HomeArticleSoundproof Apartment Floor Cheaply In 10 Ways

Soundproof Apartment Floor Cheaply In 10 Ways




Soundproofing Apartment Floor
Soundproofing Apartment Floor

Due to our general concern with other surfaces, we may overlook that floors can transmit sound too. When living in an apartment above someone else, taking the necessary steps to soundproof the apartment floor is important.

Inhabiting a dwelling with other people should not be a deterrent to soundproofing the floor. This may be accomplished by selecting an appropriate rug to lessen the reverberation of footfalls.

If the floor is hollow and thin, constructing a new layer of flooring may be necessary.

To effectively soundproof a floor, one must first understand the basics. Before deciding on the most suitable approach and associated budget, it is necessary to identify the noise that requires attenuation.

The Floor Can Let In Two Types Of Noise

Two Types Of Noise
Two Types Of Noise

When undertaking a soundproofing project, you may already be familiar with the two types of noise: airborne noise, which travels through the air and enters your floor through physical openings, and another form of sound.

In contrast, impact noise is propagated through the floor as vibrational energy.

Construction of most buildings is carried out by regulations that guarantee the soundproofing of solid surfaces. This is achieved primarily by making walls, floors, and ceilings airtight, which is sufficient to prevent the passage of sound and heat from entering and leaving a room.

Even though building regulations generally do not address the issue of impact noise, which is notably more challenging to manage. The same wooden studs and joists that enable us to construct airtight walls and floors also transmit structural sound.

The structural integrity of buildings is maintained by these components, which also permit vibrations to pass through them.

Failure to separate the walls, floors, and ceilings from the main frame can leave the building structurally vulnerable to sound transmission. If a heavy vehicle passes the building, its emitting vibrations can travel from the foundations to the roof.

We perceive them in every area of the home, not merely through auditory means. Likewise, our footsteps traversing a hollow floor are also discernible.

The flooring is firmly attached to the subfloor via nails, and the subfloor is then attached to the floor joists. This framework is connected to the ceiling drywall on the other side, enabling the transmission of structural vibrations from one side to the other.

However, this is merely a rudimentary elucidation of how soundwaves propagate.

The Basics Of Soundproof Apartment Floor

Those in the room below are likely experiencing airborne and impact noise, with the latter being the more pressing issue.

Ensuring your floor is soundproofed is essential to avoid disturbing neighbors or roommates. Even the slightest noise, such as the scrape of furniture, would be heard if the floor is not insulated correctly, not to mention any expletives uttered in reaction to the incident.

What strategies can be implemented to address these issues?

Ultimately, the approach to soundproofing a floor is not notably different from soundproofing walls or ceilings. Employing the same fundamentals is necessary regardless of which surfaces you are addressing.

Once the acoustic foam reaches its limit, decoupling, dampening, and high-density materials may be necessary to soundproof the floor. Adding mass to the floor using noise-blocking products such as rubber and Vinyl is advisable to achieve optimal results.

The use of dampening compounds such as Green Glue provides a soundproofing effect. These materials absorb sound waves and convert them into heat energy; however, they must be used between two solid surfaces to be effective.

Decoupling must be employed to reduce the point of contact between two surfaces and dampen that area to reduce noise transfer effectively. Resilient channels are beneficial for achieving this outcome when soundproofing walls and ceilings.

To soundproof a floor from above, rubber joist decouplers are required.

Soundproof The Floor In The Best Ways

This compilation of soundproofing techniques contains options ranging from the most straightforward floor-based solutions to those which require more comprehensive treatments below the surface.

Ultimately, you should be able to implement these solutions independently or with the support of colleagues. Now, let us proceed.

The following are eleven effective methods to insulate a floor acoustically:

Place Some Rugs Or Carpets

The most practical solution is to place a rug or carpet to reduce the noise of moving feet on hard surfaces. Heavier and softer materials have been proven to be the most effective, despite the increased effort needed for their upkeep.

Using Carpets to Soundproof Apartment Floor

Opt for a more tightly-woven material instead of the most basic, loose models if possible. However, if minimal sound dampening is your only concern, even something as thin as a T-shirt would suffice.

No matter what you use, it will prevent you from stepping directly on highly reflective surfaces such as laminate. If the floor below is hollow and tends to reverberate, your footsteps will be more noticeable.

