people are living above your floor and at which point of time what they do you will be the victim of all kinds of noise.
So below are the best possible affordable suggestions.
Cover the Ceiling with Additional layer of DryWall
Mainly ceilings are made of the timer joist which has more often impact noise due to footsteps or of any object fall on the surface and also some airborne noise due to TV or any musical instrument.
Hence the major area to focus is to increase the width of the ceiling by adding the additional layer of dense material and drywall is the first and most recommended solution in this list of soundproofing.
Drywall should be placed with a gap of at least 1 inch and that can be achieved using the resilient channel which creates an air pocket of at least 1/2″.
This air pocket will trap the noise coming from the top floor and noise energy will be weakened and when it tries to pass through the drywall layer it will again attenuate. Make sure the use of drywall can reduce the ceiling size up to 4-6″.
But use the acoustic drywall, not conventional drywall if not familiar with both then must go through the detailed guide on soundproof drywall.
Use the Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass loaded vinyl is the most recommended solution to block the noise as it has the great mass to width ratio means you can achieve very high insulation by placing a layer of MLV on any material.
If you have added drywall then even the chances are there that noise will try to pass through the ceiling, so now the next step is to cover the top layer of drywall with MLV which is available in various colors.
It will create a strong barrier for noise and chances of noise to pass through MLV will be very less, must-read what is MLV and how MLV can solve your problem of soundproofing no matter is floor or ceiling.
Use Acoustic Sealant
The ceiling might have some area that needs immediate attention, such as if any electrical cable coming from the top side of the apartment or any holes left at the joints of the ceiling.
Like air, noise can even pass through those small holes without a doubt. So focus on that small area and seal them with the acoustic sealants which are flexible in nature and will not harden and broken in a few days.
If keen to learn which acoustic sealant will be the perfect solution then don’t miss the chance to guide first on best soundproof sealant that will help you to not break your hard earn pocket money.
Above suggested ways are a couple of things you can try with ceiling soundproofing but willing to learn more cost-effective tips then head over to our most popular mater guide on 5 major tips on how to soundproof ceiling.
Finally, we covered both the major area which attaches to neighboring living upstairs and downstairs but how to deal with the noise which keeps entering even after major changes.
Bonus Tips on Soundproofing between floors
It is common that no matter what changes you do with ceiling or flooring, you will not see a 100% reduction of the noise and if noise enters the apartment then obviously reflection.
So try below things in addition to the ceiling and floor soundproofing.
Add some additional soft materials in the apartment
The best way to reduce noise reflection is the sound absorption and this can be achieved using the soft materials so add some sofas, curtains, and books to the area.
Cover the flooring with the soft carpet and also use the anti-vibration mat below the washing machine to avoid vibrations in the complete home.
Here is the top list of best sound absorbing materials you can try.
Use Acoustic Foam
If having your own studio and want to absorb the echo within the room then head over to the best acoustic foams, they will offer the best sound-absorbing ability.
Acoustic foams are of various types and you can use them over the walls with sticky glue and can get amazing results in noise reduction.
SoundProof door or window
After ceiling and flooring, the other area which causes most of the reflection is the door or window. Most of the time the door will be closed and the only way through sound can transmit is the gap left between ground and door.
To avoid noise transmission just below the door you can block that space using the soundproof door sweeps.
With respect to the window, you need to place an additional layer in between the window surface and noise coming after reflection from various areas.
This can be achieved by placing the acoustic curtains which will create strong blackouts and absorb most of the noise. Here is the list of the best collections of soundproof curtains.
I know it is tough to live in between the existing floors but the solution to overcome noise will always be there.
If you are living in a house that has no floor then still you face an issue of noise coming from the walls if you have noisy neighbors, so here is the best way on how to soundproof wall from the noisy neighbours.
My Tip How to Soundproof Between Existing Floors
Always focus on increasing the density and mass of the materials which separate your apartment from the top and bottom side of the apartment.
If the case is ceiling then drywall with a mixture of MLV will be the best effective solution and if flooring then uses underlayment and cover the flooring with an acoustic mat or carpet can really give the best results.
In case you want to save the money while making a purchase of certain materials then must check the exclusive guide on each of the areas pointed in the middle of the content and share with us your best experience in the comment box.
Wrap Up On How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors
Soundproofing between existing floors will significantly reduce the noise in your home. By this, you can stay calm and free in your home without any disturbances.
By keeping in mind the structure of your current floor and the space between them and the apartments you can easily select the best soundproof material and execute the soundproofing of your house with ease.
I hope our complete guide on how to soundproof between existing floors was helpful to you. If you still come across any queries then kindly let us know regarding it in the comment box below.
FAQ: How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors
By answering a few of the common questions, readers can gain a better understanding of the soundproofing process and achieve better results when soundproofing their homes. So, make sure to go through the below question with their solution.
Q1.Is it possible to soundproof between floors without tearing up the existing floor or ceiling?
Ans: Yes, you can soundproof between floors without tearing your existing floors or ceiling. Soundproof underlayment, acoustic floor mats, and ceiling sound baffles are some of the materials that you can consider using it.
Q2. On what basis is the cost to soundproof between existing floors decided?
Ans: Soundproofing between existing floors depends on the level of noise to be proofed, the size of the place, the material used, and the type of soundproofing required. This all can be decided easily with the help of a professional person.
Q3. Is soundproofing between floors a permanent solution, or will it need to be redone over time?
Ans: The duration of your soundproofing truly depends on the material used and the level of noise reduction required. With a good amount of soundproofing can long-last long without much maintenance.