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QuietBoard Acoustic Flooring

Our QuietBoard, a high density acoustic flooring is a big hit with one of our northern customers. They consistently use the QuietBoard floating floor system as their preferred option when changing buildings into multi-occupied residences. QuietBoard is used along with our R10, a resilient recycled rubber isolating layer designed to absorb vibrations therefore reduce impact noise through floors which in turn is on top of a 2mm layer of SBM5 soundproofing mat designed to seal up the joints of existing floors.
When this system is used along with a decoupled upgraded ceiling and an acoustic infill between the joists of 100mm of AMW100 acoustic mineral wool, exceptionally good sound testing results are obtained. Using the QuietBoard system of soundproofing for separating floors is not the cheapest solution to help meet Part E compliance for the reduction of noise through separating floors but it is by far the most reliable as long as it is installed in accordance with the instructions supplied with each order. A higher initial outlay will be a far better investment than opting for a cheaper alternative that does not perform and leading to more expense in analysing the reason for the failure before putting it right. Not to mention the delay in making the property available for use.
So if you are a construction company about to get involved in the change of use of a building into flats have a look at our system to meet Part E compliance for separating floors via this link


If the link does not work simply copy and paste it into the address bar of your browser.  Selecting this system will be one of the best decisions you make concerning sourcing the best materials for the contract.

Soundproofing a floor to Part E Standard #3

A previous Blog was an introduction to floor soundproofing and mainly talked about flanking noise and how to deal with it.  That Blog also referred to upgrading the soundproofing of a separating floor in flats to comply with the Building Regulations for the control of noise through floors.  These regulations are contained within a document called Part E Resistance to the Passage of Sound.  For a lot of new build and change of use when a building has been converted into flats, the floors have to be tested to prove compliance.  But in the case of upgrading an existing separating floor no testing is required.  This is because there is no legal obligation to bring an existing floor within a flat to comply with current regulations for noise control.  Having said that there are still many flat owners that would like to upgrade their floors and if they have the co-operation of their neighbour beneath, then it should be possible to upgrade to a good level of soundproofing.

First off, if there is a lathe and plaster ceiling attached to the ceiling below whatever you do not remove it!  Lathe and plaster ceilings are better than the plasterboard replacements often used instead.  What should be done is simply screw up another layer of 15mm high density Acoustic Plasterboard that will add mass and secure the plaster from detaching from the lathes as sometimes happens when it has been up there for a long time.

If it is simply a plasterboard ceiling then this can be removed and replaced with 30mm (2 x 15mm) of Acoustic Plasterboard decoupled from the underside of the joists with 15mm deep Resilient Bars.  Inset ceiling lights should be avoided because these will let noise through just as easily as leaving a hole in the ceiling.  All lighting should be surface mounted with holes for wiring sealed with Acoustic Sealant.  More information our Resilient Bar system including installation instructions can be viewed on our web site.  This work on the ceiling is all that is required from below.  The rest of the soundproofing can now be installed from above.  For flat owners that do not have the co-operation of neighbours above, carrying out the work just described will reduce noise through the floor from above and if you can also install 100mm of Acoustic Mineral Wool (AMW100) as a loose fit to sit on top of the Resilient Bars, it will be difficult to improve on the soundproofing carried out from below.

Now we can go to the work that can be carried out from above and the same applies here.  If you do not have the co-operation of the neighbour beneath, the following soundproofing work will be the best you can achieve and certainly worthwhile.

First of all remove the skirting boards and lift the floorboards to expose the joists beneath then insert as a loose fit 100mm of AMW100 Acoustic Mineral Wool that is a Rockwool type product but produced to s specific density to give maximum sound absorption.  Now if the floorboards are in good condition, refit them with screws strategically placed so the boards don’t squeak when walked on.  Ensure that any gaps around the perimeter of the floor are sealed with Acoustic Sealant.  If the floorboards are not fit for re-use, replace them with 18mm QuietBoard, a high density tongued and grooved acoustic floorboard.  Once the floor is laid and sealed, overlay with 2mm of SBM5 Soundproofing Mat loose laid wall to wall with the joints tight together.  Once that s down then overlay with 10mm of R10, a recycled rubber resilient insulation for supporting a floating floor.  This has to be laid across the entire floor with the joints tightly butted.  Once this is down, a floating floor of QuietBoard can be laid on top but this time with a 5mm gap around the edges that can be sealed with Acoustic Sealant.  All that now remains is to refit the skirting boards so as to be just clear of the floating floor.  About 1mm is sufficient and this gap does not require sealing.

That’s it.  Job done and now you can get on with fitting the floor covering and for best results, make it carpet on top of a felt underlay.

