How can I soundproof my home?
Of course each situation is different and the problem can relate to different causes.
- If the issue is outside noise, say from passing traffic, then a barrier could work to block the cause. The denser the material used the better. If it’s consistently coming from the same direction – and you have the space outside – a wall, or double wooden fence with acoustic material in between, can help. Sound will flow around partitions in a similarly to water. The further away the barrier is from the listener, the less the effect. So it will also help to insulate the wall(s) facing the noise. External facing walls can be insulated with high-density acoustic wallboards, with acoustic quilting packed in between if required. For more information on wall related sound insulation products check Cellecta’s website for boards and Lawsons’ for acoustic quilting.
- Windows can let in a high proportion of noise entering from outside, so double glazing will help. You can even go for double windows with large air gap (25-100mm) with acoustic absorbent material around the edges. (Be careful to maintain room ventilation by compensating on other less noisy wall sides.)
- Thin partition walls that let through noise from within as well as from outside a property, can be improved by putting up a secondary wall using high-density acoustic wallboards, with acoustic quilting packed in between if required. For more information on wall related sound insulation products, check Cellecta’s website for boards and Lawsons’ for acoustic quilting.
- If noise is travelling between floors, then floor insulation should provide the solution. To soundproof against impact noise, then you can you can simply lay our high density Deckfon Ultramat or acoustic Deckfon screedboard on top of existing floorboards and finish with carpet, tiles or timber over the top. To soundproof against airborne noise, our Deckfon screedboards or Deckfon Ultramat will again absorb much of the noise due to the composite nature of their construction. And if noise is extreme, you can additionally take up floorboards and pack acoustic quilting underneath. But in most instances, over-floorboard solutions will reduce noise to minimal or acceptable levels and meet Part E regulation requirements. If you would like further advice, talk to our partners at Cellecta on 01634 292277
- Other factors to consider include whether your property is concrete, steel or timber structured, how severe the noise is and whether it’s coming from one or more directions. Another issue can be ‘flanking transmission’ whereby noise is carried through the fabric of a building via pathways of least resistance and around the insulating effects of thick walls. For example straight through walls of lightweight construction, but also through openings or holes in brickwork, especially if leading to cavities between walls where sound can resonate and amplifies like in an acoustic guitar. Pipework can also have a flanking effect where joists are shared between flats. Simple singular solutions might not be the answer and for more complex or unusual situations, we’d recommend you speak directly to our partners at Cellecta on 01634 292277
How can I sound proof between floors
Unlike walls, floors will also transmit impact sound as well as airborne sound.
Typically in residential buildings, floors will consist of timber joists with chip boarding laid on top and a thin plasterboard ceiling below. This will not offer much protection against penetrating noise an especially not impact noise. And by itself will not comply with the minimal Building Regulation standard requirement for bedrooms of 40dBs.
You have three basic solutions:
- Insulate with materials under floor boards between joists, using at least 100mm of mineral wool of at least 10kg/m3 Look out for specially fabricated acoustic quilt.
- Lay over floor acoustic boarding or matting. This can include screedboards, especially where under floor heating requires a heat conductive covering material. Use composite boards where the different densities have been designed and tested to cut out different sound frequencies. This will help with impact as well as airborne noise.
- Build in a false suspended ceiling beneath the floor joists. Use sound quality plasterboard and acoustic silicone sealant and/or tape to seal perimeter edges.
Can I avoid removing floorboards?
There are a variety of differently performing products that you can lay over the top of existing floorboards, avoiding the hassle, cost and time of packing acoustic quilting below the floor. If you are trying to stop airborne sound, use composite products like our DECKfon ScreedBoards of different thicknesses. For impact sounds, like feet, chairs or banging doors, our DECKfon Ultramat or ScreedBoards over the offending floor will also work. Take a look at our product lineup at https://acousticfloorinsulation.co.uk
Does it matter if I use carpet or hard floor finish?
Both our Deckfon screedboard range and Ultramat products will work for carpet solutions. Our screedboard range will work with tiled or wooden and laminate boarding laid on top.
Which product should I select?
We only deal with acoustic flooring here.
The answer depends upon your flooring situation, the extent noise and the type of surface finish you are seeking.
the FIRST QUESTION to ask, is what type of floor and flooring situation you are facing. And for wooden floors, are you happy to replace with direct-to-joist solution or wanting to lay onto an existing ‘sub-floor’?
