Many of us have experienced the nuisance of noisy neighbors or unwanted sounds from the floors above. This can be particularly frustrating, especially when you are trying to focus or rest.
Interestingly, the Guardian states that complaints against noisy neighbors have made up 67 percent in recent years. What’s worse is that other studies say that you can expect 2.5 billion of the world’s population to be having hearing loss by 2050.
How about we, on our little part, contribute to a quieter world, starting with our neighborhood? We can start by giving our homes the right amount of soundproofing, an option that wasn’t there in the past but is here to stay.
So, if you have a home that makes a lot of noise, read on to know all you need about soundproofing.
Table of Contents
Why Soundproof Existing Floors?
No one likes a neighborhood that receives a lot of noise, yet one can’t help producing all kinds of sounds at home, which can travel past floors and reach the neighbor’s house. That brings us to the need for soundproofing existing floors.
- Privacy and noise reduction: No one wants to be famous as the noisy house of the neighborhood, and yet, we can’t help it when kids choose to scream. There are, however, other times when we want to drown ourselves in friendly and loud music. Either way, these are not things we want the neighbors to hear, making it the first reason to soundproof our homes.
- Improved living conditions: Soundproofing not only reduces noise but also provides better acoustics and makes being in the home feel more pleasant. No one likes being in four walls that produce unpleasant noise, forcing you to grit your teeth and shut your eyes in annoyance each time.
- Increased property value: Better soundproofing can increase the value of your home. In other words, if this is a house you want to rent or sell, you can charge higher because the house has some good soundproofing.
How Does Sound Transmit?
The direct answer to this is by sound waves. When an object vibrates, it produces a pressure wave. And as they move the nearby particles, the sound travels further.
These vibrations mainly pass between air particles, and this further passes through a person’s ear to cause vibrations in the eardrum, which is when you hear what you call sound.
Types of noise
They say there are four types of noise (continuous, intermittent, impulsive, and low frequency), but we won’t go there for now.
We will see here the two main categories by which we differentiate noise: airborne and impact noise.
This kind of noise comes from people’s voices. It can be anything from someone shouting in the room to someone reading the news on TV.
Airborne noise generally travels through the air. It can get carried from floor to floor and find its way out of the room through little openings in the walls.
Most of us do not like these kinds of noises, like the rattling of a utensil falling on the floor or a hammer hitting the wall. Some can be pleasant, like the opening of a chocolate wrapper and even the footsteps of someone you love.
Assessing Your Current Situation: What Do You Need To Know?
Soundproofing your home is not about doing what you saw a neighbor or someone in your friend’s circle do.
Know that what works for someone may work better for you. Why? Because the right soundproofing depends on the following factors listed for you.
- Primary sources of noise: Noise is of different kinds in different homes. Some homes have machinery, like grinders, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and pressure cookers, as the primary noise sources. There are some others where kids with their toys and tantrums are the primary source of noise and others where youngsters and their music and their yells are the source of noise. Now, which of these is true for you? This is the first thing you should access.
- Type of floor construction: Here the material of the floor, its thickness, and the weight of this material used are some of the factors that determine the right soundproofing for you. Is your floor joist supported and built with many wooden beams, or do you have a concrete floor? This is one of the most essential things to see before soundproofing your home.
- Age and condition of the building: Older homes need more care concerning things like remodeling, and this also includes soundproofing. Not all methods will work here, and you need to consider every step you take. But the good part is that you may only have to do a little as older buildings are known to be more soundproof than buildings you have today.
Soundproofing Flooring Between Apartments
Noisy floors are one common cause of the noise, which though not persistent, can often be a nuisance within the home and sometimes even to the neighbors.
No one likes to be interrupted by the sound of a heavy utensil ratting to the floor, so before you check the solutions, here is a brief understanding of the two types of floors.
1. Timber joist flooring
These floors are mainly built with wooden joists, maintaining a gap of five to eight centimeters in between.
In other words, these are floors built with horizontal frames spanning an open space.
2. Concrete flooring
On the other hand, concrete flooring takes the form of a flatter slab, meaning there will be less vibration, bounce, and noise.
Most of them are built with tiles, be they stone or ceramic, and this is the kind of flooring that you will find in modern homes.
Now that you know about the two common kinds of floors determine which is yours to choose the right type of soundproofing.
How to Soundproof Timber Joist Flooring?