A carpet is an effective way to reduce noise transmission and reverberation in a space. If echo is a concern, consider installing wall-to-wall carpet or acoustic wall treatments to absorb excess soundwaves. Regardless of the option chosen, carpets can significantly improve the acoustic environment of any room.

As a cost-effective measure, laying down a few area rugs can be an excellent strategy for soundproofing a floor. If the necessary carpets are already owned, they should be washed before use.

The acoustic quality of the room you are in and the level of noise emitted to the floor below. It will be significantly improved with the addition of carpeting. You need not concern yourself with the financial implication of purchasing carpets as they are readily available at a reasonable cost.

Locate a substantial, plush carpet comparable to this one to complete the task.

Put A Carpet Underlay

Suppose the rug you select cannot sufficiently absorb the impact of your footsteps. An underlay may be the solution. This product will transform the rug into a luxurious memory foam carpet while remaining barely noticeable.

Carpet Underlay
Carpet Underlay to Soundproof Apartment Floor

Nevertheless, the impact it has will be unmistakable.

You should purchase a mat approximately one inch smaller than the rug you wish to place it under on all sides. No special tools are required to adjust the size, and a regular pair of kitchen scissors will suffice.

This inch of carpeting will form a bevelled edge, preventing any potential tripping hazard.

If you are concerned about slipping, consider purchasing a Kangaroo mat with sloping sides. Available in various colours and lengths, this option is ideal for hallways, kitchens, and even bedside areas.

If a beveled side is not a necessity, you may wish to consider a crawl space rug. These rugs are designed to absorb the impact of a toddler’s outburst and, therefore, should be able to withstand high foot traffic.

Moreover, area rugs are available in generous dimensions and attractive hues. However, if you prefer the aesthetics of your carpeting, you may opt to place it over the carpet.

Place Rubber Mats

Installing a rubber mat underneath the carpet is a more discreet alternative to using underlays. The rubber is so thin that it will be unnoticeable when the rug is placed on top of it, provides ample flexibility to reduce the impact of sound, and is dense enough to block any airborne noise traveling through the floor.

The rubber of the most rudimentary type can still provide some of the same acoustic results as internal mass loading of the floor. Neoprene is akin to another sound-attenuating material we’ll discuss: mass-loaded Vinyl.

In contrast to woven materials, rubber, and MLV do not have any notches that facilitate the passage of sound.

Despite rubber’s malleability providing cushioning for steps, it may not be as effective as memory foam in absorbing impact. Fortunately, some products occupy a space between the two extremes.

Foam rubber mats, comparable to those utilized for exercise equipment, can be an excellent selection if you desire to add a degree of bounce to your flooring surface.

Furthermore, there are other benefits to be gained from having a rubber mat. For instance, the floor covering may not have a slip-resistant backing.

A plain rubber mat (or even one with a ribbed surface) underneath your carpet can be a great preventative against slips and falls. A fall would inevitably produce a considerable amount of noise.

In conclusion, all the possible remedies we’ve deliberated are relatively easy to execute. If you’d prefer a multi-layered approach, the first action should be rubber, a memory foam underlay, and a carpet. However, it’s unnecessary to be overly intricate.

As an alternative, you may consider utilizing the following product.

Interlock The Floor Mats

Interlocking floor mats are an excellent option for avoiding a large rubber roll or rectangle. Puzzle-piece mats are beneficial for covering oddly-shaped areas and are helpful in the reduction of impact noise.

Interlock The Floor Mats
Interlock The Floor Mats – Soundproof Apartment Floor

Interlocking floor mats can offer a variety of uses beyond being placed underneath treadmills or exercise bikes. They can also be used similarly to any other type of carpet underlay.

You could leave the interlocking floor mats uncovered, the preceding use of a carpet.

Interlocking mats offer a textural appeal that is well-suited to an industrial aesthetic. Moreover, they are available in many colors or even color combinations.

Edge pieces designed to be attached to the sides of these products can provide a more cohesive look and reduce the likelihood of trips and falls.

One way to prevent this issue is to affix the mat to the floor with a strong adhesive, such as acoustic caulk or Green Glue. This could even improve the mat’s sound-dampening qualities. However, this may result in damage to the existing flooring.

