Well, in this post, I’ll walk you through the various aspects of soundproofing a floor to help you make an informed decision.
Moreover, you don’t need to worry even though you’re on a shoestring budget. Most of the methods that we’ve covered in this post are budget-friendly as well as highly effective.
Furthermore, in the end, we’ll also discuss the costing involved in soundproof floor projects and I’ll answer some frequently asked queries from my readers and clientele.
In short, you’ll get here all the required pieces of information that you need for soundproofing your floor.
I’m assuming that since you’ve landed on this post, so you must be looking for cost-effective ways to soundproof your apartment floor.
If that is the case, then I can assure you that I’ve shared all the experience that I had as a soundproof consultant in this post with some idiosyncratic bonus tips as well.
Well, either you’ve got a noisy neighbor downstair or you’re coined as a noisy neighbor, this post is gonna help you to avoid noise complaints on either side.
As a newbie, you may not be aware of the never-ending benefits of soundproofing a floor.
Correct me, if I’m wrong.
Allow me to throw some light on the benefits of soundproofing an apartment floor.However, I would like to make it a point that all the methods of soundproofing a floor apartment that we’re gonna discuss in this post have been tried and tested on our clients successfully.
Since the soundproofing domain is evolving at a rapid pace, so it is very important for us to adapt to the innovative technology and products to stay in the business:).
Remember, the success of any soundproofing project depends to a large extent on the selection of the soundproofing materials.
Unfortunately, the selection of a couple of wrong methods/materials can completely ruin your project.
So, before narrowing down on the products, it is highly recommended to take advise from the professionals.
Well, if you’re worried that where should you look for the required information, then let me tell you, simply keep reading, and at the end of the post, you’ll find everything in place.
Needless to say, you’ll also learn about the exact materials and specific products that you might want to check out before starting your soundproofing floor projects.
Does it make sense?
How Important Is It to Soundproof Your Apartment Floors?
Being brutally honest, there isn’t any single answer to it.
You may be wondering that what am I blabbering, right?
But, the fact is, you may want to get rid of loud neighbors or even improve the acoustics of your room.
Another reason could be to prevent the noise from going downstairs.
I’ve few clients who leave their pets at home when they leave for the office, and they want to soundproof floor because they don’t want their neighbors to listen the sound of the claws on the wood.
All said and done, I would be more than happy to know what is your REASON for soundproofing floor?
I’m sharing some of the common reasons because of which people come to me for soundproofing their apartments floor.
- Improving acoustics
- Preserving your own privacy
- Noisy neighbors
- And, most importantly, you’ve got noise complaints
These are just a few broad reasons, in fact, there can be numerous reasons as well as benefits of noise dampening floor.
Whether you’re an experienced soundproof enthusiast or a newbie, it is really important for you to understand the types of noise.
Noise caused due to TVs, music, or pet falls under the category of airborne noise.
As the name suggests, airborne noise travels through the air, and that means these sound waves can travels through the small gaps, holes, and cracks present in the vicinity of the doors and windows.
Airborne noise can also travel through the floors and ceilings.If the airborne noise isn’t troubling you or better I can say that all the measures have been taken to deal with airborne noise, then you need to check that how well are you prepared to deal with structure-borne or impact noise?
This type of sounds is produced when forces are applied on the walls, ceilings, or floors.
In short, impact noises are your footsteps or something falling on the floor.
Even kids throwing a ball or plastic brick comes under impact noise.
No matter what is the type or intensity of noise, there is always a way to make them a bit quieter.
However, if you’re exposed to a loud pitch on a continuous basis, then it’s a high time that you should look out for some solution.
Unfortunately, it can damage your hearing and increase your blood pressure as well.
I’m a firm believer of the adage, “prevention is better than cure”, and so I’m urging you to find the source of unwanted noise and eliminate it from your life at the earliest for a better and peaceful life henceforth.
Are you READY for the ride?
So, without any further ado, let’s begin…
Cheap Ways to Soundproof Your Apartment Floors
I’ve mentioned quite a few time that there are numerous ways to insulate your apartment floor.
I’m wondering if you would have implemented few of it unknowingly:)
So, are you ready for soundproofing floor of your apartment?