All of the above soundproofing can be carried out as a DIY exercise by anyone used to handling small tools and full installation instructions to soundproof a floor can be viewed on our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk

Upgrade Sound Insulation of Floor

Although originally developed as part of a system of soundproofing to comply with the Part E regulations for the control of noise through floors, our R10 recycled rubber resilient insulation is often the preferred option by domestic flat owners that wish to upgrade the soundproofing of their floors.  R10 is a resilient insulation designed for use beneath a floating floor to reduce impact noise as well as airborne noise.  The floating floor can be our high density QuietBoard, a tongued and grooved acoustic floor board or engineered flooring at least 18mm thick which is popular these days.  Fitting a floating floor system with our R10 directly on top of an existing floor will give an immediate benefit in sound loss through the floor but for even better results, AMW type acoustic mineral wool should also be fitted loosely between the joists.  More information including installation instructions for all of our noise control products can be viewed on our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk

Soundproofing Floors #2

Our last article was an introduction into noise through floors and ceilings and how to reduce the noise nuisance.  This article follows on from that and will now talk about flanking noise that is noise that skirts around the floors and ceilings and can reduce the effectiveness of any noise control measures that may have been taken or about to be started.

Flanking noise is noise that can travel through other parts of the building and is usually through lightweight walls such as breeze or Thernalite type walls that form the inner skin of structural cavity walls.  These walls are more common post war and more recently, breeze block walls have been superseded by the even lighter Thermalite type blocks.  Although breeze or clinker blocks allow flanking noise through them, the Thermalite type blocks are even lighter and will allow flanking noise an easier route through.  Installing blown mineral wool into the cavity will help reduce this noise problem otherwise, the cavity walls will have to be treated from inside the room and the best way to treat these is to apply either our 50mm Thin Wall soundproofing solution or the even thinner QuietPanel system at only 27.5mm thick.

So if the property is of pre-war construction, it is likely that you will achieve a greater degree of soundproofing due to flanking noise being less likely to be an issue.

Our next article will concentrate on bringing a separating floor up to the minimum requirements for noise control.

Noise Control through Floors

This article is going to be the start of a regular series where we discuss noise through floors and ceilings and solutions that can be adopted.

Many flats were constructed in the days before noise control formed part of the Building Regulations and in many cases were the subject of a change of use.  This is when large houses and other buildings have been turned into flats for multi-occupation.  It is this type of property, usually with timber suspended floors that often suffer from noise created by neighbours below and above.  Noise from neighbours through floors and ceilings is not only disturbing but can also be injurious to health as is often discussed in media these days.

If you have the co-operation of your neighbours and are prepared to put up with the disruption of removing floors and ceilings, separating floors can be upgraded to comply with the current Building Regulations for the control of  noise from neighbours.  On the other hand, if you can only treat the problem from your side of the divide, that is possible too but of course, will not reach the same degree of soundproofing but will still be beneficial at reducing the noise nuisance.

Although we will discuss solutions to reduce noise nuisance from affecting you, it must be realised that noise at night will almost certainly be heard, no matter how much attention paid to installing noise control measures.  Introducing properly installed noise control measures should reduce any noise being heard to much more acceptable levels and if the noise at night is constant, usually within a short space of time the body gets used to it and will no longer disturb sleep.  People living next to busy roads for instance nearly always go straight to sleep.  It is when they move from a quiet environment to a noisier one sleep problems will be encountered because they are not used to it.  The trick is not to let it bother you, just relax and you will be surprised at how quickly you will become used to the noise.

Loud noise will always be heard such as shouting or music being played at high volumes.  This is anti-social behaviour and if having a quiet word with the neighbours does not resolve the problem then you have to refer the matter to the local authority who have the powers to deal with the problem but this should be your last resort.  It is always better to negotiate rather than confrontate  (new word just invented because it rhymes).  When presented with the problem of excessive noise from neighbours, rather than go pounding on their door and having an angry confrontation (correct spelling) with them, instead, politely ask them back to your place for a drink so that you can discus the problem and possible solutions.  In many cases, neighbours may be unaware and mortified they are disturbing others and will take steps to address the problem.  That way you will remain friends with the neighbours which is something to be valued.  Friendly neighbours are like gold dust and should be cherished.

Look out for our next article when we will discuss bringing an existing separating floor into compliance with the Building Regulations for the control of noise.

How to Soundproof a Party Wall

Until now we have been discussing the type of noise that can be heard through party walls such as airborne and flanking noise and we have detailed how to address flanking noise.  Now we will talk about how to soundproof a party wall.  To obtain the best results when soundproofing any wall loss of space will be required and the more space that can be lost the better the soundproofing results will be.  Also, if the wall to be treated has a chimney breast the results are not going to be as good as a wall without a chimney breast.  This is because a chimney breast is directly linked to the other side of the wall and so will allow flanking noise ease of passage and flanking noise is noise that skirts round any effectively installed acoustic treatment.  It is possible to totally enclose the chimney breast behind an independent soundproofed wall then that would give good noise reducing results but rarely is this possible because too much space would be lost.

