Few things give rise to tensions between neighbours more than hearing everything that’s happening in their home while you’re chilling on the sofa, trying to relax. Whether it’s their dog, their TV or your vacuum cleaner, if the other ones are hearing it, you need to soundproof your home.
One of the most common areas that require soundproofing is flooring. Although there are more types of flooring, in this article we’ll focus on solutions for concrete floors, as most people think they don’t require soundproofing.
Why Do Concrete Floors Require Soundproofing?
According to Mike from Noise Stop Systems “Although they carry enough mass and are usually dense enough to block airborne sound, concrete floors still propagate impact sound.” This means that you’re less likely to hear the conversations going on upstairs, but if someone drops something on the floor or moves furniture around, you’ll be able to know that.
Typically, events that generate impact noise are not as frequent as those that generate airborne sound. However, they can be louder hence more bothering or disruptive. On the other hand, even the vibration of the footsteps can be propagated and amplified through concrete, so you can only imagine what it’s like being woken up in the morning by your upstairs neighbours or family members.
3 Ways to Soundproof Your Concrete Floors
1. Carpets or Rugs
The most at-hand option you have for soundproofing is carpeting but some homeowners simply don’t like the look of an all-carpet room. Moreover, carpets are not suitable for areas like bathrooms or kitchens, as they retain scraps easily and are hard to clean.
An alternative would be a large rug, but that would only soundproof in patches since the uncovered floor would still be uninsulated. However, this solution can suffice in some cases, especially if the concrete layer is thick enough.
2. Acoustic Membranes
Acoustic membranes are rolls or sheets that are installed between the concrete and the subflooring. While this requires uninstalling the current floor, this is the most effective solution in the long term. Additionally, if the current floor allows for it and you remove it carefully, you can reinstall it after adding the acoustic membranes.
If you choose to install them yourself, make sure you cover the entire surface, up to the wall. Otherwise, the sound insulation will not be as effective.
3. Floating Floors
Because a floating floor isn’t glued or nailed to the subfloor, there is enough room for the noise and vibration to move around and diffuse, instead of being focally propagated through the cement in the room below. Make sure the flooring floor you use is compliant with the current building regulations Part E. and that you install them per the manufacturers recommendations.
Choosing the Best Solution for Your Space and Budget
Not sure what type of soundproofing solution fits your project best? Get in touch an with an expert. Whilst, we have all become DIY experts during lockdown, it might be best running your sound proofing project through a builder, contractor or contacting the manufacturer.