If direct to timber joist, we recommend a composite board. This offers some moisture resistance for those inevitable spillages that happen over time. Our product is the DECKfon Quattro 39, which provides excellent acoustic performance and can take any subsequent floor finish on top – be that further timber (such as oak) or laminate boards, or screeding for tile, or simply carpet.
If laying a barrier onto an existing floor, timber, concrete or steel, you should choose between a specialist acoustic mat which is very easy to lay, and onto which you can add further boards or carpet, or composite high-density acoustic boarding that vary in thickness according to need (and able to take further boards or carpet on top), or specialist acoustic screed boards that allow for and facilitate future tiled surface.
At Lawsons, we offer all three 3 options from one of UK’s leading acoustic manufacturer, Cellecta:
- DECKfon 15 mat. Very easy, roll on, 15mm thick, high-density composite mat offering high acoustic performance. Takes carpet or wooden floor finish on top.
- DECKfon 17T, 26T, or 30T Composite moisture resistant overlays, with 3 thickness levels for increasing high performance acoustic protection. Quick and easy T&G installation. No nails needed! But you will want glue.
- Screedboard 28. High-density composite platform, which accepts all types of floor finish, including tiles.
In all instances, we also recommend YELOfon perimeter strips to separate the edge of the floor from the wall to prevent ‘flanking’ noise (see other blogs or our FAQs for explanation) escaping into and down walls.
Another floor-type is that which accommodates underfloor heating and requires a highly conductive, thermally efficient overlay as well as any required acoustic performance. Our easy-install ScreedBoard 20 combines composite, high-density acoustic protection with low thermal resistance for fast reacting, cost saving heating capability. These screed boards are suitable for all types of steel, concrete and timber floors. The completed boarded floor looks like screed and will directly accept tiles – or any other surface-floor finish.
Another factor to consider in final selection is the thickness of any overlays, board or mat, as this might be important to room height or the level of adjacent rooms or hallways. Alongside this variable comes acoustic reduction performance – is it sufficient to achieve any required regulatory performance as well as achieving any required reduction in already anticipated noise intrusion. Claimed effectiveness, testing, and accreditation should also be carefully considered.
If you know the type and extent of noise you want to reduce, this can also influence your decisions. For more information about noise and noise types, see our other blogs. Essentially barriers need to be of different density to reduce or block different amplitudes of sound. For that reason, composite barriers are important. For major noise intrusion, which exceed what conventional single barriers might achieve, we would suggest you discuss this directly with the experts as solutions might need to involve multiple or structural treatments. If so, call Cellecta our specialist noise insulation partner on 01634 296677.
If the critical factor is what’s best for floor finish, most acoustic solutions including all our boards and mats, will accommodate carpet. Many will also allow for hardwood boards on top. But for tiles, a simple solution are screed boards, which both make subsequent tiling easier as well as providing acoustic insulation benefits.
For more details on the range of acoustic flooring products we offer (and can deliver, for free within M25) visit www.acousticflooringinsulation.co.uk . If you need more help choosing between the acoustic over-floor and direct-to-joist boards we offer at Lawsons, call us on 01727 226666.
How can I soundproof my floor if I have underfloor heating?
Underfloor heating and requires a highly conductive, thermally efficient overlay, to which you will need to add any required acoustic protection capability. Our easy-install and proprietary fabricated ScreedBoard 20 combines composite, high-density acoustic protection with low thermal resistance for fast reacting, cost saving heating capability. These screed boards are suitable for all types of steel, concrete and timber floors. The completed boarded floor looks like screed and will directly accept tiles – or any other surface-floor finish.
Are your products difficult to install?
Our products are intentionally very easy to install if you have some DIY experience. Check out our installation video and download installation guidance. Our staff can also can also provide some direction and advice, or point you to where you can obtain further more detailed assistance. Call us at Lawsons on call us on 01727 226666.
Sound knowledge Q&As
What are the different types of ‘noise’?
There are two types of noise:
:which is sound that travels through the atmosphere and passes through walls, floors and ceilings. These will cut out some of the noise, but to reduce the effect of airborne noise further, you will need to add further barriers of different density. Ideally, introduce a barrier of mass, then a dampening cavity and then a barrier of mass. You could add a false wall, ceiling or floor to create intervening space and fill space with acoustic quilting. An easier more practical solution would be to add a single composite product, such as our acoustic screedboards.
