Soundproofing your Floors
What is sound proofing?
Soundproofing is the process of reducing the transmission of sound between two spaces; in the case of buildings, two rooms. Any room can be soundproofed to provide a more comfortable acoustic experience. There are many basic ways in which a space can be soundproofed, all in which Muffle can assist with. These include increasing the distance between the source and receiver, using noise control products to reflect or absorb the sound or using damping methods such as acoustic baffles. In general, the more mass a surface has, the better it is at preventing the transmission of sound.
Sound proofing is an important aspect of any room, whether in the home or a professional workplace. Find out more how acoustics can affect your health here.
There are different sound characteristics that can affect us:
Airborne noise is any noise that is emitted through the air. In the case of soundproofing, airborne noise creates something known as flanking noise. Imagine a room being filled with water and now imagine the areas in which the water could escape from that room. Sound works in the same way, anywhere there is a gap, sound will escape through it. This is flanking noise. The image demonstrates flanking transmissions and how they work.
For example, if you work in an office and rooms are not correctly soundproofed, flanking transmissions will pass between each room. So, if you have an important meeting in the boardroom, sound from the office or corridor outside will be heard in the boardroom.
In terms of building acoustics, impact noise is the term used to describe disturbance radiated from the ceiling or walls into a receiving room. Impact noise is often cause by footsteps, moving furniture, or dropping of objects.
Impact noise becomes an issue when a structure is rigid and vibrates, transmitting it into the structure of the building and through any solid connected constructive elements. This is perceived by us as a low frequency sound and can be an annoyance for people in the adjacent space.
Guide to Soundproofing Floors
Please get in touch with the team here at Muffle to discuss your specific noise problem and we will reach a solution designed for you.
When soundproofing your floor, the main thing to bear in mind is that we do not want the existing floor and the new solution to be connected. Once surfaces are connected, sounds pass through and will still present a problem. Any solution to a sound insulation problem should stand alone, adjacent to the existing floor.
Good soundproofing for airborne and impact sound is dependent on the combined mass of the existing floor and the independent ceiling as well as how airtight the construction is.
Using Approved Document E, the buildup for the flooring is not added to the floor, but however the ceiling below it.
For this Approved Document E example, there is a separation of 125mm between the underside of the floor and upper surface of the ceiling. Due to variances in structure, determining the size of the ceiling joist will results in a larger separation. During the fitting of these solutions, careful consideration must be made to make sure that the ceiling is of an adequate height to fit the new ceiling in.
The new ceiling layer should consist of 2 (or more) layers of plasterboard with staggering joints equating to a maximum mass of 20kg/m2
Mineral wool and/or absorption elements should be included with a minimum density of 10kg/m3 and minimum thickness of 35mm.
The new ceiling should be supported by either independent joists fixed only to the surrounding walls
OR independent joists fixed to the surrounding walls with additional support from resilient hangers attached directly to the existing floor base.
This might not always be possible, especially if you don’t have access to the space underneath you. Other options include acoustic underlay or under screed which can be added underneath the current floor surface. Under screed and underlay are more manageable, convenient ways to soundproof your floor. Find more about our SoundLay product here. To find out which is the best option for you, please get in contact with the team here at Muffle.