How to Soundproof Between Existing Floors: Practical Solutions for Noise Reduction

Looking for peace and quiet at home? Then soundproofing between existing floors is key. Footsteps and chatter can disrupt your serenity, causing stress and frustration.

Don’t be scared. We’ll assist you. We’ll advise on the best course and guide you one step at a time.

There are straightforward and advanced methods to soundproof between floors. Options range from plush carpets to acoustic panels. Identifying the sources of noise is critical to choosing the right technique and materials.

Don’t forget, there’s no universal way to make floors soundproof once they’re built. By familiarizing yourself with the available methods, we can help you create a more peaceful and tranquil home environment.

Discover how to soundproof between existing floors, and take the necessary steps to achieve the results you desire.

Understanding Noise Types

To soundproof existing floors, we must first know two types of noise: airborne and impact. By grasping these noises, we can apply methods to reduce each one effectively.

Airborne Noise

Airborne noise is when sound waves move through the air. It happens when people talk, music plays or TV sounds. The noise moves through the air and shakes walls, floors, and ceilings.

To reduce the noise, we can use soft things like insulation, cover gaps or add furniture to soak up the sound. These tricks make it harder for the noise to travel or shake things.

Impact Noise

Thumps and bangs make impact noise, also called footfall or structure-borne noise, by hitting surfaces like floors. This noise is tough to fix since the vibration goes through the building’s bones like the walls and floor joists before making a sound below.

To fix impact noise, we can use bouncy materials like underlayment or a floating floor system. Also, putting in thicker carpets and pads can suck up some of the vibrations from impacts, which can lower the noise that goes from floor to floor.

How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors

How To Soundproof Between Existing Floors

Soundproofing Materials

Let’s talk about stuff that makes floors quieter. There are three types: barriers, absorbers, and decouplers. If you use them right, you can hush up the noise between floors.

Barrier Materials

Materials designed to stop sound from travelling through them are known as barrier materials. These materials are heavy and dense and can prevent noise from passing between floors. Some examples of barrier materials are:

  1. Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV): This material is flexible and heavy and can be applied to walls, ceilings, and floors to stop sound from passing through.
  2. Gypsum board: Also called drywall, this option is affordable and easy to install to block sound.
  3. Green glue: This is a sticky substance that can be applied between layers of drywall to improve sound isolation.

Absorption and Dampening Materials

Absorbing materials decrease sound energy while dampening materials reduce vibrations in floors. Some options for these materials are:

  • Acoustic foam panels: These panels made of polyurethane foam absorb sound waves and can be placed on walls, ceilings, or floors directly.
  • Sound-absorbing panels: These panels are often made of sound-absorbing materials such as fibreglass wrapped in fabric. They help to decrease echo and reverberation within a space.
  • Carpet padding: Putting carpet padding or an acoustic floor underlayment beneath your carpet can absorb sound and dampen vibrations from foot traffic.

Decoupling Materials

Use Decoupling Materials for soundproofing Between Existing Floors

Decoupling materials break the physical link between two surfaces to reduce the sound and vibration transmitted between them. Below are some popular options for decoupling materials:

  1. Sound isolation clips: These clips make a gap between the drywall and the ceiling. This stops sound vibrations from travelling through the structure.
  2. Acoustic sealant: Use this airtight sealant around floors, walls, and ceilings to fill gaps and prevent sound transfer.
  3. Resilient channels: These metal channels go between the framing members and the drywall. They create a small space that reduces the direct transfer of vibrations and sound.

Remember, pick soundproofing materials that suit the specific needs of your space. Combine multiple strategies and consider the unique nature of each material to create an effective solution for reducing noise between existing floors.

Flooring Options

To make the floors soundproof, choose from these floorings: carpets, mats, or floating floors. They work well and are popular.

Carpeting and Rugs

To quell the jitters from footsteps and hush the clatter of movement, just toss some carpets or rugs onto your floor. The brawnier the cushioning, the sweeter the silence. The fibres and fabrics can muffle noise and calm the shakes from below.

if you want to jazz up your digs and add a bit of ease, rugs and carpets are a class act. For the best results, pick padding that can do both: absorb sound and provide cushioning.

Interlocking Floor Mats

Floor mats that interlock can keep sound from travelling between floors without costing a lot. You can put them on any floor and they come in different colours and designs. They’re built with materials that stop vibrations and sound from moving around.

The mats have some good things about them, like how easy they are to install and how you can take them out if you need to. They’re perfect if you want a soundproof fix that’s not permanent, or if your rental rules won’t let you make changes.

Rubber Floor Mats

Rubber mats muffle noise between floors. They soak up vibrations and quiet footsteps. Tough, waterproof, and simple to scrub, they are solid too.

