Soundproofing Your Home

Noise disturbance from neighbours or within your own home can be a real nuisance. Sound filtering down from above, below or next-door can have a negative effect on your quality of life.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help reduce noise levels in your home.

If you are constructing a new home or renovating an existing one, there are building regulations passed in 2003 with which you will need to comply. Check up on these regulations if you fall within this category.

If it is upstairs noise causing a problem, remember it is simpler to soundproof a floor than a ceiling. If you are soundproofing an existing room, it is possible to buy soundproofing materials that fix to floors, walls and ceilings. The thickness of sound insulation can vary, but bear in mind the final interior size of the room will be reduced once the insulation material is in place.

Soundproofing a floor is the easiest noise reduction option. A competent DIY-er could manage this job, however, a better result may be achieved using a professional carpet fitter. Soundproofing a floor involves laying or glueing one to two layers of soundproofing material, occasionally followed by carpet underlay. This is a simple and effective way of dampening sounds and reducing noise travelling between floors.

Another soundproofing option is to fabricate a floating floor. Reasonable carpentry skills are needed for this, but the final result will reduce impact and airborne noise levels.

It is possible to soundproof a ceiling, but this takes more time and expertise to achieve. For best results the ceiling should be removed and soundproofing insulation material placed between the joists. Bars should be fitted across the joists then the ceiling re-plasterboarded. Always use a qualified electrician to re-install or remove any light fittings.

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