How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors in 3 Simple Steps
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Although achieving an entirely soundproof home is quite possible, for most people, soundproofing between existing floors can be quite difficult.
Say, for example, you live in an apartment building.
Your neighbor from either upstairs or downstairs has a tendency to play loud disrupting music every evening.
Of course, this could hinder you from having a good night's sleep. And sooner than later, you’d find yourself learning how to soundproof a floor ceiling.
Rather than toss and turn in bed all night long, or confront them and have awkward meetings from then on, you can simply get to work and soundproof the floors yourself.
Although soundproofing between existing floors can be a bit difficult, it is not that different from other soundproofing projects.
The same soundproofing materials are used and the same techniques are applied. You just have to be a bit more careful.
If you are looking to block out noise from the rooms above or below, then this article was written for you.
If you are living in your own home and simply want to soundproof between the upstairs and downstairs, then you are quite lucky.
However, the same is not to be said for someone who is living in an apartment complex.
There could be certain rules that you have to follow and will hinder you when working on any soundproofing project.
Be sure to find out what you can and cannot do before you start building and tearing things down.
As everything else is the easier part – for example, the most common way to reduce noise from below is to install acoustic mats for floors.
Before we jump into the installation, let’s learn how to find out the source of the noise.
Find out the source of the noise
The first thing you ought to do will be to find out exactly where the noise is coming from. Bear in mind that there are various types of sound.
In order to effectively soundproof your house, it is important to understand what kind of noise is disturbing you and where it is coming from.
This will help you decide on the appropriate method of soundproofing and also whether you’ll be soundproofing a ceiling in an apartment or floor.
These are also called ambient noises and are perhaps the most common noises. They are caused by voices, ringing phones, a radio playing e.t.c.
Usually, they are transmitted through the air and then through floors and ceilings in vertical buildings.
They can easily be blocked out by using soundproofing foam or any other soundproofing material.
These are usually much harder to soundproof against. Impact noise is caused when something comes into direct contact with a surface.
For example, when something falls to the floor, or when the children are jumping in their room upstairs, the noise produced will be impact sound.
The impact creates a vibration that travels through the construction elements in the floor and the ceiling.
Now that you know the kinds of noise that you are up against, it is time to do the actual soundproofing.
For you to achieve the peace that you seek between existing floors, here are a few soundproofing tips that you can follow:
How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Soundproof the ceiling
Of course, this will be effective if the noise is coming from the room above. Unfortunately, many people do not consider their ceilings when it comes to soundproofing.
There are a couple of ways that you can soundproof your ceiling. The most common one would be to add a layer of drywall to the ceiling.
Remember that the goal of soundproofing is to make a thick barrier that will absorb most if not all of the noise before it gets to the other side.
Drywalls are known to be very effective when it comes to soundproofing.
To achieve better effectiveness, you can use a double wall of drywall on the ceiling. Ensure that the drywall is well installed and in place.
Alternatively, you can use acoustic foam panels. These are usually made of different materials and structures.
Therefore, whatever you decide to go will depend on how much effectiveness you are looking to achieve.
The best part about using acoustic foam panels is that they come in different designs, shapes, colors, and sizes.
This means that you can as well decorate your ceiling with a unique pattern while at it.
A much less used material when it comes to soundproofing is the plywood sheets.
Most people would dismiss plywood because it is very lightweight in nature. However, it is quite a great material when it comes to soundproofing.
All you have to do is measure and cut the plywood according to the measurements of your ceiling.
Proceed to then attach it to the ceiling with screws.
You should be able to notice a significant amount of difference in the amount of sound passing through.
2. Soundproof the floor
If your problem is the noise coming from downstairs, then you will need to soundproof the floor.
Soundproofing the floor is just as easy as doing the same for the ceiling.
If you are willing to spend a couple of dollars for this project, then I would suggest that you consider carpeting.
Although it is certainly an expensive option, carpeting will surely reduce the amount of noise passing through, especially when it comes to impact noise.
For even better sound deadening, you can decide to have a layer of drywall installed between the floor and the carpet.
Unfortunately, carpeting may not be a great option for everyone.
Your landlord may not be too happy about the idea or you may simply be working on a tight budget.
Whichever the case, you do not have to worry. There are certainly other ways to achieve soundproof floors without spending so much.
Thick and plush rugs and mats are perhaps the second best idea. You may decide to have thick rugs like this placed on the floor.
If possible, get some that cover the entire floor. You can also get small ones, there are no problems.
The only thing that you need to bear in mind is that they have to be as thick as possible.
This way, they are able to absorb much of the sound from the room below.
You can also decide to use some furniture. If you have some old furniture somewhere that you do not use, try and move it to the affected room.
The furniture will work in the same way as the rugs and mats and help deaden the sound from downstairs.
Here are more ways to soundproof floors.
3. Use soundproofing sealant
Besides using the drywall, plywood and acoustic foam panels, there is a different way of soundproofing the ceiling.
However, it is quite a tiresome method and will need you to remove the ceiling entirely.
This method will have you using soundproofing sealant. The sealant can simply be anything made of soundproofing materials.
As I have mentioned, you will have to remove the ceiling. You will also have to remove the wood furring strips from the joists.
Once you are through with this, go ahead and fill the spaces with soundproofing sealant.
This can be made from materials such as glass fiber or cellulose fiber insulation.
Although these are the best, they are not the only options. You can as well use acoustic foam panels.
Lastly, you will have to add two layers of gypsum wallboard. Ensure that they are tightly screwed into the wall furrings and everything is layered together.
For extra soundproofing, you can use an acoustic sealant especially around the edges of the boards.
On Soundproofing Between Existing Floors
We get how inconveniencing the noise from either upstairs or downstairs can be, especially when you are simply trying to relax.
Soundproofing between existing floors does not have to be so much of a hassle. You do not have to endure all that noise either.
Simply identify where the noise is coming from and get to work. However, keep in mind that in such situations, you’ll also need to learn how to stop sound from traveling through vents as well (since most apartments have vents).
Simply identify where the noise is coming from and get to work.
With the 3 simple steps above, you should be able to achieve peace in your house in no time!
Whether you go for a sound absorbing underlayment, or you’re simply trying to reduce upstairs floor noise – there’s plenty of choice and you will be able to successfully solve the problem by just following these 3 steps.
- Soundproof The Ceiling
- Soundproof The Floor
- Use Soundproofing Sealant