3 Oak Guide to soundproofing
Traditional Oak floor planks in particular Engineered Flooring is now a popular choice feature of many modern homes. With a noticeable trend of resurgence in parquetry flooring in recent years.
A question often asked is do we need to use an underlay? The purpose of underlays is primarily to reduce sound vibrations transmitted through the ceiling below to a neighbour’s apartment. Through footsteps and doors closing and when objects fall onto the floor.
The two different types of noise are:
- Airborne noise (transmitted through ceilings)
- Impact noise (Noise heard within the room from walking on your floor
These sound vibrations go through walls, floors, ceiling and cavities. Often in leasehold properties it is your responsibility to take “reasonable measures” to reduce noise pollution your neighbours. This is the case, if you have neighbours below or next door, then under building regulations section E you are obliged to consider the amount of noise pollution they will be likely to hear through walls and ceilings.
However, if the property is a detached house, then it ultimately your own choice. If you prefer a more quiet and tranquil life, then usually on the upper floors of your property you might consider an acoustic matting reduce airborne noise in your property. In most cases, people don’t mind hear noise within their own property.
There are a number of ways to insulate your sub floor with varying costs in practice.
Higher level products such as Acoustalay 15 would equate to the Rolls Royce of soundproofing! These are at the top end and can cost almost as much a sq m as an engineered floor itself. A mid-range product such as Regupol 3912 is going to be a more than adequate solution for most households. Something at the entry level like a timber tech underlay can also be sufficient when noise is not at the top of the priorities list.
Living in an apartment it can sometimes be the case that the on visiting your property, our Surveyor will offer a professional recommendation on the most suitable acoustic products, that can be used to give you the best resulting performance.
In most cases reinforcing the existing floor boards, by screwing down any loose boards, installing a new plywood sub floor. This delivers a good weight to mass ratio, thereby reducing noise transference beneath the floor as airborne noise and above the floor as impact noise. Additionally, an acoustic mat will then be laid on top of the ply under the new engineered planks are then “glued” or “floated”. This will provide the best resulting acoustic performance of your new floor.
Internal Sub floor sound proofing can be the most expensive option. This involves removing all the existing floorboards. Placing an insulating material in between joists then sealing with an acoustic membrane. The floorboards are replaced and any gaps between the floorboards are sealed with silicon. Then a plywood layer or an acoustic mat is laid ready for a floating or glued engineered floor to be installed.
If you have any questions regarding sound proofing options available please contact the 3 Oak Team for further information.