Soundproofing floors is a means of blocking sound, reducing impact and footfall noise, and is of interest to people who live in condominiums, apartments, and townhomes where walls and floors are shared. Soundproofing helps to keep sound from entering a room as well as containing it so it doesn't seep out. How well a room or a home is soundproofed depends on the location of the home, the source of noise, and the budget to be used on the project. However, a room can be adequately soundproofed using common household objects.
1. Squeaking Floors
Squeaking noise is produced when boards rub against boards or the joist they are fixed to. Use triangular wood strips on the flooring above and on the floor joists to keep away noise from squeaking floors. This is a good solution if the source of noise is the upper floor.
Take the ceiling down on the lower floor and install the wood strips. Take care when nailing. Do not use undersized nails or position them too far apart. Another idea is to use screws instead of nails as they hold the boards down more securely. Use liquid adhesive to keep the flooring from moving.
2. Soundproof Floating Floors
A floating floor is one that is isolated from the existing structure by a resilient layer. The best method to soundproof such floors is by lifting the floorboards and installing materials such as mineral wool. The floorboards should then be screwed back into the joists. This type of fastening also prevents the floor from squeaking.
3. Using Mats
Soundproofing mats can be installed to reduce airborne noise transmission between floors. The material is placed on top floorboards to prevent sound vibrations from the music system, TV, or people talking from entering a room.
4. Concrete Floor
Adding extra inches of concrete floor can help to reduce airborne noise. Adding mass between spaces is a valuable method of soundproofing a room. Consider having a 12-inch concrete floor instead of a 4-inch concrete floor. A thicker concrete floor absorbs sound energy better and reduces transmission through both ceilings.
Add carpets on floors to absorb sound energy from the surrounding environment. They help to reduce impact noise as well as absorb sound from space. The thicker, fluffier the carpet is, the better its sound-absorbing capabilities. Industrial carpets can be installed in hallways and stairways as they reduce impact noise and eliminate echoes.
6. Upholstery, Curtains, Drapes
Simply fill up a room with curtains, drapes, upholstery, furniture, clothing, and even painting. Stuff in the home help to calm airborne noise before it enters a structure thus serving as a soundproofing material. They prevent noise from building up and complements sound deadening tasks of walls and floors.
7. Dropped Ceilings
On existing wood floors, consider having dropped ceilings below the structure. Soundproofing capabilities can be improved by installing sound insulation. All holes or openings should be sealed by applying caulk, this includes openings around light fixtures or gaps around ceiling edges. Materials such as wood fiber can be added directly above the drywall.
Take care not to disturb electrical wiring when installing soundproofing material in a room.