If yes, then try some or all of the methods that I’m gonna discuss with you in a while for the optimum result.
Well, I’m sure that quite a few of you would have definitely implemented this step knowingly or unknowingly.
Correct me, if I’m wrong:)
However, it would be totally wrong to say that these carpets can alone do wonders.
So, what these carpets are up to?
Nonetheless, the success of these carpets depends to a large extent on the thickness and density of the materials, and also the area of the floor.
The more the area of the floor you’ll cover the better will be the performance.
For the superlative outcome, the loosely-woven rugs around your apartment must be replaced with tightly-woven carpets.
To make things simpler and easier for you, I’m attaching a self-explanatory video on how to install carpet.
Soundproof Floor Mats
Once you’ve applied the soundproof mats all over the floor, you’ll definitely find a tangible reduction in the noise.
However, if you’re not satisfied with the performance and wants to dampen more of the impact as well as airborne noise, then I would recommend you to try some soundproof floor mats.
Do you agree with the statement that I made?
These rubber mats can give their best ONLY if placed at the right place and at the right time.
So, what is the preferable place for these rubber mats?
I would suggest that you should place these thick rubber mats underneath the carpet for a secured soundproofing solution.
My experience says that the rubber mat will perform better than any woven materials because it has almost negligible holes for sound to travel.
Again, from the rubber mat, I mean a highly condensed soundproof mat.
If I’m not wrong, then you may be thinking where can I get such soundproof mats, right?
Well, I can say you ONLY about the product that I’ve been using over the years now.
The Rubber-Cal mat is a well-established brand in the market and is made of recycled rubber.
The good thing about this mat is that it can serve a wide range of purpose.
For example, these soundproof mats are good at absorbing shocks.
You can also use them in the gym because they don’t slip.
Placing them underneath your floor carpet can help you to do some exercise at home as well.
The product falls under the category of budget-friendly mats and that is why they are among the cheap and easy methods to soundproof a floor. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)
Install Soundproof Materials
Till now, I’ve walked you through the cheapest ways of soundproofing floors.
Let’s raise our level a bit in terms of cost and effectiveness.
For a better soundproofing solution, you can layer mass loaded vinyl (MLV) underneath your carpet.
I can assure you that you can achieve the epitome of silence by using this method along with the other two aforementioned methods.
If my clients are willing to invest a good chunk of money in return of superlative result, then I always recommend them to apply all the three methods simultaneously.
Moreover, the steps are simple and you can execute them without any professional help.
First, lay down MLV, then rubber, and then a thick carpet, and trust me, your neighbor won’t hear your footsteps or even something hard falling on the floor.
So, why Mass Loaded Vinyl performs amazingly well?
The rubbers are highly dense, and the MLV adds the required mass.
Unlike rubber mat, you’ll have to screw or nail MLV into the floor.
So, using all the three methods together can give you a complete solution.
The upper layer is the soundproof carpets which absorb a certain percentage of the noise.
So, all in all, the combination is good to go and you’ll be more than happy to try these methods.
As we all know that mass and density are the two key components to combat unwanted noise.
Nonetheless, if you’re not getting permission to modify the floor, then you can use MLV which is smaller in dimension as compared to the rubber.
Since rubber is a non-slippery material, there won’t be any problem.
Again, the final outcome also depends upon the selection of the mass loaded vinyl.
I agree that the market is flooded with MLV, but if you’re well informed about the product, then you can make a smart buying decision.
I wholeheartedly recommend Trademark Soundproofing MLV. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)
It has literally made my work easy.
This MLV is capable of dampening different areas of a room.
The good thing about this product is that it is quite thin, odorless, and high-quality deadening material that can serve multiple purposes if used smartly.
Additional Ideas to Soundproof a Floor Cheaply
The solution won’t be complete without discussing cheap carpet padding option available online or at your local store.
These products are quite effective when used such as “under rugs”.
You can either replace the carpets with these paddings or you can place them underneath the carpet.
It will work both ways.
The good thing about these sound absorbing padding is that they will NOT only give you a much softer walking area but will also absorb any liquid spilling on the floor.
So, if you’ve got a budget for padding replacement, then why not to give it a try.
