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-   -   Soundproof for treadmill in upper floor of strata townhouse (http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/soundproof-treadmill-upper-floor-strata-townhouse-122363/)

ppat2 11-04-2011 02:18 PM

Soundproof for treadmill in upper floor of strata townhouse
 
Hi,

I see there are a lot of posts in sound proofing, but many are related to unfinished homes/suites where you have access to the studs and insulation.

I have a 2 level townhouse. On the top floor I have a small 8 x 10 foot bedroom that has a heavy (250 lb) treadmill in it, used for walking/jogging.

On the floor below that room is our living room. Adjacent to our living room is our neighbors living room.

When I am in my downstairs living room with my wife using the treadmill upstairs, each footfall is a loud echoing thump/thump/thump etc.

If I am upstairs standing outside the room that has the treadmill (with bedroom door closed) it is very quiet. The sound is not travelling across, but is travelling downstairs through the ceiling. You know that sound you get when the clothes washer is unbalanced and on spin cycle, when it starts to hammer? The treadmill sounds a bit like that, meaning volume wise.

My concern is what does my neighbor hear in their living room or their bedroom that is right beside the bedroom where we have the treadmill?

The problem is I cannot ask them as they do not speak English, so we can't communicate.

Any idea on how to soundproof my existing room? It currently has very high quality thick carpet underlay (the best that was sold) and high quality dense carpet. The treadmill sits on two pieces of 3/4 inch chipboard (not plywood) that sit on top of the carpet.

Will some type of additional insulation under the treadmill stop the thumping that is traveling through the floor/ceiling into the living room below? I suspect my neighbors hear this but perhaps slightly quieter than what I hear. I am hoping...

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Paul

havalife 11-04-2011 10:49 PM

Chances are that being a townhouse your neighbor is not hearing anything. Most townhouses are built with a space between the units, insulation, along with multiple layers of drywall for soundproofing along with fireproofing. You are most likely the only one that is hearing the noise, the only easy way to take care of the noise would be to move it downstairs.

DrHicks 11-05-2011 12:01 AM

Weird that it's still that loud. If I'm understanding you correctly, you have two sheets of 3/4" OSB on top of plush carpet, that's laid over high-quality padding. Unless the sheets of OSB are pushing against a wall, or trim board, there simply shouldn't be much transfer of vibration possible.

Perhaps you could try putting some carpet padding between your two sheets of OSB?

ppat2 11-05-2011 01:21 AM

Thanks for the responses. I might not have been too clear though. The wood between the carpet and the treadmill base is 3/4 inch MDF, and only 2 small pieces, 1 at each end of the treadmill. I mostly put those there to protect the carpet from the treadmill feet. Each piece is the width of the treadmill, and about 1 foot deep/long. I wonder if what I am hearing is the thumping being amplified as it travels through the forced air ventilation ducting? We do have ducting from our basement furnace that travels to the upper floor to supply heat to the upstairs bedrooms. Even still, the sound is traveling down into the living room quite loudly (living room ceiling even creaks a bit when it is in use) but not traveling sideways or across the upper floor where the treadmill is located. Havalife mentioned that there is a lot of sound insulation and such normally between townhouse units. I am not familiar with townhouse construction. I had assumed it was pretty basic, just some 2 x 6 with standard insulation and drywall between each unit?

Does anyone know of any material that would be good to use to put between the feet of the treadmill and the carpet that might dissipate the energy so it does not all go into the floor as it seems to be doing now? I checked and the MDF that the unit sits on now is not touching the sidewalls or the baseboard. The unit also sits quite close to the wall that separates our unit from the neighbors, so you would think at that point it is close to a supporting beam or joist? It is not in the middle of the room where it could theoretically bounce up and down a little more that it should when situated close to the wall.

biggles 11-05-2011 03:29 AM

easy fix check your local GRAINGER http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg...&sst=subsetyou need to get it off the floor :thumbsup: and float it...might want to over spring them so you get minimal bouncing one on each corner drilled true the exerciser base you won't even know she is on it...:wink: i'll put up a pix for what they are really used for in my industry http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/j...s3264/pump.jpg this pumping assembly weights way over 1000lbs and floats including the pipes right above the ground..if you sat on the pump it might spring back a little and whabble just as little...you could build a base and then float it instead of right into the treadmill mount 2x4s or 2x6s front back on the isolators and bring the treadmill up on them front and back..that's a poured concrete form within a steel casing box the pump is bolted to..lets not go crazy.you need to get it off the floor try 12" 4 pieces of 2x4 put on corners to raise it...or these items..5C027...4C991 on grainger site

Msradell 11-05-2011 12:56 PM

I personally think the vibration isolators are overkill and they may not even work because you really aren't dealing with vibration which is normally higher frequency. When I would do is buy 2 full sheets of ¾" MDF. Put a piece of low-medium density foam (you have a lot of area so it doesn't need to be very dense) between them to form a sandwich and then put the treadmill on top of that.

