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Old 07-12-2011, 08:05 AM   #1
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Soundproofing floors.


Need some recommendations for soundproofing floor traffic noise.

I've looked into various underlayments and I'm not sure which I should use. Mass loaded vinyl, Acoustikmat, Step Above, 440 Sound Barrier (Homasote), Redupax, etc. A lot of these companies inflate their test data and claim to perform 'the best in its class'. I however, refuse to believe such marketing and would like to hear opinions from you guys.

I will most likely go with green glue + 1 subfloor layer and add some kind of underlayment for laminate floors. Don't know which brands to use though. Suggestions?

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Old 07-12-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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Soundproofing floors.


I lived in the lower level of a 2-family house that had the following floor composition:

3/4" hardwood flooring
3/4" plywood subfloor
2x10 joists at 16" o.c. with batt. insulation fill
3/4" z-furring perpendicular to floor joists
1/2" gwb finish

It reduced vocal and tv noises to a slight murmur. you couldn't understand any conversations being had but you could tell people were talking. The hard-soled foot traffic was totally noticable though (couldnt hear soft-soled unless they were a heavy walker). high heels sounded like they were coming through the floor. if someone jumped or stomped dust would fall from the recessed light openings.

Adding an isolation system beneath the hardwood flooring would have likely eliminated the high-heel issue as the vibrations wouldn't have gotten through the framing and echoed on my side.

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Old 07-12-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Soundproofing floors.


I know this will sound crazy but I was advised (on here) to use 15# paper (roofing stuff) under my hard wood floor. You can't hear anything from that room if you aren't in it.

Just something to explore... (was also cheap and I was able to return two rolls of $75 underlayment, and I still have half the roll of $25 paper left).
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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Soundproofing floors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AGWhitehouse View Post
I lived in the lower level of a 2-family house that had the following floor composition:

3/4" hardwood flooring
3/4" plywood subfloor
2x10 joists at 16" o.c. with batt. insulation fill
3/4" z-furring perpendicular to floor joists
1/2" gwb finish

It reduced vocal and tv noises to a slight murmur. you couldn't understand any conversations being had but you could tell people were talking. The hard-soled foot traffic was totally noticable though (couldnt hear soft-soled unless they were a heavy walker). high heels sounded like they were coming through the floor. if someone jumped or stomped dust would fall from the recessed light openings.

Adding an isolation system beneath the hardwood flooring would have likely eliminated the high-heel issue as the vibrations wouldn't have gotten through the framing and echoed on my side.
Lol. The funny thing is, at least you had batt insulation + furring channels.

My setup is currently-
8mm pergo floors
pergo underlayment
5/8" subfloor
floor joist
5/8" sheetrock

So you can imagine, whatever you were hearing, mine is worse. House is 40 years old as well so there are a lot of floor creaks, LOUD floor creaks. Which I plan to screw down when I get access. Just to give you an idea of how loud things are, I can hear someone turning around on his bed. I wake up throughout the night even wearing 33 dB ear plugs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post
I know this will sound crazy but I was advised (on here) to use 15# paper (roofing stuff) under my hard wood floor. You can't hear anything from that room if you aren't in it.

Just something to explore... (was also cheap and I was able to return two rolls of $75 underlayment, and I still have half the roll of $25 paper left).
This is very interesting.. Budget is always an issue so, if this is a legit solution than I am all ears..

What is your current set up? As I stated above, my pergo laminate flooring is only 8mm, which is thinner than hard wood. Then comes the subfloor and then floor joists with attached sheetrock. Nothing special in terms of decoupling or staggered studs or anything of the like.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:30 PM   #5
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Soundproofing floors.


Remember all sound is vibration. To reduce the sound transmissions you need to either up the density (it will absorb the vibrational energy), or gap all of it to dissipate (separation of elements).

The density can be achieved through the variety of underlayments and mats that are available. Sometimes a thin concrete layer is poured on the floor to give it a high initial density. This may not be an option for you, but just giving some global information.

The furring strips, that were apart of my system, help separate the two spaces structurally. That way the vibration from the floor joists is dissipated in the z-furring before it reaches the sheetrock layer which essentially acts like a speaker.

I would add insulation to your floor joists. The denser the better. Add some z-furring on the downstairs ceiling with a sheerock layer. And if you hve the headroom you can add a suspended ceiling below all of that. The suspended ceiling will actually help alot for little price.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:40 PM   #6
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Soundproofing floors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AGWhitehouse View Post
Remember all sound is vibration. To reduce the sound transmissions you need to either up the density (it will absorb the vibrational energy), or gap all of it to dissipate (separation of elements).

The density can be achieved through the variety of underlayments and mats that are available. Sometimes a thin concrete layer is poured on the floor to give it a high initial density. This may not be an option for you, but just giving some global information.

The furring strips, that were apart of my system, help separate the two spaces structurally. That way the vibration from the floor joists is dissipated in the z-furring before it reaches the sheetrock layer which essentially acts like a speaker.

I would add insulation to your floor joists. The denser the better. Add some z-furring on the downstairs ceiling with a sheerock layer. And if you hve the headroom you can add a suspended ceiling below all of that. The suspended ceiling will actually help alot for little price.
Yeah, I plan on adding R-19+ insulation between floor joists. The only problem with doing work downstairs is that I'm working with 6'7" ceilings. I absolutely cannot add a decoupling assembly or anything of the like. Even adding another layer of sheetrock with green glue, seems like I would be dropping the ceilings too much. So I really want to try to stay away from doing work downstairs, besides adding insulation and if needed, adding some drywall+green glue inbetween floor joist cavities. Of course doing these alone only really address airborne noise and as you said, most of my problem is through impact or vibration noise. But I digress. I'm trying to address some or most of the impact noise at the subfloor level. So I really need some opinions on what materials I should be looking into in terms of underlayments. I can't believe these companies test datas because most are inflated with already insane soundproofing methods.

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