Apartment living has many advantages, but noise pollution is not one of them. Especially, if your neighbor lives directly above or below you, the stomping of feet and other irritating sounds can make life quite miserable.
According to the report of the World Health Organization, exposure to noise above 70 decibels can cause hearing loss. Also, it can lead to cardiovascular problems, sleep disturbance, and tinnitus.
So this problem can also lead you to some serious health issues. Or might be you are a studio artist and you need to record something, but the outside noise is disturbing you.
However, a house is not a safe place to live in if the noise is too loud. Hence, you need to take some measures to soundproof your apartment. So how to soundproof floor in apartment?
That’s why you need to read this complete article. Because in this article I have covered some different ways how to soundproof floor in apartment. Also, I have shared some sound parameters which will help you to find the best solution.
So Let’s Get Started!
Table of Contents
Does The Soundproof Floor Really Work?
There are mixed reviews when it comes to the soundproof floor. Some people say that it really works and makes a big difference, while others claim that it does not work at all.
Here are some sound parameters that should keep in your mind when determining whether or not the soundproof floor will work for you.
1. STC (Sound Transmission Class)
The STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating is a measure of how well a floor or wall can block sound from passing through it.
However, the STC rating is only a single-number rating, so it doesn’t give you much information about how the material will perform in real-world situations. But when it comes to floors, the STC rating is a good indicator of how well the floor will block sound from passing through it.
2. IIC (Impact Insulation Class)
The IIC (Impact Insulation Class) is a measurement of how well a material can absorb impact noise, such as footsteps.
The IIC rating is determined by measuring the sound pressure level (SPL) of impact noise that is transmitted through a material. The higher the IIC rating, the better the sound absorption.
But keep in mind, that the IIC rating only applies to impact noise, not airborne noise. However, the IIC rating is still a good indicator of how well a material can reduce noise overall. Make sure to look for a soundproofing material with a high IIC rating.
3. NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient)
NRC stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient. It is a measure of how well a material absorbs sound. The higher the NRC rating, the better the sound absorption. Soundproofing materials typically have an NRC rating of 0.5 or higher.
So if you are looking for a soundproofing material that actually works, make sure it has an NRC rating of 0.5 or higher. Especially, while soundproofing the floor in an apartment. Because the impact noise from the upstairs apartment will travel through the floor.
Also, consider that the soundproof floor is not going to completely eliminate all noise. It will, however, significantly reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted through the floor.
7 Ways To Soundproof In Apartment: Which One Is The Best?
Soundproofing the floor in an apartment is a great way to reduce noise pollution and create a more peaceful living environment.
There are several ways to soundproof a floor, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
1. Place Carpet On The Floor
A carpet is a type of floor covering made from various materials, such as wool, nylon, or synthetic fibers. It is often used in homes and offices to reduce noise levels.
Usually, carpet absorbs sound waves and reduces the amount of noise that is reflected back into the room.
All you need to do is to lay the carpet on the floor and secure it in place. This can be done by taping or stapling the edges of the carpet to the floor. Or you can also use an adhesive spray to attach the carpet to the floor.
But using adhesive spray sometimes can damage the floor. So, you should be careful when using it. However, if you use the carpet correctly, it can effectively reduce noise pollution in your apartment.
So which soundproof carpet should you use? The thicker the carpet, the better it is at absorbing sound. But if you want to use a thick carpet, make sure that it doesn’t make the room too stuffy.
Make sure the carpet is also made from materials that can absorb sound well. Wool and nylon are two of the best materials for soundproofing. So, if you can find a carpet made from these materials, it would be ideal.
2. Acoustic Rubber Mat On The Floor
A rubber mat is a piece of thick, elastic material that is used to protect flooring from wear and tear. It can also be used to reduce noise pollution by absorbing sound waves. Rubber mats are available in a variety of thicknesses and can be cut to fit any size floor.
But it usually depends on the subfloor. If you have a concrete subfloor, a thicker mat will be needed to provide enough sound absorption. So before you purchase a rubber mat, make sure to measure the thickness of your subfloor.
You can also use multiple mats to create a layered effect. This will increase the sound-absorbing ability of the mats and provide better noise reduction. However, it is important to note that mats must be firmly attached to the floor to be effective.
Otherwise, they will simply move around and do very little to reduce noise. Because of this, mats are not the best option for apartments with hardwood floors.
Soundproof rubber mats can a better option for your floor in an apparent. Or you can also use a combination of different types of soundproofing materials to create a custom solution for your apartment.
4. Hang Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains are heavy curtains that are designed to reduce noise from entering or leaving a room. They are usually made of thick, sound-absorbing materials such as velvet or acoustic foam.
Soundproof curtains can be hung from the ceiling or the walls to create a soundproof barrier between the noise source and the living space. Its small gaps between the fabric and the wall or ceiling also help to absorb sound.
Also, the weight of the curtains helps to absorb vibrations, further reducing noise. But it can be quite costly to cover all the windows in an apartment with soundproof curtains. And the weight of the curtains may make it difficult to open and close the windows.