We will commence with describing the most efficient method of soundproofing a wall and we will assume it is a normal wall with no impediments although the same treatments can be applied to walls with a fireplace but for best results, the fireplace should be bricked up with high density blocks first.  The best treatment that will soundproof a wall is the independent stud wall and this will take up just under 6 inches (150mm) of room and is installed at least 25mm away from the wall to be soundproofed.  An acoustic infill of mineral wool is installed then the frame is clad with 30mm (2 x 15mm) of high density Acoustic Plasterboard.  For an enhanced result, SoundBlocker Quilt can be used instead of mineral wool and more information on this can be viewed on our web site.

If the amount of space required for the independent stud system cannot be spared then the next best thing is to fix the stud directly to the wall which will save at least 25mm.  But fixing anything less than 2 inches (50mm) deep stud will not be worthwhile.  The rest of the acoustic treatment remains as detailed above with the exception of fixing the plasterboard.  When stud is directly fixed to walls it is essential the acoustic plasterboard is decoupled to reduce flanking noise and this is done by screwing Resilient Bars across the stud frame then screwing the plasterboard to the bars.  As the name suggests, the Resilient Bars then act as a flexible decoupler that isolates the plasterboard from the frame and wall making the sound insulation of the wall more efficient but not as efficient as an independent stud system.

If even the direct fixed stud system is losing too much space the next system that can be used is the M20AD system referred to in an earlier article and the M20AD system will take up no more than 2 inches (50mm) of space.  This system breaks away from mechanical fixings and comprises three layers that are glued.  The first layer is just over ¾ inch (20mm) thick and this is the M20AD sound insulation that is a high density recycled rubber sound insulation that is bonded to the wall using our aerosol contact adhesive.  Once the M20AD has been securely fixed, two layers of 15mm high density acoustic plasterboard is then glued on top using the same adhesive.  More information on the M20AD system along with comprehensive installation instructions can also be viewed on our web site.

A more recent solution and the thinnest that can be installed so by definition, the least efficient soundproofing system is QuietPanel at 27.5mm thick.  The QuietPanel system was introduced due to popular demand because in many cases a noise reducing system for party walls is required but space is limited due to the close proximity of windows or doors so the QuietPanel system was introduced for those instances for those with limited space and know this is the least efficient system to soundproof a wall but realise that something is better than nothing.  QuietPanels are supplied as a one part application and are simply screwed to any masonry wall using screws and plugs.

Now you have been given an insight into what is involved when considering upgrading the soundproofing of a party wall and I hope this article and the previous three have proved useful.

Flanking noise through post war party walls

Previously I wrote about flanking noise around the party walls of pre-war houses so now I will talk about post-war houses.  These are normally built with a cavity in the external structural walls and it is this cavity that can allow the easy passage of noise around the party wall into adjoining homes.  We have already discussed how to address flanking noise through floors and ceiling

The problem with cavity walls is it is not only the cavity allowing the free passage of noise around the party wall but the internal masonry skin is often of low density blocks.  In the early days these would be known as “breeze” blocks but in more recent years they have been replaced with even lower density blocks called “Thermalite” blocks.  The Thermalite blocks are more efficient at allowing noise to be transmitted through them into adjoining rooms and are a particular problem with flats when flanking noise travels up and down through these blocks into flats above and below but the soundproofing of flats is an issue I will discuss in a later article.  The best way to soundproof these walls to reduce flanking noise transmission is to install a 50mm M20AD solution but can be expensive so should only be installed in extreme cases where the flanking noise is more of a nuisance.  If you still want to look at the M20AD solution to reduce flanking noise through a wall go to our web page via the following link M20AD To soundproof a wall.

And back to the cavities within the walls and the best way to treat these is to have blown mineral wool installed that will have the advantage of giving additional thermal insulation.  Other types of thermal insulation such as injected foam or polystyrene will not be as efficient at absorbing the noise and could actually compound the problem making the noise being heard even clearer.

More information on how to soundproof a party wall can be found on our web page via this link soundproof a party wall.

This article explains how flanking noise uses the cavities and lightweight masonry of walls to gain access.  More about how to soundproof a party wall will be published in the near future.  If you want to see how we can help soundproof a home or garage, go to our web site via this link.  Soundproof a home.