:which is sound that arises as a result of materials banging each other to cause vibration; like shoes on floors, doors slamming or chairs moving across a solid floor. The building structure vibrates, carrying the sound weaves through to other areas of the property. Reduce by intervening at the source of the noise by adding (‘decoupled’) materials to absorb vibration before it reaches structural fabric, such as walls and floors. In this instance the denser the better and we would recommend our range of Deckfon screedboards and/or Deckfon Ultramat.
Most of us experience a combination of both these types of noise and especially when living in multi-dwelling properties with noisy neighbours. Our acoustic Deckfon screedboards and Ultramats will help you address both these types of noise, and do so in compliance with Part E regulations.
What is flanking noise/transmission?
Flanking noise is sound transmitted indirectly through materials that form the construction of a property, and is most typically the result of ‘impact’ noise as vibration passes along and across the fabric of a building. Noise will travel via paths of least resistance, so it is especially a problem where walls are lightweight and not dense, which is why building regulations now stipulate ‘correct’ density blocks in the construction of modern flats and multi-occupied buildings.
The best way to prevent flanking noise is to fill empty areas, or intervene in the connection between the different fabrics of a building, by using an acoustic barrier. So foe example, acoustic quilting in voids such as between ceiling joists, filling gaps in walls with an acoustic sealant and importantly, using perimeter edging such as our Yelefon FS30, to separate hardwood flooring from surrounding walls.
How is sound measured?
Sound is measured in decibels (dBs). A decibel is one unit on a logarithmic decibel scale. 130 decibels is considered a threshold above-which noise is considered potentially painful. And continued exposure over 85 dBs can result in hearing damage.
Example sounds to decibels: A jet taking off and some rock concerts can exceed 130 dBs. Road drilling is around 120 decibels. A phone typically rings at 80 dBs. Conversation tends to happen at 60 dBs. A quiet library will emit around 40 dBs.
A difference of 10 dBs is significant and can amount to a 50% reduction in noise due to the logarithmic scale of decibel measurement, but it depends where on the noise level you are starting. Higher numbers are more difficult to achieve. Be wary of claims to reduce large amounts of decibels. For example cutting over 40 dBs would be very challenging.
Putting acoustic quilt insulation into a wall cavity, will probably only reduce sound by 3-4 dBs. Not that much really! Using foam as a barrier will provide less than 2 dB difference. What you require for effective sound insulation is denser materials as a sound barrier.
Is Part E regulatory compliance required for residential conversions?
If you are converting a single dwelling into multiple dwellings, you will need to comply with Part E Building Regulations. It doesnt matter whether concrete or timber fabricated. Even if dwellings are on different floors, it may be that you will need wall as well as floor/ceiling acoustic insulation due to flanking noise. Sound proofing considerations are perhaps best calculated at the early stages before or when the building has been taken back to its bare bones. However, sound proofing checks and remedial actions can be taken at a later stage, even after floorboards have been laid with our range of products.
How can I soundproof my floor to meet Part E regulations?
To comply with Part E regulations you must ensure floors are protected against both ‘impact’ and ‘airborne’ noise. The most effective way to do this is to combine insulation between floor joists with acoustic structural screedboards onto joists, or overlay screedboards or mats on top of laid floorboards.
Sound insulation can be tested to show compliance with relevant performance standards conducted in accordance with:
- BS EN ISO 140-4:1998 (Airborne)
- BS EN ISO 140-7:1998 (Impact)
The Robust Details Certification Scheme is a simple and reliable route to compliance. It is designed for separating walls and floors in new build dwellings only in England and Wales.
Commercial and practical considerations
How much will it cost to sound proof my home?
This is commonly the first question a homeowner will ask. And of course, it all depends. In particular, the cost will be affected by: the extent of noise and level of reduction desired; where the prevailing noises are coming from and the size of area where some sort of sound barrier or insulation will be required to cover; the severity of flanking noise transmission; any pipework running through affected areas; whether the property is concrete or timber, what floor finish you plan on laying.
We can help estimate a cost for floor insulation, based on the areas you want to cover and preferred product. We can also advise on the different costs and performance between products. Which product exactly will be most suitable, we’d leave to an expert. And we can point you in the direction of where you can find that specialist expertise.
Do you deliver to my area?
We deliver anywhere in and around London and the South East of England for FREE to those buying online from https://acousticfloorinsulation.co.uk
Do you offer discounts?
We do not offer discounts, but we can provide FREE delivery for our customers in London and the South East of England by buying online from https://acousticfloorinsulation.co.uk