DIY : How to Soundproof Wooden Floors – Comprehensive Soundproofing Solutions – Medium
If you are trying to figure out how to soundproof wooden floors, there are five main methods you can use:
1. Add extra layers of drywall.
2. Use soundproof acoustic panels.
3. Install acoustic plywood.
4. Install acoustic insulation inside your ceiling.
5. Add foam panel, as well as, insulation.
1. Add Extra Layers of Drywall
Adding an extra layer of regular construction grade drywall can cut down some noise, especially if you put a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), rolled sheeting or Green Glue Soundproofing between the layers.
We recommend using acoustic drywall which has several layers of gypsum separated by a soft polymer. Just this can cut the amount of sound in half. It comes in 4 x 8 foot sheets and can be attached using drywall isolation clips which fasten to your ceiling joists. Install channels to support the second layer. Rubber bushings are built into the clips which help to block out sound. And again, using a layer of M.L.V. Vinyl Sheeting or Green Glue, between double layers, will give the maximum of sound abatement.
There are also specialized acoustic drywall panels, with noise dampening substances added in to the materials. These can be used help to prevent even more sound from coming through.
II. Use Soundproof Acoustic Panels
Soundproof panels work well and are reasonable priced. Because the vast majority of soundproof panels manufactured today are made of acoustic foam, they have open cells inside and across the surface. This causes the sound to bounce around until it finds a way out, but by then it is greatly diminished in loudness.
The panels are usually cut into small, workable, wedge shape, but you can also buy larger sheets. Before you buy, you should consider the following:
Thickness — The thicker the panel the better it will cut down on the noise. 1 or 2 inch should work well for you, but for lower frequency sound (like a bass guitar), we recommend a thicker and more effective foam.
Pattern — As we mentioned earlier, they usually come in wedges, but there are other options to choose from.
Noise reduction coefficient (NRC) — Panels with a higher coefficient rating will block out more sound.
Size and quantity — you need to measure your ceiling and then pick out a size that will fit the area you wish to cover. They usually are sold in packs, so you can easily figure out the number you need.
Some popular manufacturers that have a wonderful assortment of affordable, decorative, and easy to install foam panels which are available online. Brands such as:
IZO All Supply
All of these brands have products that are available on Amazon.
III. Using plywood
Generally speaking, construction grade plywood alone is not a good solution for soundproofing. It can provide some dampening if used with other methods and in layers, but wood of all types conducts sound waves. For this reason and others, you may want to consider using improved wood products that provide excellent sound isolation.
Suppress Sound Engineered Plywood for example, is one such product that can be used in new construction. Regular plywood can be applied directly over existing surfaces to gain additional strength and acoustic performance in standard floors and ceilings. These panels come in 5/8 inch, 3/4 inch or 1 1/8 inch thick and offer high performance sound and vibration abatement.
They are made of safe, non-metallic construction materials and will also not interfere with your cellular, WIFI, Smart Home or Home Theater wireless reception.
IV. Installing Acoustic Insulation Inside Your Ceiling
If you have a ceiling in your basement that is unfinished and does not have drywall, you are going to have an easier time using this method. If you already have drywall and regular thermal insulation in your ceiling, you may face a greater set of challenges. This is because it may require renovating the whole ceiling and tearing out the drywall and insulation, before installing new superior quality soundproofing products.
Basically, you will need to be able to visibly see the ceiling joist, the pipes, and the wires come through from the floor above. Big gaps around all of the pipes, where they enter and exit, will have to be closed with acoustic caulking like Green Glue.
Then you will want to install acoustic insulation like the Ruxol (now Rockwall) Mineral Wool. You must measure and cut out the panels to perfectly fit into the joist spaces, while being sure to leave 1 or 2 inches of space to form an air gap between the insulation and the flooring above. This will help to absorb the sound that is passing through. You should not need any type of fasteners or staples to hold the drywall in place, if you measured and cut it out correctly.
When you go to drywall your ceiling we suggest using a double layer of acoustic drywall with either MCV vinyl sheeting or Green Glue Soundproofing Caulking in between layers, as mentioned earlier in this article.
V. Adding foam panels as well as insulation
We feel that the best approach to soundproofing your ceiling is to use a combination of these methods. For example, once you have insulated and applied drywall to the ceiling and the drywall, added green glue, and you still having problems with sound coming through the ceiling and floor, you can add foam panels or ceiling baffles to correct the noise intrusion.
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