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Soundproof Your Floors
Learn the ins and outs of soundproofing your home.
- Photo: Flickr
Paying attention to what’s underneath your floors can have a profound effect on noise reduction and sound control in your home.
Like other room components, floors respond to the four steps of sound deadening, which include absorption, blocking, breaking, and isolating sound. When attempting to control noise and noise transmission, it is important to consider each of these areas and how you can use them to reduce sound transfer.
Isolate Noise in New Construction
The key to proper sound deadening for floors is to do the work during new construction when subfloors and joists are exposed. A number of manufacturers offer sound-isolating floor mats and anti-sound boards that are installed beneath new floors to keep sound locked in place, rather than transmitting it to upper or lower levels.
Mats or sound-deadening underlayments may be constructed of lightweight closed-cell foam, recycled rubber, or heavy barrier vinyl. When properly installed below one or two layers of 1/2-inch sub floor, mats will isolate vibration and noise from foot falls and dropped skillets. Sound-reducing mats can be used beneath hardwood floors, carpet with pad, ceramic tile, vinyl, or wood-laminate flooring.
Another component best installed during new construction is an acoustical sound board, which is placed beneath the sub floor. The sound board, like other subflooring components, isolates the sound before it has a chance to reflect up into the room.
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