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Soundproof a Floor Question and Answer

Recent Question

I recently bought three rolls of Tecsound 50 to soundproof a floor where airborne noise was particularly bad from downstairs neighbours. I filled all gaps between skirting boards and the hardboard over the floorboards with acoustic sealand. Over this went the Tecsound 50, on top of this went Duralay System 10 underlay and on top went a heavy twist pile carpet. 

However this has made zero difference and I can still hear normal conversations and snoring from the flat below and believe that the only way forward is to rip everything back up and fully pack the floorspace with acoustic mineral wool. 

Do you have a heavier grade than the 45Kg AMW? I understand that 60 to 80Kg is optimal. Also, the floorspace in question was covered by exactly two rolls of Tecsound 50 – how many slabs would be required to cover the same space (given this will be packed between joists.)

Our Answer

Thank you for your email and the feedback on the acoustic performance you have so far experienced.  As long as flanking noise is not skirting round the floor, the application of mass is the best way to help block and reduce noise from the other side.  With the application of 2 layers of Tecsound 50, 10kg per sq mtr of mass would be added to the floor.  This will have had an effect at reducing noise but noise at night is much more difficult to address particularly with low frequency snoring.

Lifting your floorboards to install acoustic mineral wool will not make a huge difference although always beneficial.  Using the correct density AMW you will achieve an improvement of around 2dB and on its own, with no additional soundproofing measures, will not be an audible improvement but worthwhile as part of an overall upgrade using additional soundproofing materials.

I fear that there is not an effective solution to reduce the noise you are experiencing from below at night because this is a time when all of your normal background noises are switched off and you are trying to sleep.  This is a time when you are more aware of noise that would not disturb you during the day.

If your budget allows and you are prepared to lift the floorboards, by all means install 100mm of AMW100 acoustic mineral wool as a loose fit between the joists.  A denser AMW will not perform any better and could make the noise issue worse.  Once installed, screw back the floorboards, seal and refit with at least two layers of Tecsound.  Then instead of using the underlay you bought that has no value at reducing airborne noise, use our 15mm QuietFloor Plus acoustic underlay instead.  This will be adding a further 15kg of mass to the floor per sq. mtr. and far more effective than the underlay you have at present.  The underlay you have is only tested to reduce impact noise which is not what you are looking for.

More information on our QF+ underlay and AMW can be viewed on our web site via the following links

QuietFloor Plus

Acoustic Mineral Wool

Current prices are also on our web site.

For more information on all of our acoustic products go to our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk or call us on 01993704981

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.

Hello world!

Hi everyone.  This is our first post to inform you of what we are doing to help all of you with noise problems.  As stockists and suppliers of a wide range of soundproofing materials designed to soundproof walls and floors, we can help you come up with a solution to reduce your noise nuisance.  The domestic side of our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk will help you decide on the best solution for you with articles on how to soundproof a wall through to how to soundproof a floor, garage or shed.  We can also supply anti-vibration pads to help reduce noise from noisy kitchen equipment such as washing machines, dishwashers and pumps.  We will also keep you up to date on a daily basis whenever possible with latest developments including noise problems and how they have been addressed so keep your eye on this blog.  For more information on our soundproofing products for the home, call us on 01993704981 or go to our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk.