How to Soundproof an Engineered Wood Floor in a Flat
How to Have Your Wooden Floor and Walk on it
Wooden floors look lovely, are hardwearing and easy to clean. But far from being soundproof they create a large amount of noise. They are often prohibited in flats or apartment buildings, due to noise restrictions. You can, however, apply to install an engineered wooden floor in an apartment with added soundproofing if you can prove it to be in accordance with Schedule E of the Building Regulations which states a minimum requirement for 65DB (decibels).
The regulation 64db is a culmination of all the layers of the flooring. This covers both “air born noise” like a dog barking, which travels, as its name suggests, through air and through gaps and cracks in a building, and “impact noice” which travels through materials and objects, like footsteps above.
Below is a diagram using conservative averages for standard inter floor structures.
It’s worth baring in mind that the the various methods of acoustic insulation available vary in costs, not only their own, but some will require specialist installation, or may require added structural support (many layered foam absorbers need an extra layer of MDF chip or hardboard between them and the floor structure.
The money can be well spent, as the extra layering will also provide thermal protection, keeping your home warmer or cooler for longer and reducing energy bills. And there is a bonus for fire protection, adding an extra layer of plasterboard will give you another 8 minutes of fire resistance.
Should you wish to have a floating solid wood floor (lucky you, you must have fantastic ceiling heights), there are various forms of acoustic underlay available.
If your neighbours above have installed wooden flooring without adequate insulation post 2003 you can write to your building management and have it reinstalled. Unfortunately this cannot be retro applied to works commenced before this year.
If you have any questions about changing your flooring, contact Kia Designs today.