As discussed earlier also, if you’ve small kids who love to throw toys and what not, then you should definitely try puzzle piece floor mats. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)
Trust me, it will do the trick for you.
Use these floor mats to create a small soundproof zone for your kids.
The good news about these puzzle mats is that they have numbers, letters, and even pictures on them.
Since they are made of high-quality unique foam, so they are bound to have a high-absorption capability.
It is always good to find an engaging solution to the habit of small kids such as throwing toys and other similar objects on the floor.
If you’re a fitness freak and love exercising at home, then I would suggest that you could try this foamy material for exercise. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)
It helps you to get a good grip while performing different module of exercise, and at the same time, it helps you to be quiet about the same.
If you don’t wanna go with the aforementioned method, then you can try exercise mats which are made of foam or rubber.
Especially, if you’re having “jumping jacks” or you’re looking for ways to isolate a small area for soundproofing, then nothing can work better than this option.
Of course, I’m considering the most affordable way.
Best Way to Soundproof a Floor
So, finally, we’re gonna discuss the best ways to soundproof a floor cheaply.
But before that, I would like to know what are some of the hacks that you’ve been using for soundproofing floors of your apartment.
Well, I’ll be more than happy to register your response in the comment section.
Before I jump into the best soundproofing floor method, I would like to convey to you that it is not the cheapest method and also, it will require some modification on your floor.
So, what is the best way to soundproof your apartment floor?
Are you inquisitive?
Furthermore, underlayment materials can be used under your carpet or you can install it under the floor to add an extra layer of sound insulation.
The two basic criteria for this method is to have patience and a decent budget.
Moving further, you’ll need to get to the subfloor, to lay down the underlayment.
You’ll need to lift the flooring and lay the underlayment on the subfloor.
Over the underlayment, you’ll need to glue two layers of plywood to each other and lay them down over the underlayment.
So, to avoid any confusion, you need to cross-check the sequence in the top to bottom order after you’ve installed hardwood over everything.
- Hardwood floor
- Green Glue
So, are you on a lookout for a “value for money” underlayment material?
Try Robert’s Underlayment, (Check the Current Price On Amazon) an affordable product that is specifically made to provide a cushion between concrete and wood/laminated flooring.
Some of my clients prefer to use underlayment directly under their apartment floors.
If that sounds great, then you can go for it.
Nonetheless, the plywood and the green glue techniques are the two things that you can’t ignore if you’re looking for a superlative outcome.
You’ll be astonished to know that green glue is all that you need to make a big difference.
It is a soundproofing compound that is used as a glue between two surfaces.
Green glue doesn’t work as sound deadener alone.
However, when it is poured between two layers, then it acts as a sound deadener.
Green glue is quite popular as a soundproof deadener, and to capitalize:) on its popularity, I’ve written a detailed article: Green Glue vs QuietRock
Finally, I’m done with all the pieces of information and knowledge I had accumulated over a decade on soundproofing a floor cheaply.
In case, you want to achieve the epitome of silence, then I would advise you to use all the aforementioned methods.
It goes without saying that all the methods aren’t important when it comes to soundproofing a floor cheaply still I would recommend them.
Best Soundproof Floor Underlayment
I’ll be walking you through few soundproof floor underlayment that you may apply to your soundproofing floor projects for a better end result.
Underlayment isn’t necessary.
However, adding it to the soundproof floor project will definitely give you a superlative outcome.
FEATHER STEP 3-IN-1 SILENT VAPOR BARRIER FLOORING UNDERLAYMENT
Well, this is well-known as well as a reputed brand on the market.
The product comes in a roll and is more than enough to cover a surface of 100 square feet.
According to my knowledge, the base material of this product is rubberized foam.
The product consists of a black rubberized cushion on one side and a silver foil-like vapor barrier on the other.
If we talk about the thickness then the underlayment is about 0.08 inch thick.
To attach the piece together, it comes with a strip of adhesive on the sides.
The subfloor can be either of two: wood or cement.
And, the good news is, though the product comes with many unique features still it is highly affordable.
Let’s have a look at some of the important features of this underlayment.