When considering Interlocking Tiles for soundproofing purposes. It is essential to ascertain whether or not they are suitable for the intended environment. While these tiles may be ideal in some scenarios, such as nurseries and gyms, they may not be appropriate for all spaces. The final decision lies with you.

Try 5 Cork Tiles

Cork has long been recognized as an effective soundproofing material. It is an excellent option for both under and over the flooring. Its thick tiles provide a soft finish while still maintaining a sleek aesthetic, no matter if they’re covered or exposed. However, one minor downside is that cork products are not waterproof.

5 Cork Tiles
5 Cork Tiles – Soundproof Apartment Floor

Although it is not entirely waterproof, cork still offers some water resistance. Furthermore, its antimicrobial properties make it an ideal choice for areas where moisture is a factor, as it reduces the risk of mold growth.

It is advisable to store items in areas that are not prone to excessive moisture. For soundproofing kitchen or bathroom floors, using a rubber mat is recommended.

Cork tiles ordinarily measure 12 inches long, though hexagonal shapes are also available. Their primary purpose is to serve as pinboards. Thus they tend to be lightweight. Many feature self-adhesive backs or come with mounting tape for easy installation.

Rather than adhering tiles to the floor, consider mounting them to a rubber surface. This will allow you to rearrange the corking as necessary and enhance its effectiveness. As an alternative, attach the tiles to the underside of your carpet to add extra cushioning.

Bear in mind that tiles must have a minimum thickness of half an inch to achieve any degree of soundproofing.

New Layer Of Flooring On Top Of The Existing One

If the existing flooring is insufficient for achieving satisfactory noise reduction, consider the addition of an extra layer. In most cases, this could entail simply covering the existing surface with new flooring materials such as tiles or laminate. Be aware that if the underlying floor is hollow, this may not sufficiently attenuate sound.

New Layer Of Flooring
New Layer Of Flooring – Soundproof Apartment Floor

Before commencing any drastic flooring modifications, it is essential to research the project thoroughly. However, laying tile or laminating over an existing floor may appear simple. Most professionals recommend removing the initial flooring layer and exposing the subfloor to ensure a successful outcome.

This video serves as a reminder of how tedious and intricate the tile installation process can be, as preparatory steps must be carefully executed before the final layer is applied.

It is possible to install new flooring on top of the existing one without removing the subfloor, although it is not recommended. Laminate is much easier to cut and install than other materials, and these guides can help achieve this.

However, it is essential to check the subfloor for any possible squeaks or movement before installation of the flooring.

When concerned with the sound transfer, it is essential to choose the new flooring carefully. This guide will provide insight into the most effective flooring solutions.

Install Underlayment

Install Underlayment
Install Underlayment – Soundproof Apartment Floor

Use underlayment products more substantial than the thin layer of plywood typically used by flooring installers for a soundproofed floor. To provide the best soundproofing, it is vital to have an effective barrier that blocks sound transmission through the floor.

Soundproof floor underlayment can be the solution to any sound issue.

Despite its high reflectivity, plywood alone is insufficient to attenuate impact noise effectively. Furthermore, airborne sound can propagate when plywood is not appropriately sealed between sheets.

To make the necessary corrections, you must first assess the condition of the floor beneath the surface layer. In a standard configuration, the floor likely features:

It is necessary to access the subfloor to ensure proper underlayment installation. Once there, selecting the correct material is the only remaining factor.

Regardless, floor underlayment is usually supplied in rolls, with a peel-off strip of tape affixed to one side. Combining the pieces to create one continuous surface should reduce airborne sound. At the same time, the foam felt, or cork core of the product, will provide cushioning to reduce impact noise.

Place The MLV Under The Floorboards

Mass Loaded Vinyl is an invaluable asset for soundproofing purposes. Its versatility makes it ideal for use as a carpet and flooring underlayment.

Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass Loaded Vinyl

The installation process should be similar to that of a typical underlayment. However, you would need to join the pieces together yourself using tape.

MLV has been praised for its remarkable attributes – once explored, the enthusiasm is easy to understand. If it is chosen to be installed instead of the soundproofing underlayment, it is necessary to secure it correctly. This material comes in rolls, so allowing it to settle after placement is recommended.

Once you have allowed a suitable time for the flooring to adjust, you may trim it to the desired size and securely affix it in place. You may either reinstall the original flooring or lay a new one upon completion.

