How to best soundproof upstairs floor to minimize sound downstairs?
November 24, 2021 1:10 AM   Subscribe

My upstairs neighbor is willing to put in soundproofing in their floor to deal with issues with footfall sound in my condo. What is the best thing to do here on a reasonable budget?

The condo above mine has no soundproofing in the floor. The current owner isn't willing to put down rugs, but has agreed to split the cost of installing soundproofing material under laminate floors with me. I am happy with this solution because it has the possibility of being a more permanent way to deal with the soundproofing, even if it is expensive short term.

The budget for this is not huge, but I would like to figure out what the best choices for soudproofing underlay material is to push for. The floor on top will be laminate. What should I suggest for the soundproofing material?
posted by kms to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Mass loaded vinyl underlayment will be your best option.
posted by MonsieurBon at 6:17 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]

I too live in a downstairs condo. Years ago I had the joist space filled with insulation. I don't remember the cost, but it was worth every penny.
In terms of laminate flooring, I know they make a heavier, rubber-type underlay material for that purpose. It won't be one hundred percent, but it will help.
posted by jtexman1 at 6:19 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]

What is the structure of the floor, as in what is there between your two condos? Is the building wood construction or concrete? How much height is your upstairs neighbour willing to lose? Are you willing to lose any ceiling height at all? Depending on the details, it may make more sense for you to add insulation or soundproofing like drywall clips from underneath than add anything above.
posted by ssg at 8:39 AM on November 24

Your issue is known as "impact noise". Buy this product.
If you want to reduce the impact noise, you will need to increase the height of the floor (or add a new ceiling below). (If what you do doesn't involve thick material added between your ears and their feet, it cannot be effective. It's physics). Problem is, a higher floor requires transitions to other flooring types, baseboards and door bottoms need to be cut, and other small issues that add up.

Even this alone is just good, not great; you want as much mass above the rubber mat as possible. Ideally a layer of two of OSB or plywood on top of the rubber mat then the laminate on top.

This is why many condos mandate carpeting. Simple, cheap, very effective at mitigating impact noise.
posted by flimflam at 11:47 AM on November 24 [1 favorite]

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