FLOORLOT FLOORING LAMINATE VAPOR BARRIER UNDERLAYMENT
Unlike, most of the floor underlayment available on the market, the Floorlot underlayment comes in a roll of 200 square feet, rather than 100 square feet.
Again, this product is also good for laminate and floating floors.
It comes with a peel-and-stick tape that makes the installation process quite easy.
This idiosyncratic product includes a vapor barrier and the base material of this product is foam.
The thickness(0.11 inches) of the foam is more than enough to dampen the noise caused by your footsteps.
It also falls under the affordable floor underlayment category.
I hope you’ll like the features of this product.
ROBERTS BLACKJACK 2-IN-1 PREMIUM LAMINATE AND ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING UNDERLAYMENT
This underlayment is highly recommended for both laminate flooring and engineered wood.
The base material of this underlayment is closed-cell foam.
It is moisture and mold-resistant.
Moreover, it comes in rolls and one roll can cover an area of 100 square feet.
As compared to its counterparts, this underlayment is thin, and you can expect it to be 0.09 inches thick.
Though most of the feedback given by my clients was positive.
However, a few of them complained about the material being too easy to rip.
The product is cost-effective.
Though the product comes with a vapor barrier still I feel that it needs an additional layer of protection.
Well, it comes with a plastic overlap to attach the adhesive strip to.
Let’s have a close look at its features.
Soundproof Floor Costing
|Material for Soundproofing Floor
You may be wondering why I’ve ONLY included carpet in the costing, right?
Well, the topic of this post is, “How to soundproof a floor cheaply?” and thus I’ve only mentioned the cost of the carpet.
I’ll be answering a couple of questions on the soundproof floor.
The questions that I’ve selected to answer are asked by my clientele.
In case, you also have some questions on this topic, then you can ask me in the comment section.
What is the best soundproofing material for floors?
Well, nothing comes close to a soundproof floor underlayment when we evaluate various options available for soundproofing floors.
Some of the well-known and common underlay materials are cork, vinyl, rubber, and foam.
These materials are known to be dense and offer good sound insulation and impact deadening (footsteps).
How much does it cost to soundproof the floor?
Well, the upper limit could be anything.
But, most of my readers are eagerly waiting to know the lower limit, right?
As mentioned in the soundproof floor costing section, anything around $100 is a decent budget to start with a soundproofing floor project.
However, the budget will increase tremendously if you inculcate a soundproof floor underlayment method into your project.
It’s A Wrap
I hope we have been successful in delivering as per our readers’ expectations.
Needless to say, there are many ways of soundproofing an apartment floor.
Some methods are less effective than others.
For example, placing an exercise mat on the floor can help you to get rid of ONLY impact noise.
Even though you’ll increase the number of exercise mats they won’t be able to combat airborne noise.
Nonetheless, if you’ve allocated a decent budget for soundproofing the apartment floor, then I would recommend you follow all the steps in the same sequence as mentioned in this post.
It will definitely help you to achieve a quiet ambiance.As a soundproof consultant, I’ve done quite a few projects related to soundproof floors, and you’ll be astonished to know that I’ve always followed the steps that I’ve mentioned here.
Time and again, I’ve emphasized following the steps in the same sequence as mentioned in this post.
Skipping any step can directly impact the performance, so try not to skip any of these steps.
In case, you’re on a shoestring budget, then I would recommend you to go with the green glue and plywood technique, it would help you to dampen the noise significantly.
I can assure you that by following the aforementioned techniques you will be able to soundproof your floor to such an extent that you won’t be able to hear the noise of your downstairs neighbors.
At last, the decision is yours.
Furthermore, I’ve shared all the information related to the soundproof floors that I’ve accumulated over the years.
So I’m damn sure now you can make an informed decision.
It goes without saying that the sound inside the apartment will improve significantly if you continue layering MLV, rubber, and carpeting on the top of the underlayment.
What is the budget that you’re ready to spend on the soundproofing floor?
Which of the aforementioned methods are you planning to inculcate in your soundproofing projects?
Have you ever used any other method for soundproofing your apartment floor?
I would be more than happy to know about any method that you’ve used to soundproof your apartment floors and has given you a good result.
Last but not least, it would be a great help for us in case you’ll share this piece of information with the ones looking for it.
After all, sharing is caring!