How to Soundproof Floors in Apartment: Do-It-Yourself in 3 Easy Steps!

soundproof floors

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I want to soundproof my apartment floors

It is pretty much common knowledge among those living on their own that an apartment is by far one of the nosiest places to inhabit.

There is noise coming from all directions from pets, fighting couples, loud stereos, babies... you name it.

Conversely, there is always a chance that the activities that you partake in yourself can cause issue with your neighbors as well.

No matter if you cause noise by having company or playing music, whatever sound you create in your apartment can likely be heard by your neighbors.

This is why you will want to look into potentially soundproofing your apartment, and one of the best methods to do so is to soundproof your apartment floor.

This helps absorb vibrations that are created by one's daily noise and makes it possible to block out the noise of others.

In this article we will be taking a look at the ways in which you can make your own apartment into a haven that is safe from noise, both inside and out.

We will be looking at the methods that can be used and the products you need to create a soundproof apartment floor, and without losing your security deposit on unauthorized modifications.

how to soundproof floors in apartments

How to Soundproof Floors in Your Apartment

What You'll Be Needing:

PRODUCT
DESCRIPTION
Prosource Puzzle Exercise Mat
Use this as the first layer that you will lay on the floor
LAMINATE Flooring Underlayment
Helps provide an extra sound-deadening barrier
Premium Grip Rug Pad
Provide ample protection from noise
Green Glue Compound
Has a noise-canceling power and keeps any carpeting layers in place

But First, a Notice

Even before you get started looking for ways on soundproofing floors, you will want to make sure that you are able to make the adjustments without infringing on anything that may be within your lease.

I know this sounds like it's obvious, and in most cases an apartment tenant will be fine, but in my own experience I've lived in an apartment complex that had strict, if not entirely stupid, rules.

This included modifications or “hazards” that may interfere with safety or devalue the look of the apartment.

So, if you live in one of these super-strict areas, you may well want to look into if you will be able to make any sound canceling applications to your apartment at all. 

Method 1: Paying a Professional

If you have some extra money in your budget laying around, then paying a professional to soundproof your apartment floor is likely the way to go.

Doing this, you don't have to worry about buying materials or doing any sort of “DIY” renovations.

Instead, you just have to worry about having the money to pay the professional and sitting back and letting the magic happen.

With that in mind, professional installation can be way more expensive than buying the needed materials and doing the work yourself.

Also, a lot of the professional work can be considered permanent alterations; something that is frowned upon if you are renting an apartment and don't wish to violate your lease.

However, should you have the money to spare and either own your apartment or your landlord approves the changes, then this is the easiest way for one to soundproof their apartment floors.

floor soundproofing

Method 2: The Many DIY Floor Soundproofing Techniques

So you say you are willing to get dirty and you have the money to spare on soundproofing materials as well?

Then welcome to the world of Do-It-Yourself floor soundproofing!

There are several ways in which one can soundproof their own floor, some of which are more time consuming and permanent than others.

As you may have guessed, because of the nature of some of these projects, you'll want to make sure that you are able to actually make these modifications and that you won't be in violations of your apartment lease

After all: no amount of noise-cancellation is worth being homeless.

For the majority of these methods it is easier to have a non-carpeted, bare floor to work with.

This will make it easier to apply the various pads and carpets to the floor and often requires the least amount of work.

Even so, not everyone who lives in an apartment will have this convenience available to them, which is why some of these methods can also be used on an already carpeted floor, albeit with a little more work involved.

quick fix for squeaky hardwood floors

how to soundproof a floor (DIY Techniques)

DIY Technique 1: Interlocking Floor Mats

Do you ever remember having those strange, puzzle-piece looking mats on the floors of your elementary school classroom or kids' nursery?

These mats are actually used for soundproof purposes, and can be used inside of your own apartment as well.

interlocking-floor-mat

To use these interlocking floor mats, you simply have to lay the first one down into the corner of your apartment floor and work from there, covering your floor by connecting the mats as if one large jigsaw puzzle.

Repeat until you cover the surface in which you hope to soundproof.

This technique is one of the easiest soundproofing methods for those that don't want to spend too much time and effort.

It is also one of the cheapest, with some products such as the Prosource Puzzle Exercise Mat being as low as around $20.

The downside is that interlocking floor mats are not always the best at dampening noise when compared to some other products you can use.

For the best effect, try combining the floor mats with other soundproof materials, such as...

DIY Technique 2: Acoustic Floor Underlayment

An Acoustic Floor Underlayment is kind of like a very thin layer of insulation that is usually placed underneath the carpet (or something like the aforementioned interlocking floor mats) to help provide an extra sound-deadening barrier.

For this reason, when applying an underlayment, you'll likely want to do so on top of a bare hardwood or vinyl floor, if possible.

For soundproofing purposes, one of the best underlayments that you can use is the LAMINATE Flooring Underlayment.

This underlayment is made with a vapor barrier and is 3mm thick, giving it the best potential for absorbing sound.

