What is the first thing that comes to your mind after a busy and exhausting day? ‘Yeah, it’s time to hit the hay!’ Getting a sound sleep indeed sounds exhilarating, but what if you have noisy neighbors?
What if the kids’ upstairs start having wrestling matches or the teenagers start having a late-night party with their cousins? If you have faced this at least once in your life, then trust me, you are not alone.
In such an instance, you can either choose to react to face up to your neighbors, or you can let it slide and say goodbye to your sleep. Maintaining a friendly relationship with neighbors or maintaining your sleep schedule? Tough call, isn’t it?
Either way, it’s somewhat going to be your loss. So instead, you can opt for a safer method of noise reduction- soundproof your floors! Want to know how to soundproof between existing floors? Jump into the next section!
How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors – A Definitive Guide
To make a house soundproof, the ceilings and floors are the primary targets for adding any sound-insulating material.
You can, however, choose to soundproof your walls or doors as well. We will guide you through the different approaches you can take to make your place free from unwelcomed noise.
But before knowing how to Soundproof between existing floors, let us go back to school days because it is time for some physics lessons!
You first need to know the origin of the sound. Because the type of action you need to take depends on the genesis of the noise and the pathway they follow.
There are mainly two types of sounds that resonate around your house to bother you.
Ambient or Airborne Noise
As the name suggests, airborne noises use air as their medium to navigate from your neighbor’s house to your house through floors or ceilings.
These are the very basic sounds we regularly hear, for instance, loud music, dog barking, people’s voices, and so on.
Impact Or Collision Noise
You probably have studied collision theory back in grade four. In case you are wondering if the collision theory is related, then you are right!
When an object collides with the surface, it causes both sides of the object and surface to vibrate, generating sound waves. Examples of such sound types include footfall, furniture moving, marble dropping, or door banging.
Facts: Eliminating aerial noises are way much doable and easier compared to eliminating impact noises.
Now that you are well aware of the sounds you are up against let us immediately jump into the setup process.
How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors – Step By Step Guideline
How will you decide which part of the house you need to soundproof? Very simple! In case the sound is coming from upstairs, consider soundproofing the ceiling.
Soundproof the doors or walls instead if the sound is coming from the neighbors next door. Similarly, soundproof the floors if the sound is coming from downstairs.
You don’t want to disturb your neighbors downstairs either, right? It is why it is safe to go for soundproofing of the floors for them as well.
So basically, by soundproofing, you are not just saving yourself from the uninvited guest (noise), but also protecting your neighbors from being disturbed by the noise caused by you too!
Note that the whole point of soundproofing is to increase the thickness of the ceiling or floors by incorporating more layers and dense materials.
The newly integrated materials will strengthen the mass of the barrier so that it can take in nearly most of the noise before it passes from one side to the other. So the basic trick is to add.
How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors Without Removing Ceiling?:
Soundproofing between existing floors is a great way to reduce noise pollution. Before beginning the job, measure the distance between each floor joist and prepare the proper materials. You can then install a double or triple layer of acoustic foam insulation and finish with a layer of roofing tar or sealant. If you’re looking to soundproof a larger area, like between the floor joists of two or more floors, our team at Home Master can help. Contact us today for a free consultation!
Soundproof The Ceiling Between Existing Floors
Here are a few ways you can make the ceiling soundproof the existing ceiling without the hassle of tearing up the old drywall. The ceilings are usually made of joists that often cause an impact.
Using A Drywall
Adding an extra layer of drywall is probably the most common way of soundproofing ceilings. Drywalls are made from gypsum, ceramics and are viscoelastic, which work together very well to reduce noise flow.
Follow the steps to know how to attach drywall to your ceiling.
First of all, affix the hat channels through the ceiling joists. Make sure they are 1-2 inches apart; this creates air pockets. The air pockets are responsible for trapping the noise that passes through.
In between the joists, use soundproofing materials to fill in the holes or gaps. If the gaps are not sealed properly, the sound will pass through the openings.
So, by doing it, you are making sure the noise energy weakens while it tries to pass through the layer of the drywall.
Finally, attach the drywall.
To obtain better and effective noise insulation, you can choose to install two drywalls as well.
Pro tip: As the soundproofing material itself has some weight, you can add additional joists to support the materials.
Using A Drop Ceiling
A drop ceiling is a metal frame suspended ceiling and carries foam tiles within it. It acts as a barrier and ensures that the sound from upstairs is contained and doesn’t have any direct entry to the room below.