Insulate The Floor With Soundproof Insulation

Despite your best efforts, your floor’s quality depends upon the insulation batts between the floor joists. Without them, the cavity between the subfloor and the drywall beneath may amplify any noise.

Insulate The Floor
Insulate The Floor

To mitigate further occurrences of the issue, it is advised to fill the area with insulation or another absorbent material.

Given that you have already taken steps to remove your flooring down to the subfloor level, it would be beneficial to investigate what lies beneath. Upon inspection, you can ascertain the joists that serve as the flooring’s structural support system analogous to the wall studs.

Under favorable circumstances, insulation may already have been installed between the joists of your floor.

You may install dense acoustic insulation if you do not discover any obstructions in the subfloor. If any hindrances are identified, you may utilize a serrated knife for trimming the insulation accordingly. Once the floor is filled, reinstall the subfloor, fastening it firmly to the joists.

Continue replacing the remaining flooring until the restoration of your floor is complete.

Isolate The Floor Joists With 10 Isolators

Floor joist isolators are practical soundproofing components used to decouple the floor joist from the subfloor. Thereby reducing the transmission of sound through the structure to the lower level.

The Floor Joists
The Floor Joists

Furthermore, they will reduce any squeaking noises that the friction between the two surfaces may create.

The optimal solution for decoupling one’s floor from the building structure is to utilize joist isolators. These economical and low-profile rubber components are an efficient and practical way to separate the floor without significantly altering the height.

Additionally, these joist hangers are relatively uncomplicated to install. Slide them over the standard joist framework, with spacing between 12 and 24 inches apart.

Installing the subfloor may be challenging; however, if you carefully adhere to the product instructions, you can complete the task without any issues.

Use The Plywood And Green Glue

Green Glue is a highly effective sound insulator between two solid surfaces. To achieve the most significant effect, two sheets of plywood should be joined together and placed on the ground, with the edges sealed between them. The final step is to cover the plywood with the desired flooring.

Green Glue
Green Glue

The Green Glue sandwich technique is an effective damping compound for soundproofing walls and floors. An appropriate combination of two solid surfaces, such as drywall and plywood, is necessary for optimum results. You may be familiar with this technique if you have already attempted to soundproof your walls.

Upon contact with the floor, the topmost layer of plywood will vibrate from the impact. This vibration will be converted into thermal energy due to the heat generated by the Green Glue. Per the manufacturer’s instructions, two product tubes should be used for each two-by-4-foot sheet of plywood.

If you cannot purchase the item above, an MLV underlayment is a more cost-effective alternative.

Two layers of 0.5 mm glue should be applied to the plywood sheet before laying the second panel to ensure the most effective application. To remove any air bubbles, pressure should be applied to the center of the plywood sandwich and moved toward the edge.

Once you have acquired the appropriate amount of sandwiches to cover the entire area, place them on the subfloor. Finish the job with the underlayment of your preference, and you can consider the task complete.

Do These Methods Work Both Ways To Soundproof?

Soundproofing the ceiling in a situation where the floor above is inaccessible can present a challenge. In such a case, alternate solutions should be explored; while many floor soundproofing methods can affect the ceiling below, they cannot be implemented from beneath. Seeking out additional strategies is the best course of action.

Soundproofing can be achieved through several methods, such as installing soundproof panels, laying MLV, or constructing a drop ceiling. Additionally, a Green Glue sandwich technique from below can be applied, and these methods will not affect the existing drywall in the ceiling.

If access to the floor above is a viable option, attempting the methods listed in this guide is advisable before resorting to more drastic measures. If necessary, insulation batts may be more easily placed from above rather than struggling to fit between the ceiling joists.

Can You Cheaply Soundproof The Floor?

Regardless of the soundproofing approach selected for the floor, one should anticipate a significant financial investment. Generally, the cost of floor soundproofing materials is reduced when purchased in larger quantities.

If a significant area is being addressed, costs will undoubtedly accelerate.

The most cost-effective solution would be installing carpeting or purchasing new rugs, which are likely less expensive than other solutions.

Memory foam rug underlays, rubber rolls, and interlocking mats are all cost-effective options. Although they can be slightly more costly than other choices, they do not typically exceed the $100 mark. Therefore, cork tiles may be the most cost-effective solution if you merely require additional cushioning for your carpeting.

