Soundproofing Solutions for Walls, Windows and Curtains

Best Sound Insulation Between Floors

Is it possible to install insulation between floors? Yes, it is. Noise can be transmitted through floorings, and from neighbouring homes. These noises can be airborne or transmitted through solids (like floorings, walls, ceilings, e.t.c.).

Soundproofing between floors can help reduce these noises.

Best Materials To Soundproof between Floors

There are different types of materials that can be used to soundproof between floors lets take a look!

Flooring Underlays

Flooring underlayment is the smooth, and sometimes soft layer of floorings, that provides an even surface for flooring installation, and also helps insulate the flooring. Not all floorings come with flooring underlayment. You usually have to install the underlayment yourself.

It can be a soft layer, like foam, or a hard layer, like plywood. Both kinds of flooring underlayment (soft and hard), can be used conjunctively, in the same flooring.

 

Flooring Underlayments

 

Flooring underlays reduce thumping noises, vibrations, and other noises caused when something hits the flooring. They also reduce airborne noises.

Flooring underlay is also easy to install and are quite durable. They are often described as being resistant to mildew and mould.

 

There are different types of flooring underlays

Laminate Flooring Underlays

Most laminate floors come with an underlayment. This is because laminate floors are floating floors, and apart from reducing noise, the underlayment also provides stability to the flooring.

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When installing underlays for laminate flooring, ensure you install moisture barriers along with them. This is because laminate floorings aren’t waterproof. Water spillage could damage the underlayment.

The best sound absorbing laminate flooring underlayment is the acoustic flooring underlayment. This kind of laminate flooring underlayment is designed specifically for noise absorption, to prevent noise from permeating into other rooms. Acoustic underlays are made from cork or felt.

Vinyl Flooring Underlay

Plywood is the usual kind of underlayment for vinyl floorings. It provides structural support to vinyl floors and also helps reduce the transmission of noise. However, plywood is not a very good soundproofing material.

 

 

Hence, when using plywood as an underlayment for your vinyl flooring, make sure you use soundproof sealants along with it, to help maximise its ability to muffle and prevent noise transmission. Rubber underlays can also be used with vinyl floorings, and are better options if you want to soundproof your vinyl flooring.

Carpet Paddings

Carpet paddings, like flooring underlays, are materials placed under carpets to provide insulation and increase the life expectancy of the carpets. They also reduce noise transmission.

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The carpet paddings muffle the sounds of footsteps, and other thumping sounds on carpets, and prevent noise from being transmitted to buildings below them. Carpet padding installation isn’t a complex job. It’s quite easy. Before installation, it is important to ensure that the floor is clean, and its surface is even.

There Are Different Types Of Carpet Paddings:

  1. Flat Rubber Pads: It’s a long-lasting kind of carpet padding [1]; it can last through three carpets. However, it comes at a relatively high price.
  2. Waffle Rubber Pads: This type of padding looks like flat rubber pads, but it’s not as durable.
  3. Frothed foam pad: This type of padding consists chiefly of polyurethane chemicals. These chemicals make it very durable. It’s not as expensive as flat rubber pads, but almost as durable.
  4. Fibre Pads: Like frothed foam pads, fibre pads are usually synthetic, though there are some that are made from natural fibres. Synthetic fibres are better picks for carpet pads because they do not mould easily, unlike fibre pads made from natural fibres.

All these paddings would do well as soundproofing materials. It all depends on the type of carpet you have, the quality of the carpet padding you want, and of course, its price.

Interlocking Floor Mats

These mats are made from foam, and they look like jigsaw pieces. They come in bits and pieces but can be joined easily, to form a large floor mat. The floor mats pieces have a variety of colours, and sizes.

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They are installed on the subfloor. Before installing, however, the subfloor has to be cleaned and dried thoroughly.

Interlocking floor mats are easy to install in homes, but not very effective in reducing noise when used alone.

For optimum quality, it is best you use them with other soundproofing options, like flooring underlays.
If the home above yours makes a lot of noise, then you’ll have to soundproof your ceiling. To do this, you can make use of acoustic foam panels, dry walls, soundproof sealants, and textured paints.

 

 

Acoustic Foam Panels: Like interlocking floor mats, acoustic foam panels come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. Like with all flooring underlays, acoustic foam panels reduce the noise coming from the floor directly above it.

They muffle the noise and prevent it from being transmitted to the home directly below it.

Plasterboard Walls

Plasterboard walls are literally walls made without mortar or plaster. They are used in building interior walls and ceilings. Plasterboards act as a sound barrier between the home above and the one below it. The thicker the plasterboard, the more effective it is.

You could use a layer of drywall or two, with the ceiling.

There are different kinds of drywall. The best drywall for soundproofing is the soundproofing drywall. This type of drywall is very dense and relatively harder to cut than regular drywall.

Soundproof Sealants

Soundproof sealants are very effective in soundproof materials. To install between floors, or on ceilings, it is best you employ the services of a professional. Soundproof sealants are very effective soundproofing materials, especially between two rooms, or floors.

Textured Paints

Apart from their aesthetic uses, textured paints can be used to hide cracks on walls and ceilings, and like soundproof sealants, textured paints can also serve as a soundproof material.

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When textured paints are applied to cracks on walls and ceilings, they conceal these cracks, and prevent noise from moving into, or escaping through these cracks.

Generally, when soundproofing between floors, it is best to use materials with a high STC (Sound Transmission Class). STC is a value used to determine how good a material (flooring, wall, e.t.c.) is at dampening the effects of noise.

Hence, the higher the STC of a material, the better it is at soundproofing, and vice versa.

Glossary

  1. Carpet Paddings [Link]