Ted White 11-05-2011 01:13 PM

Ppat2, what you describe is classic impact noise. If it were largely airborne noise, I would expect you’d hear it outside the door. You did not, however.

Low frequency (bass) thumping like that conducts through rigid building materials very effectively. The carpet pile is somewhat crushed, I imagine, allowing for conduction of vibrational energy into your subfloor, the joists and the drywalled ceiling below. Because the subfloor is resonant and not damped, and because there may not be any insulation in the joist cavity, you are also likely getting a broadcast through the joist air cavity also.

The spacers were accidentally helping I expect, by spreading out the substantial point load of that machine + wife + downward energy. I think Msradell has a good plan, but maybe try one big 4x8 panel of ¾” material. That should spread the weight out and provide less compression of the existing carpet and pad.

biggles 11-05-2011 01:31 PM

bet not :wink: have to raise it let the force go thru the isolators on the corners and absorbed by the springs

Ted White 11-05-2011 01:37 PM

If it's raised, and the weight is spread out over 32 square feet, the carpet pile will naturally tend to decouple that added sheet of plywood from the subfloor. The carpet fibers will damp a little of the vibration in the panel also, however not efficiently. Mainly (if it were me) I'd try and utilize the physical properties of the carpet and pad before going to more extreme measures.

biggles 11-05-2011 02:56 PM

we'll see let him try that but i 've seen it on commercial air conditioning rooftop systems and cooling towers you have to float the load and channel its vibrations as that pump stand is..lets see his results.if you lifted the treadmill the isolators connected would be the onlt way to get to the carpet floor ...you'll see..

creeper 11-05-2011 02:57 PM

All I can add is good for you for trying to be a considerate neighbour

biggles 11-05-2011 03:14 PM

no problem if he rolled bath towels and put one on each corner of the mill the sound would change going down....

Msradell 11-05-2011 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by biggles (Post 764421)
we'll see let him try that but i 've seen it on commercial air conditioning rooftop systems and cooling towers you have to float the load and channel its vibrations as that pump stand is..lets see his results.if you lifted the treadmill the isolators connected would be the onlt way to get to the carpet floor ...you'll see..

The problem is the isolation dampeners you keep talking about are designed for vibration which is a much higher frequency. This can be seen with the examples you cited with the pump and the AC unit. The problem the OP is having is not a vibration and is very low frequency.

ppat2 11-06-2011 10:44 AM

Thanks for all the ideas!

What Ted White said -- ``
allowing for conduction of vibrational energy into your subfloor, the joists and the drywalled ceiling below. Because the subfloor is resonant and not damped, and because there may not be any insulation in the joist cavity, you are also likely getting a broadcast through the joist air cavity also.`` exactly nailed the sound I am hearing. I could not have described it better.

So what Ted and
Msradell said make sense and is a low cost alternative to reduce the sound. I don`t need to fully eliminate the sound, just get it below a threshold so I will know my neighbors don`t hear it.

BTW, by chance just yesterday I was talking to a local neighbor who has some construction knowledge. I described the problem to him, and he said to take 2 sheets of MDF, put a layer of some type of polyeurathane foam between them, and additionally where the feet sit cut out a little trough or dip and put that same foam (which hardens some) in there also. He said that will allow for just microns of movement at the feet, into the foam insert and down into the 2 MDF which has the foam sandwiched between them. He said that should reduce the sound by 60 - 75%. He apparently has an engineering background as well and seemed to know his stuff. Best of all, he has the tools and the know how as he also builds cabinets and remodels and such with his own home business. So this jibes with the other suggestions here and seems like a low cost plan.

Thanks everyone for your ideas. I`ll touch base once I get this done and let everyone know the results. I can include some pictures also of what the end job looks like. There are probably others out there who have similar noise issues
from treadmills.


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