The cost of the requisite materials for subflooring may seem high, but their overall efficacy renders them a sound investment.

For the best outcome, applying either underlayment or MLV across the entire floor surface is advisable, as opposed to only using a carpet underlay.

When opting for the Green Glue sandwich, it is imperative to note that two tubes of glue are required for every two-by-four-foot sheet of plywood. Due to the substantial surface area being soundproofed, the cost may be considerable.

Cost Table Comparison

Soundproofing SolutionCost Range
Carpeting or new rugsLess expensive than other solutions
Memory foam rug underlaysUnder $100
Rubber rolls and interlocking matsUnder $100
Cork tilesMost cost-effective solution for additional cushioning
Underlayment or MLV for the entire floor surfaceCost varies based on the area being soundproofed
Green Glue sandwichConsiderable cost due to the required amount of glue and surface area being soundproofed
Cost Table Comparison

It is worth considering that the more expensive solution may be more effective than cheaper alternatives.

Compare The Noise-Blocking Ability Of Different Flooring Materials

Regarding soundproofing, thick wooden floorboards are the ideal floor covering. Adding carpets and rugs can further enhance the sound-dampening qualities of the floor.

Though how the area beneath the flooring is treated is essential, any material used will yield comparable results.

In many traditional dwellings, one can find hardy and desirable wooden flooring. However, carpeting, laminate, Vinyl, or linoleum may be the only alternatives for those living in prefabricated residences. Of these, carpeting proves to be the most effective in terms of reducing noise transmission.

In contrast, most of us acknowledge that the days of wall-to-wall carpeting have become a thing of the past and that this is a preferable state of affairs.

Regarding flooring, the leading contenders are Vinyl, linoleum, and laminate. Often, Vinyl and linoleum can be mistaken for one another, as they appear very similar, yet, they are distinct materials. Linoleum, for example, comprises all-natural elements, whereas Vinyl is made of synthetic rubber.

Given that we already use Vinyl and rubber for soundproofing floors, either should be a viable option. However, it should be noted that if one desires to reduce reverberation and increase absorption of impact noise, it should be covered with a carpet.

Neither Vinyl nor laminate suits the task as they are too thin.

Laminate flooring is quickly becoming famous for its affordability and versatility. It offers a look similar to wood with increased durability and convenience in installation. It provides excellent value for money.

Material Table Comparison

Floor Covering MaterialSound-Dampening QualitiesDurabilityAffordabilityInstallation Convenience
Thick Wooden FloorboardsIdeal floor covering for soundproofingVery durableExpensiveMore difficult to install
Carpets and RugsEnhance sound-dampening qualitiesAverage durabilityLess expensiveEasy to install
VinylSuitable for soundproofing when covered with a carpetDurableAffordableEasy to install
LinoleumEligible for soundproofing when covered with a carpetDurableAffordableEasy to install
LaminateNot ideal for soundproofing without a carpetDurableVery affordableEasy to install
Ceramic TilesIt can provide some noise reduction benefits when installed with suitable underlayment.Very durableModerately expensiveMore difficult to install in some cases
Material Table Comparison

Why We Need To Soundproof Apartment Floor

If your downstairs neighbors can hear your activities from the upper level, it is recommended to take action to reduce the sound. Nonetheless, if you live in a rental property, making structural renovations might not be feasible. Nevertheless, various strategies still exist to muffle the noise, such as using carpets, mass-loaded Vinyl, and other soundproofing materials.

Although it is impossible to circumvent building regulations and modify the flooring of your apartment, the solutions discussed at the start of the list should be viable. Consider installing a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl, rubber, or carpet underlay and covering it with rugs and carpets. This should effectively alleviate the concerns of your neighbors.

Summary Soundproof Apartment Floor

Soundproofing can begin from the top or bottom of the list, depending on the floor’s construction. It is essential to know that various approaches to soundproofing a floor exist.

It is certain that without acoustic insulation between joists, it will be challenging to soundproof the floor with MLV as the sole solution adequately.

Furthermore, if you only apply superficial solutions, you will not have an opportunity to delve deeper.

It is essential to address any potential squeaking of the joists before finalizing the soundproofing of the floor to ensure that no sounds can pass through. Neglecting to do this could result in a failed attempt at soundproofing the floor.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent posts