Advise Needed to Soundproofing Hardwood Floor in Condo


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Old 11-14-05, 06:49 PM
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Advise Needed to Soundproofing Hardwood Floor in Condo

I occupy the second floor of a two-story condo, and I'd like to install enough soundproofing under my hardwood floors to guarantee that my downstairs neighbor hears very little or no noise from me. I have some ideas (which are probably overkill), but I would appreciate some advice before I start buying materials.

The actual floor under my carpeting and padding is a cement-like material. It's tan and fairly smooth, but it can crack fairly easily (I've removed a few small chunks that were broken loose by nails pushing up from below). I don't want to lay either a sub-floor or laminate flooring directly on this as I'm sure that this will allow for too much noise to get through. I cannot afford solid-wood floors, so I've been looking at laminates that can be glued down. To prevent any noise from getting through the floor I've devised this plan:

1. Lay down green 3-in-1 foam available at Home Depot's flooring dept.
2. Lay down roofing or other heavy-duty felt for 2nd layer of sound absorption (any idea what this stuff costs?)
3. Glue 1/4" flooring cork to underside of 1/8" thick 4'x8' sheets of tempered hardboard (again, from HD)
4. Glue laminate flooring to tempered hardboard

I may end up just sanding and painting sheets of plywood and laying that over the hardboard (with one more layer of green foam underneath it), as it appears that most of the flooring I liked a few years ago has gone up about 60% in cost (yikes!) and is pretty much out of reach cost-wise.

I've read about using heavy vinyl designed for soundproofing, but at $4 per sq. ft. it's not a viable solution.

If anyone can recommend sites, manufacturers or techniques I would greatly welcome your response! Thank you for your time!
 
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Old 11-14-05, 07:17 PM
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First I would check with the condo owners association and see if it states the % of hard surfaces that can be used as flooring in a upper floor unit can be.



Your sandwich may work and it may not??? Is this subfloor going to be floating?
 
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Old 11-15-05, 09:48 AM
ksmeltzer
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Glue down is going to give you a quieter install than any floating floor will. As well if you are going to go through all that trouble to kill the noise and your sub-floor is as you say sub par gypsum, why not just install 5/8 or ¾ plywood (see the NOFMA or ask for details) and do a nail down install or float and cork over that, the nail down will be quieter than a floating install with any under-layment. You may be able to eliminate most of the resonation into the neighbor’s apartment, but you are still going to have the surface resonation in your apartment AKA the clack, clack. That sounds like a lot of trouble to go through to float a floor and with the cork, 3-1, 1/8 hardboard, and felt you are going to be pushing the 5/8 size anyways. Also with a thin 1/8 material floating on 3-1, cork and felt paper you may experience a small amount of deflection at the seams as the panels compress. This may not be a problem for an seam glued floating floor but it may cause problems for a click and lock system. I am just hypostasizing on that though, I don’t know if it will in practice as I have never seen a system like that installed.

I have seen a system where heavy duty polystyrene is attached to plywood and then floated across the floor. The wood is then floated, glued, or stapled to the plywood layer. This is a nice system because it up the thermal ratings of a condo and it is extremely moisture resistant, as well as kills any downward resonation. The problem with it is that it increases you height profile by upwards of an inch and a half. It is costly as well

I have seen the vinyl soundproofing for less than $1.50 per sq ft. A Google search for silentsource floor sound barrier should bring it up.

Lay down roofing or other heavy-duty felt for 2nd layer of sound absorption (any idea what this stuff costs?)
$15 to $20 for 200 sq ft.

As Perry said, the first step is to make sure your Condo association won’t make you rip it out after you install it.
 
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Old 11-15-05, 09:58 AM
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I wouldn't do too much underlayment sandwiching.. You'll get a cushion effect sort of like walking on a sofa (up/down).. obviously not to that degree. I walked over some floated floors with 3/8" foam underlayment and I could feel it compress up and down with each step.

The way I'm doing mine is as ksmeltzer suggests.. use plywood over the concrete and then nail down installation.. though its ending up to cost a lot more then I had budgeted for , but I'm happy I went with that route.. sounds better..
 
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Old 11-19-05, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for all of your replies!

I failed to mention that the thickness of all the materials used can add up to 1-7/8" total, that I was planning to float the hardboard "subfloor" and not nail it into the actual floor (that tan concrete-like material), and that the laminate flooring (or plywood) would also be glued down to avoid a noisy installation.

Also, I will do more investigating on soundproofing foams and look for vinyl at a better price, too.

Thanks again for all of your ideas and suggestions!
 
 

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