To apply, unroll the material on your floor, covering from wall to wall as if covering something with aluminium foil.

Secure the material to the edge of your floor using nails, if necessary.

Repeat as needed until you have the area covered, cutting the material off at the edge of the floor. 

DIY Technique 3: Carpet Padding

The best way to think of carpet padding is like a bicycle helmet for your floor, which is specifically designed to be thick enough to provide ample protection from the danger that is “noise”.

Carpets and Underpads

These carpets, while very efficient in their own right, get their most potential when layered underneath traditional carpet.

The application process for the placement of carpet padding is not unlike that of placing traditional carpet in your home:

You simply roll out the material until it meets both ends of your floor, cutting it at the edges and securing it with glue or nails (depending on preference).

You'll need a few tools to get the job done this time, plus, due to a heavier weight, you may need a friend or two to help with the installation process.

There are many different carpet padding that are available simply for the purpose of soundproofing, but our pick has to be the Premium Grip Rug Pad.

This is because these pads are ultra-durable and slip resistant, making the application process easier.

Additional Items for Soundproofing Your Apartment Floor

Glue and Other Soundproofing Compounds

While all the DIY Techniques above can be good in their own right, everything can always be better.

If you want to get even more noise canceling capability from your soundproof textures, you may want to try using a soundproofing compound.

These compounds are usually adhesives, such as glue, which help to secure items such as acoustic underlayment and soundproof carpet padding to a hard floor while also providing its own noise-canceling capability.

It does this by adding an extra layer of sorts between two hard layers, which prevents any noise from escaping either into, or out of, your apartment.

One other benefit of using compounds over something like nails is that nails actually can cause more noise, even if it is slight.

This is because the metal nails can echo vibrations, creating a bit more noise when you walk over them as opposed to compounds.

One of the best adhesives that you can buy, the Green Glue Compound, doesn't come cheap at around $95 dollars for five tubes, but it is without doubt worth every penny.

green glue review

This is because the Green Glue Compound is industrial strength, meaning that it will keep any carpeting layers in place, and has been put through multiple frequency test to assure its noise-canceling power.

Doubtful? Read more about Green Glue over here.

Your Choice of Flooring:

Living in an apartment, especially one that you rent, you may not have much of a choice in the kind of flooring you have.

In other words, you are basically stuck to work with whatever flooring is already there, if you are allowed to do any work inside your apartment at all.

Should you have the choice to add your own choice of flooring to your apartment, however, then this choice can play a large part in the amount of sound that can be heard within your abode.

how to fix squeaky hardwood floors from above

For the base layer, you obviously would want something along the lines of hardwood or tile to work with.

This will give you the easiest layer to work with when adding a soundproof layer or carpet.

For the top layer (applied after your choice of soundproofing materials, in most cases.) you will want a thick, firm carpet that isn't too spongy.

This layer of carpeting is essential as you want something that will be thick enough to absorb sound, but not so soft that it becomes difficult for you to walk on.

As far as the design and style, that is your choice as this plays little part in the effectiveness of your carpet's sound adsorption. 

You might also like: What You Need to know about Acoustic Flooring

On Soundproofing the Apartment Floor

Remember when you are laying down your soundproof flooring that you don't need to limit yourself to just the use of one material.

Carpet padding, acoustic underlayment, and interlocking pads all work best when combined with each other to create the best possible soundproofing. 

If you need help with layering, it should be done like this (from the bottom layer, up):

  • 1
    Floor base (tile, cushioned tile, hardwood)
  • 2
    Mats
  • 3
    Carpet pad or acoustic underlayment
  • 4
    Carpet
soundproofing floor layers

To reduce the amount of sound travel in your apartment, try to make sure that there are no gaps between your soundproof flooring and the wall.

If you want to be on the safe side, you can even have your carpet pad or underlayment come up your wall a bit so that it will be level with the top layer of carpeting, sealing the mat to the wall with a compound.

Finally, even though some of these methods can be easy enough to do by yourself, it is probably in your best interest to have a friend help you out with this DIY project.

It will make the process much easier and eliminate some of the frustration of working alone.

Soundproofing your apartment floor is no small undertaking, but it is one that is well worth the time and effort.

Before you know it, you will be living in an apartment that is almost completely free from the noise of your neighbors and is as peaceful as you want it!

How to Soundproof Floors in Apartment

soundproof floors

You know how noisy it can get when your neighbors upstairs move furniture around or throw a party. Here's how to soundproof floors in your apartment to save your sanity, and privacy.

Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Materials

  • Prosource Puzzle Exercise Mat
  • LAMINATE Flooring Underlayment
  • Premium Grip Rug Pad
  • Green Glue Compound

Instructions

  1. DIY Technique 1: Interlocking Floor Mats
  2. DIY Technique 2: Acoustic Floor Underlayment
  3. DIY Technique 3: Carpet Padding
  4. DIY Technique 4: Glue and Other Soundproofing Compounds
  5. Alternative: Paying a Professional
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