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Old 10-15-2011, 04:17 PM   #1
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Building up floor 10"


Hi, I have an old house from 1890 with 12' ceilings, and so now that I have moved to working on the second floor, I want to build it up so that there is no noise/vibration from walking on the second floor carrying down to the first. Right now, one person lightly walking sounds like a herd of elephants and there is tremendous unevenness from the different existing floors after demo.

Our plan is to attach to the existing brick walls, some 2x10's around the perimeter of the second floor walls. Then, bracket new floor joists to the perimeter brace that do not touch the existing floor structure. The width between the brick walls (length of the room) is 15.5'. This should distribute the weight back to the walls.

Next, I am thinking about Green Spray foam over the top of the existing floor.

In the end, the layers will look like: the old existing floor, insulated foam spray (1") and then about 6-10" of air gap, and finally the new subfloor.

Does this sound reasonable? Or is there a better/cheaper way to do this?

Thank you so much for an input, Jennifer
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:42 PM   #2
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Are you sure you want one-hundred-twenty-year old brick and mortar to support new flooring in that fashion? Are any of the floors now supported by bearing walls down below?
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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Attaching to the brick that way is bad news. If the existing joists are solid, why not install a plate at the ends, and set the joists on the plate? They should hover at least the plate thickness in the middle which should eliminate the noise.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:15 PM   #4
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Load Bearing


Thank you, bud cline. There are no load bearing walls except the perimeter brick walls - 46x17. So the original floor had it's weight supported by joists that went into these same brick walls.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
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There are no load bearing walls except the perimeter brick walls - 46x17. So the original floor had it's weight supported by joists that went into these same brick walls.

Yes, but you can nail a 2x4 plate on top of that floor right against the brick wall and set floor joists on that.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:25 PM   #6
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Attaching to the brick that way is bad news. If the existing joists are solid, why not install a plate at the ends, and set the joists on the plate? They should hover at least the plate thickness in the middle which should eliminate the noise.
This is a great idea. What kind of plate are you referencing? Sorry ... you are talking to a girl. I can imagine what this would look like, but I don't know what it is called, or how to find it. However, the existing floor (uneven - wood, laminate, holes, etc.) is on top of the existing joists. The existing joists are ACTUAL 12"x2", 14" apart, fyi. If this is the case, what size should the new joists be? I need at least 2", one for foam and one for air, but my understanding is that I need a bigger joist to support that weight.

Thank you, sixeightten. Jen

To your other reply, would this 2x4 steel (?) plate stop the vibration of steps from carrying through? What size joists would you recommend on top to carry the weight across 15.5'?

Last edited by thomjen; 10-15-2011 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:34 PM   #7
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You will want to verify this with a lumber span chart. I assume the existing floor joists are imbedded in the brick .Nailing a wood 2x4 directly on top of the existing floor up against the brick. Leave about 1/2" there so that no wood/masonry contact occurs. You can then use 2x10 joists spaced 16" on center. Add 3/4" tongue and groove plywood on that and you should be good. This will end up 11 1/2" above the existing floor.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
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You do know that your steps will have to be modified if you build up the floor to this new height, right?
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sixeightten View Post
You will want to verify this with a lumber span chart. I assume the existing floor joists are imbedded in the brick .Nailing a wood 2x4 directly on top of the existing floor up against the brick. Leave about 1/2" there so that no wood/masonry contact occurs. You can then use 2x10 joists spaced 16" on center. Add 3/4" tongue and groove plywood on that and you should be good. This will end up 11 1/2" above the existing floor.
Yes, they are embedded in the brick.

Put the 2x4 tallways or sideways? Do you mean leave a 1/2" between the wall and the 2x4 being next to the wall?

I will check a lumber span chart. Thanks for the recommendation. I am hoping for the smallest height change as possible, because it will make the existing windows to low to the floor.

