Every person has noise interfering with their lives, and the worst part is that you can’t always complain to your neighbors. If you live in an apartment on multiple stories with a negative aspect of your home, this article will show you how to soundproof between existing floors.
Soundproofing a Floor: Where to start
Before we get into how to soundproof a floor, there are several things you should know about the sort of noise we’re dealing with and how to deal with it.
The first thing to know is how sound travels through a floor. The most common type of noise is the one that travels along with vibrations in the air, and when it comes to how we deal with this issue -decoupling becomes important. Decoupling refers to breaking up connections between two things so there’s less likelihood for sound transfer from one object/floor/room to another.
So how do you decouple? That depends on what your problem is: if you’re dealing with sounds coming into your room from above or below then adding mass beneath will be enough; however if you want more isolation than just decoupling alone provides go ahead and add some insulation as well (if possible). If all else fails, like most things in life, there’s always money to be spent!
What do You Need for Soundproofing
For complex soundproofing, you need to have some tools. Decoupling will require some insulation (and possibly mass) to soundproof between floors, whereas adding it in when decoupling won’t be necessary.
For how to soundproof between existing floors you’ll need:
- A studfinder;
- An electric drill with screwdriver bits;
- Some screws and nails for your chosen solution (see below);
- Insulation if applicable;
- Mass such as lead sheeting or concrete board if applicable.
You can find all of these things at a hardware store.
How to Soundproof Floors
This is the perfect time to use soundproofing on your flooring, apply underlayment, and add insulation where necessary below the floorboards.
You’ll need to remove the floorboards before you can soundproof between floors. You may be able to use an ax or crowbar, but if not then a power saw will do the trick too – how you go about this depends on how old your home is and how sturdy it’s made!
When looking for how to soundproof between existing floors, there are two basic options: adding mass (such as lead sheeting) either above or below the board; which method works best depends on whether the building construction has already been decoupled using clips, studs, etc.
For heavy noise coming from upstairs, in particular, adding weight is usually more effective than insulating with fluffy material because of its greater density. Adding insulation makes a space quieter by reducing how much sound can transfer between two areas, whereas adding weight makes a space noisier because of how difficult it is to cross the gap.
If you what to below the board, then we recommend using a material that has the highest possible weight-to-mass ratio, such as lead sheeting. Lead is one of the densest metals and can be cut to any size or shape for easy installation between floors without affecting how much noise transfers through (please note: this option may not be suitable if there are young children in your family).