Using a Plywood Sheet
Plywood sheets are lightweight sheets with noise dampening properties. It is the safest and easiest way to make a ceiling soundproof. Because of their lightweight, they can be handled and installed easily.
You just need to cut the plywood accordingly to the exact measurement of the ceiling and screw it to the ceiling.
Using An Acoustic Foam Panel
These are sound-absorbing panels that are made up of polyurethane foam. Of course, these porous layers help to reduce noise, but they use a different mechanism.
The other layers like drywall, drop ceiling, plywood act by blocking the noise, whereas acoustic foam panels act by absorbing the reverberating sound.
These panels are very suitable for recording studios because they absorb any background noise, remove echoes, control sound resonances, and optimize speech and internal sound quality inside a room.
Extras: Other than just soundproofing, the drop ceiling and acoustic foam panels have an added advantage.
They serve as dual-purpose layers. These extra layers are highly diversified, i.e., they come in different sizes, colors, shapes, and patterns. Which means you can use them to decorate your houses as well.
Drywall, drop ceiling, and plywood sheets are good at tackling any sort of airborne noise. What about impact noise, then?
Using a Resilient Channel
Resilient channels are thin metal rods that lie between a ceiling and additional layers like drywall. These channels make sure that the contact between ceiling and drywall is less.
A minimal contact area will mean that the sound wave that will travel from the floor upstairs to your room will be limited. In short, it will weaken the sound waves.
Note: This isn’t as easy as it looks because it might fall anytime on top of you if not installed correctly. So be extra careful when opting for any additional layer on your ceiling.
Make sure it is fixed properly in place to avoid any major blunders and such occurrences.
Using Acoustic Sealant And Replacing The Existing Ceiling
Other than using drywall, plywood, drop ceiling, or acoustic foam, there is a good way of blocking sound from above.
And that is to remove the existing drywall or materials on the ceiling and replace it with a new one. It is okay not to remove the old drywall.
However, if you feel like changing the ceiling, feel free to do so. After all, a new one is always better than the old one.
But for that, you need to take an extra load on yourself. See the steps to know if you are ready to take this task:
- At first, tear off the existing drywall
- Then remove the wood furring strips from the ceiling joists. This way, remove the ceiling
- Post removal; fill up the remaining gaps with acoustic sealant.
- Incorporate the necessary materials like two additional layers of drywall or gypsum wallboard
- Screw the layer tightly to the furring strips, and you will be good to go.
Note: It is not feasible to replace the ceiling if you live in a rental house. If it’s your own house, then give it a shot!
Soundproof The Flooring
Soundproofing the floors is comparatively easier than soundproofing ceilings, and there are various ways you can choose to do it. We will go through a few of the easy ways of doing so.
Using Interlocking Floor Mats
The use of an interlocking floor mat is the easiest way to soundproof a floor. Although these are mats, they are more like padded tiles.
Setting up the mats will give a feel of solving a puzzle because the pieces need to be fitted and interlocked with one another from the sides.
These are highly durable materials, so you do not have to worry about changing them.
But sadly, interlocking mats alone will not give a full soundproof environment; you might need to have additional paddings like carpet padding or underlayment.
Using Carpet Padding
To get rid of the impact noises, using carpet padding is a great option. The thick surface will prohibit the entry of sound from downstairs.
But, here is the catch; if you are on a tight budget, you might need to reconsider. Carpeting is extremely expensive, and doing it on the entire house can cost an arm and leg.
As an alternative, you can use thick rugs or mats over the floors. These are fairly reasonable can won’t cost a fortune to buy for the entire house.
Furniture can act as a sound-absorbing material. It can sop up the vibrations caused by an impact noise and deaden sound from downstairs.
A combination of thick rugs or mats and furniture can dampen external noise to a very high extent.
And the carpet, on the other hand, blocks noise coming from the other side. So don’t you think using both the noise blockers will give a good result for sure?
Using A Drywall
Of course, carpets and mats are a good choice for soundproof floors. But a more efficient approach would be to use drywall. Drywalls can be added to floors as well, especially if the floor is a concrete one.
It will give the same effect as ceilings. Along with reducing noise transmission, drywalls can aid in the maintenance of temperature. Drywalls can absorb a certain amount of heat.
So during the summer season, you can maintain a cold environment inside the room with the help of drywall.
Using Floor Underlayment
Flooring underlayment is one of the most expensive yet efficient methods of soundproofing.
However, if you can afford it, then you must go for it. Underlayment gives you a smooth and aesthetic surface for floor installation and provides great soundproofing facilities.