Yes, I know about the stairs, but I think we are planning on a leaving a landing space at the top of the stairs, where the floor will not be built up. Unfortunately, the house is so old that the stairs we tore down weren't up to code, but there isn't space in the house to change that without costing a fortune.

I am really hoping this is going to be worth it - I am afraid if I just level the existing floor and put soundproof padding between the existing subfloor and new flooring, that the vibration from footsteps won't dissipate properly.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:24 PM   #10
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The 2x4 goes in flat. It jsut gives you something to nail to and keeps the framing away from the existing floor.
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Old 10-17-2011, 06:26 PM   #11
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Our master bedroom is directly above our kitchen. There is no sleeping late once DH gets up and starts banging around down there so I bookmarked this site after seeing this product featured on a TV show. I have no idea how well it actually works but it might be something you may want to check out.

http://www.acoustiblok.com/
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:19 PM   #12
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The 2x4 goes in flat. It jsut gives you something to nail to and keeps the framing away from the existing floor.
If her current joists are ACTUAL 12"x2", 14" apart, isn't that plenty for a very strong floor?

I'm NOT a framing contractor (or anything resembling one) so feel free to correct me.

Can you just pull up the old floor, sister in some new 2x12 or 2x14 to the existing joists to add some rigidity, level the floor, and help stop squeaking, add blocking if there is none, then put some some sound insulation between the joists, and maybe sound-reducing drywall on the ceiling, then put the subfloor on with some adhesive and fasteners, then use another sound-deadening layer on top of the subfloor and under the finish floor?

It seems like that would (a) level the floor, (b) add tons of soundproofing, and (c) not raise the floor very much, leaving the windows and stairs the right height.

Yes, no, maybe?

Last edited by M3 Pete; 10-17-2011 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:13 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by M3 Pete View Post
If her current joists are ACTUAL 12"x2", 14" apart, isn't that plenty for a very strong floor?

I'm NOT a framing contractor (or anything resembling one) so feel free to correct me.

Can you just pull up the old floor, sister in some new 2x12 or 2x14 to the existing joists to add some rigidity, level the floor, and help stop squeaking, add blocking if there is none, then put some some sound insulation between the joists, and maybe sound-reducing drywall on the ceiling, then put the subfloor on with some adhesive and fasteners, then use another sound-deadening layer on top of the subfloor and under the finish floor?

It seems like that would (a) level the floor, (b) add tons of soundproofing, and (c) not raise the floor very much, leaving the windows and stairs the right height.

Yes, no, maybe?
Hi M3Pete - that is strong enough, but to stop sound from traveling, the new floor needs to not touch the old floor, because weight on the new floor will transfer vibrations through the existing joists. the first floor ceiling is exposed joists (because it looks awesome, and I spent a lot of time and money to get it that way), so you can't put drywall or insulation underneath the existing floor. Adding new joists, either to the brick, or resting on 2x4's around the perimeter, will accomplish no sound. Being in brick, definitely no sound, but I am not sure how structurally sound that is.

What I am wondering is if I could use some substance like cork and level/build up 1-2" and achieve close to the same effect. Probably not, but before I spend all this money, I just wanted to make sure I am doing the best thing to achieve the desired result.

Again, thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondesense View Post
Our master bedroom is directly above our kitchen. There is no sleeping late once DH gets up and starts banging around down there so I bookmarked this site after seeing this product featured on a TV show. I have no idea how well it actually works but it might be something you may want to check out.

http://www.acoustiblok.com/
This looks really interesting! Thank you for sharing. I think I am looking for more prevention of footstep vibration, rather than sound, and I couldn't tell if it works for this too. It looks like it would work really well for sound.

I also found this, which I plan on using in the floor, and then later, in the walls.

https://www.sprayfoamdirect.com/prod...mart/Itemid,1/
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:45 AM   #15
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I think if noise is the primary issue, I'd build an independent ceiling on the first floor and isolate it from the floor joists above.
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