Soundproofing Solutions for Walls, Windows and Curtains

5 Ways To Soundproof Between Floors

Noise is so irritating, it can make someone ‘go bananas’. When it becomes too much, one thing to do is keep the noise out. Today we will be focusing on how best to reduce noise between floors, whether it is your upstairs neighbours, your downstairs neighbours or both that has denied you some peace.

If it is your upstairs neighbours that is the cause of the noise, then you’ll need to soundproof your ceiling, because you cannot barge into someone’s room to soundproof their floors just because they disturb you with noise.

If it is your downstairs neighbours, then you might need to soundproof your floor.

To locate the noise you will need to listen closely and follow the sound till you find the exact spot it is coming from. Find out if the noise is heard from that specific spot or around a particular area. You might need to go outside too if it is a flanking noise.

Now, how do we keep the noise coming from your upstairs neighbour to stay upstairs?

Ways To Reduce Noise Between Floors

Soundproofing The Ceiling

Plasterboard Layer

There are many ways to soundproof your ceiling. The common and often used method is by adding a layer of plasterboard to the ceiling. This is done by building a frame and covering one side of the frame with a plasterboard using a good adhesive glue to create a barrier between the ceiling and the plasterboard which will stop the noise before it gets into the room.

 

how best to reduce noise between floors

 

It is important to know that the plasterboard comes with different thicknesses. If you still experience a little noise, you can decouple the plasterboard by adding another frame to the first and adding the plasterboard. The air gap created between the ceiling and plasterboard will make it hard for the noise to pass through.

Acoustic Foam Panel

A great alternative to soundproofing your ceiling [1] is to use an acoustic foam panel. What it does is absorb the noise coming through the ceiling. It also reflects excessive noise.

The wonderful thing about using acoustic foam panels is that it comes in diverse shapes, sizes, colours, materials and beautiful designs. This can be a great opportunity to design your ceiling to your taste.

Insulating The Ceiling

This is done by adding a lot of mass material to the ceiling to dampen the noise. The dampening material converts the sound energy coming through the ceiling to a very little amount of energy.

Soundproofing The Floor

First, you need to figure out the type of floor or what was used to make the floor. This will help you decide on the type of soundproofing materials or methods to use.

If the floor was made with concrete which is denser than other floor types, it will block some of the noise itself. If it was made with floorboard, then more work will be put in here.

Lay carpets/Rugs

This will do great if the floor is a hard surface like concrete or tile. Noise finds it easier to pass through hard surfaces, but something as soft as a carpet or rug will absorb the noise.

To make the carpet to be very effective it is best to install an underlay on the floor; which is placed on the sub-floor before the main floor is placed before the carpet is placed finally.

Mass Loaded Vinyl

This is a dampening material. It is a very dense material that makes it a great soundproofing material choice.

Aside from its dense property, it is also flexible and has insulating properties which reduce noise and kill vibrations and rattling. It can also be used for floor underlay.

 

Interlocking Floor Mats

Care for a puzzle game? Interlocking floor mats are made from diverse materials like foam, cork, rubber or a mixture of any of the two. It is very easy to install, all you need to do is position them on the floor and connect them like a puzzle. It is very affordable, unlike the other methods.

 

Interlocking floor mats

 

I know this does not look important but you must identify the type and source of noise because it will help you decide the best way to reduce the noise as it applies to you. It is just like going to the hospital because you are sick, the doctors and nurses won’t jump into treatment until you have been properly diagnosed.

Do this first just so you don’t waste your money on soundproofing materials that shouldn’t have been bought in the first place.

What Are The Types Of Noise?

Airborne Noise

This is the most common noise. Airborne noise also called ambient noise is caused by many sources like people’s voices, sound from a music box, TV, etc. It moves through the air and gets into rooms through ceilings, opening in walls or from the floor.

Impact Noise

Also called collision noise happens when two objects come in contact resulting in vibrations and ultimately noise. A noise like when your neighbour’s toddler hit their toys on the floor, when someone is walking in heels or when a door is slammed.

Flanking Noise

These are noises you can’t tell where it originated from, for example, you live in a very big apartment with many neighbours occupying the various rooms and you hear the hum of an air-conditional whenever it is turned on. Truth is, you might not be able to tell where exactly the noise is coming from but you hear it because the vibrations travelled along with connected structures.

Now, we know the noise types. What you need to do next is locate where the noise is coming from. That way you can effectively block the noise.

Though most of these methods will need you to make structural changes to your room. You should check with your landlord before you do if you rented the room/apartment. And if you get the go-ahead, then you are ready to bid noise goodbye.

Glossary

  1. Snoring Source: Soundproofing your ceiling [Link]