Just purchased a second floor condo - right upon move in the downstairs neighbors went into a long discussion about how they can hear every footstep, every movement like and elephant herd and have been living in misery for six years. Not clear why they never moved/upgrade their ceiling.
In any case, for my own sanity I'd like to do some soundproofing on the cheap, with no access from below. Ambient sound doesn't seem to be a problem, so it is all about impact noise. The main goal is to be able to walk around late at night without constant worry about the light and early sleeping neighbors.
Here is the plan:
The current subfloor is thin and squeaky, so I will tear off and salvage the existing hardwood to gain access and refasten the existing subfloor to joists with ceramic coated deck screws.
Next, install a second OBX subfloor on top (1/2"?) offset from the first layer seams. (Screw or glue this to the first subfloor?) On top of that, lay down a 2mm or 5mm rubber underlayment, and then replace the hardwood that is going to be restained.
A couple of questions: Any glaring problems with the plan? I got most of the ideas from this site and the soundproofing sites around the web.
Most concerned about the top layer - the nail down hardwood. Nailing through the rubber underlayment detracts from the soundproofing performance, so is their any way to convert a nail down floor to be able to glue it to rubber underlayment or float it somehow like engineered wood?
Many thanks and really appreciate it,
not so sure you are going to be able to reuse that flooring once it's ripped out. depends on the nails or staples they used. IMPHO if the floor was professionally installed, it's going to splinter away and you're buying new wood. do NOT go with laminate, that stuff is noisy. engineered flooring should be ok.
if you want to road-test the plan, get a roll of the underlayment and a few sheets of Masonite. roll the material on one area and painters-tape it in place. put the masonite on top, call the neighbors downstairs, and walk on the demo while talking to them, then step off and walk on a section of the standard floor. if it's not going to work, best to find out before spending all of your money, right?
even if you switch to carpet, you've got to fix the squeak with more and better underlayment.
don't forget to run this past the niza's at the condo office.. all that covenant and HOA stuff, you know.This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
1. You can forget salvaging the existing floor - just not going to happen. When you go to remove the existing T&G, it's going to splinter and break. It will not be in any condition to use for anything except firewood.
(Which could be a good thing because...)
2. You cannot do a nail-down floor on top of a flexible base. Your floor will give and move and soon will be squeaking louder than ever as the nails rub against the hardwood. Since you are not going to be able to reuse the existing hardwood anyway, plan on installing a floating engineered floor. Floating floors are installed on top of a 1/8" foam pad or 1/4" batted pad. Go with the thicker type (it's the kind designed for concrete floors). The basic foam pan costs 25 cents per SF but it's worth paying the 50 cents per SF for the thicker, higher quality stuff.
3. Your plan to screw down the existing subfloor is good, as is the plan to lay a second layer of OSB subfloor on top of the existing one - but it really should be 3/4" instead of 1/2". Any density will help deaden sound transmissions. Only problem with adding the new layer of subfloor is that it will raise the floor level by that much - plus whatever flooring you put on top of it. This will mean that you'll be cutting doorjambs, reinstalling base trim at a higher level and that you'll have some transitions to adjoining rooms.
4. If you like carpet, then installing a pad and carpet on top of your subfloor modifications will do more for sound deadening than any hard floor surface. Carpet will cost less too. But, you've gotta like carpet.
If you do go with some form of engineered hardwood, then adding some rugs will also help.
At least do something in the master bedroom regardless of how much you have to do. The neighbors are being kind in letting you know.
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