How Do You Soundproof A Floor?

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Floors are a typical source of noise. The value of soundproof flooring is evident if you live above noisy neighbours, but even ground floor rooms can benefit from a little extra soundproofing.

This is because sound-proof flooring not only minimises vibrations before they enter walls and adjacent rooms, but it also lessens sound vibrations that enter your room.

In this article, we discuss how to soundproof a floor (3 different methods) to help you soundproof your own floors yourself. But before we do that, let’s take a quick look at the 2 types of noise.

How do you soundproof a floor?

Types of noise

Impact noise and airborne noise are the two types of noise that might be reduced by soundproofing your flooring. To ensure that a high amount of noise is decreased, the two sound transmission types must be handled simultaneously.

Airborne noise

Airborne noise refers to any type of noise that travels through the air. A good example of this type of noise is loud music or raised voices from noisy neighbors. Airborne noise also includes animal noises, such as a dog keeping you up with its barking.

Also, if you can regularly hear your neighbors TV, even through the floor, using soundproofing solutions can help to isolate these noises and keep them out of your home. 

Impact noise

Impact noise is different from airborne noise, as impact noise is usually generated by vibrations, often from objects impacting the floor. For example, if you can sometimes hear your neighbors walking around, soundproofing your flooring can help to muffle these sounds.

If the flooring is particularly thin, you may even be able to hear (or even feel) your neighbors phone vibrating in a different apartment. 

If you’re the neighbor who usually creates the noise, soundproofing your floor can help to prevent confrontation with your neighbors; keeping everyone happy.

If you like working out and enjoy lifting weights in the comfort of your own home, you should know that dropping weights onto the floor will create a lot of impact noise. Soundproofing your flooring is a great way to avoid this.

How to soundproof your floor:

Below we’ve highlighted the very best methods of soundproofing flooring in your own home. Some methods are easier than others, and some methods are far less expensive than others, too.

If you’re renting the place where you live, it’s best to ask permission from your landlord before employing any soundproofing techniques. You never know, they may offer to help pay for it!

Method 1 – Insulate your floorboards

What you’ll need

  • Insulation material
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker pen
  • Insulation saw or cutting tool
  • PPE (mask and gloves)
  1. Start by lifting the floorboards and measuring the distance between each of the floor joists. Add an inch to your measurement to ensure that the insulation you have bought fits snugly.
  2. Next, cut the insulation to suit the space using the insulating saw (a knife or scissors may also work; just make sure they are sharp enough).
  3. Insert the insulation in its proper location. Gently press it in between the joists and on top of the subfloor or ceiling panel beneath. There is no need to glue it down.
  4. After that, you can replace the flooring and should notice a reduction in noise.

Method 2 – Install a floating floor

A floating floor is a freestanding floor that is neither fastened nor nailed to the subfloor. It is able to float freely on the floor below, allowing for vibration absorption and flexibility.

Floating floors are supported by absorption pads and are not attached to the joists. This helps to prevent vibrations from passing through the joists.

What you’ll need 

  • High durometer neoprene pads
  • Noiseproofing compound glue
  • Claw hammer
  • Handsaw/jigsaw or similar

Directions

  1. Lift your floorboards. If you have a subfloor, you’ll need to remove it to gain entry to the joists below.
  2. Cut tiny pieces of neoprene pads to go along the top of the joists after measuring across them. To soundproof the joists, cover them completely with the strips (don’t attempt to space them apart), because your floor will not sit properly when reinstalled.
  3. Using noise-reducing compound glue, adhere the neoprene strips to the joists.
  4. Replace all floors, but don’t nail or glue them to the joists; instead, let them sit on the pads. You should also make sure that your flooring does not rest flush against the wall; leave a quarter-inch gap (which the skirting board will hide) to allow for movement—you may need to cut a little out of your floorboards with a saw to make this gap.
  5. Remove the skirting board and replace it.
  6. Have fun with your new silent floor!

Method 3 – Lay carpet

This is probably the most straightforward method and involves the smallest amount of work. This is because you don’t have to lift your actual floor or subfloor, it just sits on top.

  1. Calculate how much padding you’ll need by measuring your room or existing carpet.
  2. Roll the material out until it reaches the edges of your floor.
  3. To suit the floor area, cut the padding at the edges with a knife.
  4. Glue or nail the cushioning in place.