In this article, we are going to share with you how to soundproof a floor cheaply. Are you tired of your Noisy Neighbor, they have disturbed your peace, and do you want to get rid of them? then this article is for you.
This type of problem you see in most of the apartments. If you are living in an apartment or you are also facing the same problem then read this article carefully because here you will get the solution to your problem.
Below the floor on which you are living, your neighbors make any loud noise or play some loud music or instrument and you get disturbed by that noise, the same noise is called airborne noise.
Mainly we face two types of noises and that is as follows
- Airborne noise &
- Structure borne noise
As you saw in the given above paragraph that what is airborne noise, now let’s see what is structure-borne noise, when any hard surface collides with other hard surfaces then the noise is generated is called structure-borne noise.
And to get rid of these noises you have to soundproof your floor first, so here we are going to explain the cheap and easiest method which will help you to reduce the intensity of sound.
How To Soundproof A Floor Cheap
You must first confirm that the noise pollution problem you are facing is due to the neighbor living below you. If that’s so, only then You soundproof your floor.
And if it is not, then you have to find out where the noise pollution is happening from whether it is from the wall or from the ceiling.
If it is from the wall or ceiling then according to that you have to take action. If it is from the wall then you have to make your wall soundproof or if it is from the ceiling then you have to make your ceiling soundproof.
You all know that the sound waves are reflected from any hard and flat surfaces and our room is a combination of the same.
If your room is not soundproof or your room is empty then the sound waves collide to these flat and hard surfaces and bounce back to the source and due to this echo is generated.
So by doing soundproofing, you can reduce echo, and also you can reduce the intensity of sound waves coming from out to in.
The floor plays a vital role in it. Mainly, we use either wooden or tile floor and both these materials are of low STC and NRC rating, which cause less absorption of the noise and more reflection.
To avoid this, soundproofing a floor is very important. Here we are going to explain some of the simplest and best methods that how to soundproof a floor cheaply.
1. Use Of Carpet On The Floor
Carpet is the best and affordable option to soundproof a floor. There are so many varieties are available in the carpet so the selection of the best quality carpet is very important.
Carpet is not only used to soundproof the floor but also protects your floor from any damages. Your room also looks beautiful because of the carpet. It is suitable for any floor whether it is a wooden floor, concrete floor, marble floor, or tile floor.
For better soundproofing always use carpet padding below the carpet. While selecting the carpet always remember that the carpet should be thicker, denser, and heavier. By adding the carpet to the floor you are adding extra mass to your floor which is one of the principles of soundproofing.
Carpet is the absorbing material, it absorbs the sound of both the direction whether the sound is coming into your room or whether it is going out from your room, and in this way it reduces the transmission of sound.
2. Use Of Mass Loaded Vinyl
Whenever someone thinks about soundproofing, the thought of the MLV and Drywall first comes to mind. MLV is also known as a limp mass barrier which is made up of two basic components and is Barium Sulfate or Calcium Carbonate and Vinyl.
MLV also works from both the direction, it stops the noise coming in your room as well as this also stops the noise going out from your room. It is a good sound blocker.
It is used on the floor as well as walls, ceilings, doors, and due to its flexibility, it is also used in very complicated areas like ducts, tanks, etc. If you do not want to use MLV due to any reason then you can also go with MLV alternatives.
Its STC rating ranges from 20 to 32 and it all depends on its lb that how many pounds (lb) of the MLV do you use. 1lb MLV has a 26 STC rating and 2lb MLV has a 32 STC rating which is clearly shown in the below image.
Its installation process is very easy, you have to cut the MLV according to the room size and then place it on the floor now you have done it. But the only thing is that it doesn’t look so good, that’s why it’s better to place the carpet over it, and doing this will also give you a better result.
3. Use Of Rubber Mat
A rubber mat is a cheaper and easily available material. It is a denser material and has the ability to dampen the impact noise effectively. By adding a rubber mat to the floor, you are adding an extra mass to your floor. It helps you to reduce the intensity of sound waves.
A rubber mat is a sound blocker and that’s why the thicker the rubber mat is, the more soundproofing it will be.
The rubber mat has an IIC rating, IIC stands for Impact Insulation Class. Impact insulation class is the rating that is used to measure the impact noise.
Impact noise is the noise that is created when an object collides over another object, and footsteps are the best example for it, and that’s why a rubber mat is the best solution for dampening the impact noise.
A rubber mat is cheaper in price than MLV but MLV is denser than a rubber mat because it contains more weight per square foot and that’s why it is more effective than a rubber mat.
Its installation process is similar to MLV, you have to cut the rubber mat according to the room size and then place it on the floor now you have done it. But the only thing is that it doesn’t aesthetically look so good, that’s why it’s better to place the carpet over it, and doing this will also give you a better result.
4. Use Of Underlayment
Underlayment is one of the good options for soundproofing the floor. Underlayment is not only used as soundproofing but also as a vapor barrier. Underlayment is ideal for laminate and engineered wood flooring.
Its STC rating is 66 & IIC rating is 71, which is good for soundproofing. STC is the measure of how much airborne noise is reduced by the respective stuff and IIC is the measure of how much impact noise is reduced by the respective stuff.
As you get to see a good result of the underlayment when you use underlayment between two materials. It helps you to dampen the transmission of noise effectively.
Generally, underlayment is used below the laminate flooring but if you do not own laminate flooring then you just place it on your subfloor and cover it with the help of a carpet for getting better results.
Of note, the Subfloor is the floor that is set on the top of the joist where you can walk freely.
Joist is the basic horizontal structure of the ceiling or flooring that supports the subfloor and everything above the subfloor is underlayment.
For example, If your house is built on concrete then your concrete is your subfloor and anything above the concrete is an underlayment.
5. Insulate Flooring
Just like you insulate the wall, you have to insulate the floor as well. But the only thing is that here you have to place the Rockwool insulation below the subfloor that is on the bottom-most floor between the joist and if possible keep at least a 1/2 inch gap in between the insulation and the subfloor.
By creating the gap in between the two stuff, you are trying to create the dead air zone in between the two parts of your home structure and by doing this you are drastically reducing the transmission of airborne as well as impact noise.
Then now install the sound mat on top of the subfloor, sound mat is basically made of three layers in which two layers are made from mass-loaded vinyl and one layer is made from foam and this layer of foam is a sandwich between two layers of mass loaded vinyl.
This sound mat is very effective to reduce both the noises that are airborne noise and impact noise. If you do not want to use this stuff then you can also apply MLV there.
Now seal the perimeter with the help of acoustic sealant then take a plyboard and apply a green glue compound over it and then place this plyboard over the sound mat, now you have done.
You can soundproof your floor by using one or more of the above methods to make your floor soundproof.
But you should apply the methods step by step, it means that you should place the carpet first on the floor then you should check the result if you are satisfied then it is ok but if you are not satisfied then only you should apply the second method.
Insulate flooring is the best method to soundproof a floor but it is an expensive and time-consuming method but the result of this method is very good.
Of note, for insulating flooring always use Rockwool insulation instead of fiberglass insulation because Rockwool insulation is very effective than fiberglass, check the difference here Rockwool insulation vs Fiberglass insulation.
Hope this article How to soundproof a floor cheap will guide you in the right direction.