While timbre joists flooring has benefits of its own, they have a downside by way of its flanking noise, but not to worry, as this can be corrected with a suitable form of soundproofing.
- Increasing the mass or density of the floor: This practical step will make the home more soundproof and strengthen your floor. So, instead of single joists, you can go for double joists. These will provide more support to the floor and significantly increase its density.
- Use of underlayment: Here, you provide the floor with a layer of high-density foam and then see how your foot will keep your home quieter and stay strong for as long as a lifetime. However, before that, make sure that the floor is smooth. It would help if you got rid of nails and any other obstacles that come in the way.
- Use of thick carpet or rubber mat: This is the easiest way of soundproofing your floor, where you only have to get the right carpet or mat. This comes with aesthetic benefits too. Rubber mats significantly reduce noise from machines and large appliances and are thus an excellent choice for homes with a lot of noise. If used a lot in your house, dishwashers, dryers, stereo systems, etc., can make a lot of noise, which you can spare the neighbors from using rubber mats.
- Use of drywall: Fixing a drywall to a joist may not be easy, but it prevents sounds from spreading. With the screw, you can get this done. It would be best to ensure that the joists are also perfectly spaced. All this may require some effort, but in the end, the results you see make it worth it.
How to Soundproof Concrete Flooring?
Concrete floors can often be susceptible to impact noise, but the good news is that you have some convenient solutions through soundproofing today.
Read on to learn about each of them:
- Use of acoustic mat or carpet: This kind of mat is meant to provide sound isolation and thus reduce the impact of noise pollution at home. It absorbs all kinds of sounds like objects falling and dragging furniture.
- Use of drywall: This is a material you use to make walls and ceilings. Drywall is easy to install and highly durable, making it a classic favorite of most commercial spaces today. It is inexpensive, too, and comes with other benefits like fire resistance and aesthetic appeal. For these reasons, drywalls have come a long way in replacing plaster in buildings today.
- Use Green Glue Compound: This one dramatically helps to dissipate all kinds of sound. It is a glue made of a viscoelastic substance. This substance absorbs all forms of sound waves and converts them into heat. The substance is water-based but non-toxic, making it safe in the environment. Apart from the floor, it can also be applied to the walls and the ceiling to make it soundproof.
Soundproofing Ceilings Between Apartments
Soundproofing ceilings between apartments is one of the best ways to reduce noise in flats and other multi-story apartments, preventing the noise from going from one house or floor to another. Here are three ways options that you can choose to go about with it:
- Cover the ceiling with an additional layer of drywall: This is an inexpensive option and yet a very effective one. Drywall is a construction material often used for aesthetics but, as you now see, has its additional benefits. Besides soundproofing your home, it also effectively keeps your ceiling from sagging. Aso, it is fire resistant, so you never know when it can save your home.
- Use mass-loaded vinyl (MLV): Mass-loaded vinyl comes in the form of a sheet of metal particles, which effectively increases the mass of the floor, making it more soundproof. This provides a sound control scheme and a more soundproof room. It is also highly durable, and this makes it a worthwhile investment.
- Use acoustic sealant: Replacing the ceiling with an acoustic sealant is an effective way to reduce noise between floors. This is a form of synthetic bond that significantly reduces the transmission of sounds and, thus, is an effective form of sound control. Just apply it on the perimeters of the ceiling, and from now on, worry no more. Ensure the sealants cover all the edges where the roof meets the wall.
Bonus Tips on Soundproofing Between Floors
And then, before you go, here are a few more tips you can consider when it comes to soundproofing your home. Read on to see if any of these could help.
- Sealing gaps and cracks: Gaps and cracks in the ceiling can be a real culprit sending noise everywhere. And for this, the only solution lies in sealing these gaps and cracks.
- Adding insulation between floor and ceiling: This method helps seal up any hidden holes in the floors and ceiling. It is inexpensive and a convenient bonus tip to make your home more soundproof.
- Installing acoustic panels or foam: These panels you place within different rooms do an excellent job of absorbing sounds within your home. This is a good option in homes that face the problem of echo.
- Using noise-reducing curtains and blinds: If you tend to face a lot of sound bouncing within the room, these can serve as an effective barrier to cut down the noise in the room and prevent it from spreading to other spaces in your home.
- Addressing noise from HVAC systems and pipes: Ensure your appliances do not contain many noisy ducts; if they do, you can wrap them to mitigate the noise.
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.