However, soundproof curtains are an effective way to reduce noise pollution in an apartment. Because they are easy to install and don’t require any permanent changes to the apartment, they are a good option for renters.
Also, the window is the weakest point in the soundproofing of an apartment. By hanging soundproof curtains over the windows, you can significantly reduce noise pollution.
4. Apply Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is a type of soundproofing material that is made of heavy vinyl. It is used to reduce noise by absorbing sound waves and preventing them from bouncing off surfaces.
MLV is effective at reducing low-frequency noise, such as the sound of footsteps. It can be glued or taped to the floor, or placed underneath a carpet. All you need is a layer of MLV that is 1/8-inch (3.2 mm) thick.
Then, add another layer of material on top of the MLV to further reduce noise. This could be a thin layer of drywall, acoustical tile, or anything else that is heavy and dense.
Because the dense material will block some of the sounds from passing through, it is important to use a material that is not too thick or too heavy. Also, make sure that the surface is smooth so that sound waves can’t bounce off of it.
However, MLV is not effective at reducing high-frequency noise, such as the sound of voices or music. But if your neighbor’s footsteps are bothering you, MLV is a good option.
5. Soundproof Underlayment
Underlayment is a material that is applied to the floor before the installation of flooring. It is used to improve the soundproofing of the floor by absorbing impact noise and reducing airborne noise.
Underlayment is available in different thicknesses and materials, and it is important to choose the right one for your needs. Usually, a better underlayment depends on its joists, subfloor, and the type of flooring you plan to install.
So joists are the framing members that support the flooring in a building. They are usually made of wood, but can also be made of steel or concrete. On the other hand, the subfloor is the layer of material that rests on the joists and provides support for the flooring.
And the type of flooring you plan to install will also affect the type of underlayment you should use. For example, if you are installing hardwood floors, you will need a different underlayment than if you are installing carpet.
So, when choosing an underlayment, you need to consider the thickness, material, and type of flooring you plan to install.
6. Use Soundproof Insulation
Soundproof insulation materials are materials that help to reduce noise and vibration. They are typically made of foam, fiberglass, or rubber, and can be used in a variety of ways to soundproof a floor.
However, soundproof insulation materials can be expensive, and they may not be the best option for everyone. But it should be installed before new tenants move in. Because if it’s not installed, you will still hear the footsteps from upstairs.
Sometimes, people use a second layer of drywall over the first layer to add extra soundproofing. But this will make your ceiling lower, and you don’t want that. Also, you will need to use different fasteners to secure the second layer of drywall, and this can be tricky.
So make sure you hire a professional to do this job for you. Or you can use soundproofing mats, which are easier to install and don’t require any special fasteners.
7. Lay Down Acoustic Tiles Floor
Well, acoustic tiles alone are not that effective but yes to use them with Mat and underlayment can really improve the ability of soundproofing.
Having acoustic tiles will definitely improve the sound absorption quality of the flooring and also help to reduce the impact of noise it is widely used in studios, gyms, or weight rooms or specialty in sports academies to minimize the machinery vibrations such as refrigerator noise, etc, and impact of any material with the hard floor.
The very best product you can take from is Blanace foam interlocking tiles by Balaceform which are easy to set up and has exceptional resilience and exceptional moisture resistance.
If I summarize the soundproofing floor then here are things to be done with the existing floor.
- If the floor is wooden then probably you need a joist to create a strong basement.
- Make sure you lift the existing floor until you are with the subfloor.
- Set underlayment on top of the subfloor.
- Set a sandwich layer of plywood on top of the underlayment.
- Complete with the final finishing using carpet, mat, or any decorative flooring materials.
Wrap Up On How To Soundproof Floor In Apartment
So, these are some of the ways that you can soundproof your floor in an apartment. We hope that this article was helpful and provided you with enough information to make a decision on which method is best for you.
If not, don’t hesitate to reach out for more advice. And remember, if there’s one thing that all of these methods have in common, it’s that they will work better when combined together!
FAQ: 7 Simple Ways To Soundproof Floor In An Apartment
Soundproofing the floor in an apartment can be pretty difficult. That’s why many people just like you have lots of questions. That can be solved easily. That’s why I have added some of them in this article to provide appropriate answers.
Q1. How much does it cost to have a soundproof floor in an apartment?
Ans: The cost of soundproofing the floor in an apartment can vary depending on the type of material used and the size of the area to be soundproofed. But usually, an average cost for this would be around $500.
Q2. What soundproofing materials should I use in order to the soundproof floor?
Ans: There are a lot of different soundproofing materials that can be used in order to soundproof floors. Some of these materials include carpets, rugs, foam mats, cork tiles, and acoustic panels.
Q3. What are some downsides of soundproofing the floor in an apartment?
Ans: One of the main downsides of soundproofing the floor in an apartment is that it can significantly increase the cost of heating and cooling the apartment. Additionally, soundproofing materials can also make the floor more difficult to clean.