Underlayment is usually easier and done on naked floors, so if you have any tile or carpet, you need to pull out the extra layers first.
To be completely free from airborne and impact noises, use acoustic mats along with acoustic underlayment. It will work like magic!
You need to keep an essential thing in mind: you cannot dampen the sound thoroughly using drywall or plywood.
So what you can do is, after adding drywall or plywood to your ceiling or floor, you can add an extra layer of soundproofing compounds.
Install A Floating Floor For Sound Insulation:
Soundproofing between existing floors is a great way to reduce noise from above and below. A floating floor can install quickly and easily, so you can get the job done fast. Even better, this type of flooring also looks great, so your home will look more updated while preserving its acoustic properties.
The floor is waterproof, so it won’t absorb sound as other floors would. Additionally, soundproofing between existing floors is a great way to reduce noise from people walking above and below. So, if you’re looking to soundproof your home and reduce noise from above and below, a floating floor is the perfect solution!
Use Noise Proofing Compound:
No matter how soundproofing your home may be, noise from outside sources can still leak in. To soundproof between existing floors, use a noise-blocking compound like Soundproofing Compound. This product is easy to apply and will help reduce noise from outside sources. Keep in mind that this product will need time to work – plan on applying it every few months or so for best results!
Use of Soundproofing Compounds
Compounds like Green Glue and Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) can reduce the impact of sound within the floors. You can apply these compounds either on your ceiling or floor to alleviate any noise.
Green Glue Soundproofing Compound
Green Glue is a non-hazardous and odorless soundproofing compound that is completely environment-friendly.
Using and handling this compound is as easy as handling a normal glue. To figure out how to use it, go through the steps.
- Take a caulk gun, fill the gun with the glue
- Apply the glue wherever needed. You can apply it in between the additional layers of the ceiling or floors.
- Wait some time to allow the green glue to sit
- Wipe off the excess glue
See, it isn’t that difficult. But you need to wait at least 30 days for the glue to fully show its performance.
After 30 days, you will notice a huge difference because when it reaches its peak performance, it can reduce up to 90% of the sound transmission in and out of the room.
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass Loaded Vinyl is considered to be the best pick to block any sound. It comprises a great mass to width ratio, which implies that just a layer of it will give a very high level of sound insulation.
Be it a floor or ceiling, adding MLV will make the surface extremely thick for which sound will not pass through.
Don’t just stay put and wait for your neighbors to stop the noise on their own. Resort to soundproofing ceiling, floors, or walls to lessen the intrusion of noise and its flow through or into your house.
Soundproof The Windows Or Doors
Assuming that your ceiling and floors are completely soundproof, what if you still hear noises? It is very normal to face a scenario like this. This might be because of the doors or windows.
If you notice carefully, you can see there remains a gap between your door and the floor surface.
Sound can easily transmit through these gaps. To block that, you can use a door sweep in the gap area. This will block the sound.
And as far as the windows are concerned, acoustic curtains can absorb and block the sounds coming through the window.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is There Any Other Way Other Than Soundproofing To Eliminate The Loud Noise?
Soundproofing is undoubtedly a reliable way of eliminating loud noises. However, one alternative might help you mask loud noise in your neighborhood, and that alternative is adding sound.
Yes, you heard it right. Adding a bit of white noise might relieve you a bit of the noisy environment. White noise is a rhythmic sound that includes all frequencies (low, medium, and high) of the same strength.
This produces a soothing sound that can help you relax in a noisy environment.
There are a few materials that can use to make floor soundproofing: carpet, foam insulation, vinyl flooring, hardwood flooring, and laminate flooring. Each of these materials has its own benefits, so it’s important to choose the right one for your home.
For example, carpet is a great choice if you want to reduce noise from other rooms in the house, while vinyl flooring is good if you’re looking for an easy installation and overall durability.
There are multiple soundproofing methods available, but generally, soundproofing materials will be inserted between the floors either through joists or through insulation.
The Acoustic Society of America website offers a directory of acoustic experts. Alternatively, you can contact a professional installer or contractor to help with your project.
A peaceful environment is of utmost importance, especially when you can barely keep your eyes open or when you have an energy drain. Such a disturbance like this in your day-to-day life will nothing be short of the worst nightmare.
Now that you know how to soundproof between existing floors, you have the remedy of getting rid of the unwanted noise that can ruin your peaceful day at your home.
So stop tossing and turning over your bed, and don’t let anything stand between you and your perfect sleep. Soundproof your floors and be unruffled by any external noise!
Here’s to having tranquility in your own abode!