Blocking Sounds in Floors and Ceilings
Blocking noise from neighbors above or below – whether it’s heavy footsteps, a loud television or stereo, or active children that keep reminding you that you’re not alone when you’re home, the best approach is to slow down or block sound waves emanating from the ceiling or floor.
Let’s start with noise penetrating the ceiling. If you already have a drop ceiling, use sound blocking material that fits easily under the ceiling tiles, within the grid pattern. If you do not have a drop ceiling and the noise is particularly bothersome, consider installing one. Since it is situated below the original drywall ceiling, the plenum space can accommodate noise abatement material to take care of residual sound before it penetrates your living space.
If you don't want to install a drop ceiling, there are other options for installing sound deadening material, depending on the type of ceiling. You can discuss your options with an acoustical expert to determine the best application and cost consideration for soundproofing your ceiling.
If noise from your downstairs neighbor is leaking through your flooring, or if they’re complaining that they can hear you walking around or playing with your children, there are a number of options to deaden noise penetrating floors.
Carpeting and padding are rarely enough to prevent sound from emanating through the floor to the apartment downstairs or room below. Noise blocking material placed under the carpeting, hardwood flooring, or tile is your best bet for soundproofing floors.
Living with noise is unhealthy. It increases stress level, disturbs sleep, and can erode one’s health over time. There are excellent options for dealing with ceiling noise, floor noise, and wall noise that can be tailored to your particular unwelcome sound problem and source, with installation options that will suit your budget and the limitations of your living space.
Do you have any nightmare memories of neighborly noise from above or below? Tell us about them, and what you did (if anything) to resolve the problem.