Domestic Pump Noise and Soundproofing Solution

Domestic water pumps for supplying showers and taps are extremely noisy and very disturbing when being used at night.  Too many people do not take this into account when having one fitted and often have them fitted in cupboards or beneath baths where space is limited.  It is only after installation that they become aware of the noise problem these pumps give off but the pumps are so badly sited it is impossible to install an effective soundproofing solution to reduce the noise.  Most of these pumps are small so it is tempting to fit them into tight spaces where they will be unobtrusive but don’t do it because it will be a mistake.

Instead when considering the purchase of one of these pumps, also think about where it should be sited so that it can be acoustically treated to reduce much of the noise the pump would otherwise give off.  The best place is in a cellar if there is one or alternatively the utility room, the loft or anywhere else where there is plenty of space. 

Now for the best way to limit the amount of sound that the pump will emit.  For best results the pump should be sited in an area where it can be enclosed in a box that will be large enough not to allow too much heat build up.  It is not usually necessary to allow for ventilation because these pumps usually only run for short periods of time.  Once the site has been established prepare a resilient base for it as follows.

Cut to size a 10mm AV (anti-vibration) mat cut to the dimensions that the inside of the box will cover and glue it to the floor.  If the site is in a loft screw down a 25mm thick MDF panel onto the joists and make it large enough to support all the sides of the box.  If the loft is already boarded the additional MDF board will not be necessary.  Once the AV mat is glued down, glue on top of it a concrete patio slab available for a few pounds from your nearest DIY superstore, garden centre or concrete slab producer if you have one in your area.  Now glue another 10mm layer of AV mat on top of the slab followed by a ply or MDF board thick enough to take the screws the pump will be screwed on with.  The enclosure should be made using 18mm MDF and lined on the inside walls and top with 32mm sound insulation remembering to make the box large enough so as not to allow too much heat build-up.

Holes will have to be cut into the box to allow the pipes access to the pump and these should be about 6mm larger than the diameter of the pipes.  The pipes themselves should be flexibly fitted to the pump and not rigidly and the holes in the box sealed with flexible Acoustic Sealant.  If necessary, the box can be assembled with screws so that it can be taken apart easily should the pump require any future attention.

The soundproofing products that we can supply are as follows.

AV Mat 1m x 1m x 10mm

B6 Sound Insulation 1200 x 900 x 32mm

Acoustic Sealant in 380ml cartridges

Aerosol Contact Adhesive

More information on these can be viewed on the Domestic side of our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk or go directly to our web page on how to soundproof a pump via this link https://www.keepitquiet.co.uk/pump_noise.html

More on noise through a party wall and flanking noise

As I have mentioned before, noise though party walls takes different forms and those which are loud are anti-social noise that can only be addressed by outside authorities.  From now on we will talk about normal levels of noise such as talking that should not be heard during the daytime.  Assuming it is normal levels of noise that have to be addressed we have to also think about flanking noise.  Now flanking noise is noise that skirts around the party wall via the hollow sections beneath floorboards and also above the ceiling.  With pre-war buildings these are usually the only areas that can be treated to reduce flanking noise transmission because there are no cavities in the structural walls that would otherwise allow the free transmission of noise.  Chimney breasts and internal attached walls are other areas that can allow flanking noise but are usually impractical to effectively soundproof.

Firstly we will deal with pre-war houses and flats that usually have solid structural walls that do not require additional treatment.  This means the floor and ceiling and these should be treated before doing anything with the party wall to reduce flanking noise in those areas.  With the floor it will be necessary to lift the floorboards closest to the party wall and insert between the joists immediately adjacent to the wall Acoustic Mineral Wool.  If the joists are supported by the party wall then install enough to cover 1200mm from the wall and along the space between the joists.  If, on the other hand, the joists are parallel to the wall, then simply insert the acoustic mineral wool in the space between the first two set of joists then replace the floorboards and screw them down.  Once refitted, overlay with 2mm of SBM5 soundproofing mat that will seal up the joints of the floorboards.

The same infill treatment using acoustic mineral wool should be carried out on the ceiling but if it is a top floor bedroom ceiling there may already be thermal insulation in between the joists and it is not wise to remove it.  The ceiling itself can be upgraded with an additional layer of 15mm high density acoustic plasterboard that will add mass and therefore improve the sound blocking performance of the ceiling.  Now the floor and ceiling have been acoustically treated we can look at what can be done to soundproof the party wall and I will cover this in my next article.  In the meantime if you require any further information on how to soundproof a party wall go to our web page via this link  soundproof a party wall.

This article is just an introduction to flanking  noise that can skirt round  party walls.  More about how to soundproof a party wall will be published in the near future.  If you want to see more about how we can help soundproof a home go to our web site via this link.  Soundproof a home.

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