Airborne Noise Control

Question

I found your website whilst researching soundproofing and I was attracted by the cost savings you have advertised. I presently live in an upper flat  in a bloc of 4 or upper villa as it is rather grandly termed. This is a 1930’s affordable housing development and the sound insulation between ourselves and the neighbours is appalling, we can often hear complete conversations as well as tv noise. When I first moved in I laid a secondary hardwood floor on top of the existing floor with underlay between thinking this would help the sound insulation as well as provide us with a natural wooden floor. This was a big mistake as I now realise that I should have filled the cavity and used acoustic plasterboard. We have since installed carpets with cloud 9 underlay which has helped but still does not cut out even the talking. There could also be significant sound travel through the walls but presently we have an elderly woman living next door and apart from the tv noise she is extremely quiet (could become an issue).


This summer we are planning to extend into our loft and moving our living/kitchen/dining room upstairs. We would like to ensure that the loft space is acoustically insulated and are interested in what products and specification you would recommend for this. Further to the loft space we are installing a new staircase which is housed above our neighbours bedroom. We will have to lift the existing floorboards in this area and are looking for a solution to minimise impact noise for our downstairs neighbour and also through the wall to our bedrooms and next door neighbour.  We have bought a small quantity of thermafleece with the intention of filling the cavity between the joist in the hall area (like the eco/thermal credentials as well). Ideally we would leave the hall as natural wooden floor but in reality we would probably have to have a stair carpet or runner unless there is a viable solution. Can you please advise on building spec and also quantities of product for our loft space, stairway and also hall way.


Over the years the sound pollution has become an increasing problem and we would like to sort out the sound issue once and for all in these areas. Depending on costs and also on effectiveness we would even consider soundproofing the entire flat.

Answer

Thank you for your enquiry and before I start to advise on how to upgrade the soundproofing of your loft floor and stairs I have to say that Cloud 9 type underlay is not effective at reducing airborne noise, only impact noise so any benefit you have achieved with the use of this product I am sure would have been most welcome. 

The best way to improve the airborne sound insulation of a floor or wall is to add sound absorption and extra high density mass along with decoupling one or both sides.  With separating floors this normally entails decoupling the ceiling with our Resilient Bars and screwing 30mm (2 x 15mm) of high density Acoustic Plasterboard to the bars.  Likewise with the floors, these are usually decoupled by installing a floating floor system and with 100mm of AMW100 acoustic mineral wool as a loose fit between the joists you will have obtained a high degree of sound insulation.

With walls the same principle applies and for best results, an independent stud wall should be built 25mm away from the existing wall, infilled again with AMW type acoustic mineral wool then clad with 30mm of Acoustic Plasterboard.  A thinner version that only takes up 50mm of space is our 20mm M20AD high density recycled rubber mats glued to the wall again with 300mm of Acoustic Plasterboard glued on top.  The M20AD is both a sound absorber as well as a product with high mass so is a very good alternative to the stud wall solution although not as efficient.

Stairs always have to be carpeted and if it is only impact noise that has to be reduced to give best results I suggest the carpet this time is installed on top of the Cloud 9 underlay you already have.  Otherwise you could use our more efficient 10mm A10 acoustic underlay available in 15 sq mtr. rolls or our even more efficient 15mm thick QuietFloor Plus that will also help reduce airborne noise in addition.  With stairs and again for best soundproofing results, the underside should be boxed in with 30mm of Acoustic Plasterboard and AMW in the void.  Battens will have to be installed to the edges of the underside of the stairs that the plasterboard can be fixed to and to contain the AMW.  You mentioned sheep’s wool and this is a good alternative to using AMW because it does not cause the same degree of irritation to the skin with the added advantage of more efficient thermal insulation.

More information including prices on all of these products can be found on our web site www.soundservice.co.uk   Installation instructions along with technical data can also be found on the rhs of each product page site or call us on 01993704981

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About Sound Service (Oxford) Ltd

UK Stockists and suppliers of a wide range of soundproofing and acoustic insulation materials for blocking and absorbing noise. We have been specialists in soundproofing and sound absorption since 1969 so one of the longest established businesses in the noise control industry.
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