Use them over any floor, especially busy spots like hallways. They’re perfect for rooms with large machines, safeguarding the subfloor from harm.

Floating Floors

You can select floating floors to soundproof your floors more efficiently. They don’t stick to the subfloor and can move independently, which absorbs sound better. Different materials like laminate, engineered hardwood, and vinyl tiles can be used for this type of flooring.

Though installing a floating floor can be more challenging than other flooring options discussed earlier, it can provide excellent soundproofing results if done correctly.

Using appropriate underlayment materials such as acoustic foam or felt will also boost the soundproofing ability of the floating floor system.

Soundproofing Strategies

Here, we’ll talk about ways to make floors quieter. We’ll look at three methods: adding layers, sealing gaps, and decoupling. These tricks can cut down on noise travelling between floors.

Adding Layers

To make floors quieter, add layers of materials that soak up sound and stop noise from bouncing around. Here are three ways to do it:

  • Carpet and Padding: Putting down a thick carpet and padding can really cut down on noise from people walking or things being dropped.
  • Soundproof Floor Underlayment: Putting a soundproof layer under hardwood or laminate flooring can stop vibrations from travelling and cut down on noise.
  • Gypsum Wallboard and Cement Board: Adding layers of these heavy materials to the floor or ceiling can make a better sound barrier by making the structure denser and more massive.

Sealing Gaps and Joints

To reduce noise transmission between floors, fill any gaps or joints in the building’s structure. Here’s how:

  1. Apply acoustic caulk to fill gaps and joints around the edges of the floor or ceiling, as well as around electrical outlets and fixtures.
  2. Use weatherstripping to seal doors and windows, creating a better sound barrier.

Decoupling Techniques

The ceiling or floor structures can be separated using decoupling techniques to prevent vibrations and sound from passing through directly. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Resilient Channels: Put resilient channels between joists and the ceiling or floor to make a gap that reduces sound transmission. These channels let things move, which helps absorb vibrations.
  • Floating Floor: Use a floating floor that doesn’t touch the subfloor and instead has an intermediate layer, like foam or rubber, to absorb shocks.
  • Dampening Compounds: Apply a dampening compound, such as Green Glue, between layers of plywood or gypsum wallboard to limit noise transfer by decreasing vibrations.

Remember, you might need to use a combination of these techniques, depending on your situation and budget. But dealing with the source of the noise and taking steps to reduce its impact will make a big difference in how comfortable and enjoyable your living space is.

Optimizing Room Environment

When quieting the space between floors, setting up the room just right is key. Here, we’ll cover some smart tactics for lowering sound, like using furniture well, putting up sound-absorbing panels, and hanging a suspended ceiling.

Using Furniture Wisely

To make less noise from above, place furniture cleverly. Heavy things like bookshelves, sofas, and cabinets suck up sound and stop noise from neighbours. Also, put rugs or carpets on the floors to improve the noise-reducing power, and have a more pleasant living or recording space.

Adding Acoustic Panels

To hush the sound between floors, use acoustic panels. They’re made of materials that soak up noise, lessening the spread of airborne and impact sounds.

Adding them to the walls or ceiling in your apartment or condo makes a big difference. This is especially useful if you live near others or work in a recording studio.

Installing Drop Ceiling

A false ceiling or suspended ceiling can help block sounds between floors. Put in a second ceiling under the first one to make a gap. The gap soaks up and isolates sound, keeping it from moving up to the next floor.

This trick not only lowers noise but also guards against fire and moisture. Just remember, you might need a pro to fit the drop ceiling right and get the best soundproofing outcome.

Professional Assistance

When making floors soundproof, hiring experts can make a big difference. Loud neighbours can be bothersome when you want to relax or work quietly.

Professionals know how to deal with different types of noise and materials to reduce sound. They have experience with soundproofing studios, homes, and other structures.

They can do many tasks, like adding soundproof drywall or treating concrete floors. They can also manage difficult noises like background sounds and vibrations.

Experts can also suggest and install materials to lower sound, such as noise-reducing compounds, plywood, and thick rugs. They may also create specialized solutions like acoustic ceilings or walls to reduce sound even more.

Experts have the right tools for the job, like deck screws that make tight seals to keep sound from travelling between floors. Whether it’s a big or small job, hiring professionals guarantee good work and complete noise control.


As one who’s battled loud neighbours upstairs, I can vouch for soundproofing between floors. Using the methods here has let me sleep well and be my best self.

While it takes work and money, it pays off later. Do some homework and find a way that suits your wallet and gives you calm. Act now and make your home a restful haven.

About Author

this is john Andrew from Australia, I am an architect I have worked for the home improvement company Bunnings. I am a home improvement specialist as well as a part-time blogger. Where I will keep giving you tips on soundproofing, you follow our blog.

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