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How to achieve sound proofing/noise insulation in the house


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Currently staying in a barn conversion in the Cotswolds for a holiday, and while it's lovely and quaint - the lack of any soundproofing/noise insulation (not sure what the accurate technical term is) does drive me up the wall.

 

  • Creaky floorboards
  • Creaky staircases
  • Can hear people talking in the room next to you
  • Can even hear people talking on another floor
  • The worst one - can hear other people using the bathroom on another floor!

 

Which has solidified my decision to do as much as possible to put in the structural elements in our self build to avoid these. We will most likely end up building in ICF (Nudura blocks) but this is only for the external walls.

 

What other things do I need to factor in for the floor, internal walls etc so that noise doesn't travel from one room to another? I visited one site where a contractor recommended Lewis deck flooring, would this work?

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My father-in-law was an acoustician and insisted we install resiliant bars as a cheap and easy solution for decreasing sound transfer from one room to another. As well as this, we did a lot of double boarding and all internal walls and ceilings had a sufficient layer of acoustic insulation and the results are a nice surprise.

 

My parents built a very similar construction to ours, but didn't take sound transfer in to consideration and can hear others using the bathroom elsewhere in the house. We can barely hear a relatively loud radio from one room to another.

 

I'd definitely recommend resiliant bars: https://www.floorscan.co.uk/product/db-resilient-bar/ was my supplier. Cost me about £650 inc VAT for the entire house (downstairs ceilings and all partitions where sound transfer wasn't desired).

Edited by djcdan
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7 minutes ago, djcdan said:

My father-in-law was an acoustician and insisted we install resiliant bars as a cheap and easy solution for decreasing sound transfer from one room to another. As well as this, we did a lot of double boarding and all internal walls and ceilings had a sufficient layer of acoustic insulation and the results are a nice surprise.

 

My parents built a very similar construction to ours, but didn't take sound transfer in to consideration and can hear others using the bathroom elsewhere in the house. We can barely hear a relatively loud radio from one room to another.

 

I'd definitely recommend resiliant bars: https://www.floorscan.co.uk/product/db-resilient-bar/ was my supplier. Cost me about £600-700 off the top of my head for the entire house (downstairs ceilings and particular partitions where sound transfer wasn't desired).

Plus 1.

 Also worth insisting on D4 expanding glue and floor tite screws for fixing your chipboard flooring down. 
Metal studs, if staggered, can also isolate the side of a wall from each other.

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Just now, Adsibob said:

Plus 1.

 Also worth insisting on D4 expanding glue and floor tite screws for fixing your chipboard flooring down. 
Metal studs, if staggered, can also isolate the sides of a wall from each other.

 

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Solid construction helps, if not rockwool batts, four layers of plasterboardvan walls all different thicknesses, double tack ceilings 

 

never had creaky floors used ringshank gun nails joists mustn't move pipes wrapped through joists,no unsupported ends of boards 

 

no air paths, no back to back sockets or light switches, no downlighers  use acoustic sealants, restrict sound going over/under/round walls 

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Use precast concrete floor slabs. Half the cost of a Lewis deck and 10x faster.

 

Metal stud walls with 50mm accoustic insualtion.

 

Suspended ceiling with 150mm void and 100mm insulation.

 

ICF walls

 

Solid, fire rated doors.

 

Triple glazing.

 

Concrete stairs

 

Carpet and rugs.

 

Thats what we have (apart from stairs) and our house is silent. From both inside and from out.

 

Edited by Conor
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1 hour ago, Conor said:

Use precast concrete floor slabs. Half the cost of a Lewis deck and 10x faster.

 

Metal stud walls with 50mm accoustic insualtion.

 

Suspended ceiling with 150mm void and 100mm insulation.

 

ICF walls

 

Solid, fire rated doors.

 

Triple glazing.

 

Concrete stairs

 

Carpet and rugs.

 

Thats what we have (apart from stairs) and our house is silent. From both inside and from out.

 


Concrete stairs - would you have this covered with a wooden one/veneers or do you mean proper concrete like commercial ones?

 

Also, wasn’t planning on carpets earlier but LVT on ground floor and engineered wood on the 1st floor. 

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3 hours ago, Indy said:


Concrete stairs - would you have this covered with a wooden one/veneers or do you mean proper concrete like commercial ones?

 

Also, wasn’t planning on carpets earlier but LVT on ground floor and engineered wood on the 1st floor. 

You'd stick on your LVT or engineered wood to the stairs.

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5 hours ago, Conor said:

You'd stick on your LVT or engineered wood to the stairs.

That sounds like a plan.

 

Any ideas on what the cost differential between concrete stairs and an oak staircase would be?

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20 hours ago, djcdan said:

My father-in-law was an acoustician and insisted we install resiliant bars as a cheap and easy solution for decreasing sound transfer from one room to another. As well as this, we did a lot of double boarding and all internal walls and ceilings had a sufficient layer of acoustic insulation and the results are a nice surprise.

This is the only thing i wish I had done on my build, I am a little disappointed in sound transference between floors (downstairs tv can be heard in bedrooms etc) despite good detailing in other respects.

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3 hours ago, Indy said:

That sounds like a plan.

 

Any ideas on what the cost differential between concrete stairs and an oak staircase would be?

When we looked at it over a year ago, concrete stairs were £2.5k. thought it was a bit much so skipped it. Ended up with an oak staircase with cut string for the same money. In hindsight would have gone for the concrete as would have made things simpler and faster.

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2 hours ago, Conor said:

would have made things simpler and faster.

Not necessarily. Precast stairs have to be craned in (or forklift) so needs access. (roof off).

Also' like any product, they can have errors of dimensions or brackets but are not easy to adapt.

And, unless things have changed, they come in standard sizes so you may end up with a slope on the treads.

 

This is from experience of a flight not filling the space available, requiring a pause, conversations and site works, and a return of the crane.

But strong and silent once in place.

 

OR cast on site, so effectively a temporary timber stair as a shutter.

 

Double the cost of oak, treble the cost of pine.

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12 hours ago, saveasteading said:

Not necessarily. Precast stairs have to be craned in (or forklift) so needs access. (roof off).

Also' like any product, they can have errors of dimensions or brackets but are not easy to adapt.

And, unless things have changed, they come in standard sizes so you may end up with a slope on the treads.

 

This is from experience of a flight not filling the space available, requiring a pause, conversations and site works, and a return of the crane.

But strong and silent once in place.

 

 

They would have come from the company that supplied the precast slabs and the stairs would have been designed in at the same time when the slabs were measured up. If it hadn't fitted, would have been their problem and their crane cost! I'm sure cladding it in oak or what ever would have added huge cost so I'm not exactly losing sleep over it! 

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The concrete stairs in our ICF build were poured the same day they poured the concrete for the first floor. I thought we were going to need precast stairs, but when I discussed this with our ICF supplier, they said they would build the form work and cast the stairs in situ. This worked out very well. Their structural engineer did the calculations and design too. We were already using their EPS floorboard product for the first floor, so this already required a concrete pour. 

If you are planning on having a concrete staircase make sure the structural engineer designing the foundation is aware of this. 

 

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I just used Acoustic Insulation, the rockwool r45 stuff in the stud walls and between floors. Standard plasterboard, upstairs also is double decked, so 18mm OSB and then 22mm chipboard on top. That was down to a screw up by me. Carpet upstairs too. Anyhow, very little noise transfer compared to any other house we have owned so well chuffed

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On 02/04/2022 at 00:10, djcdan said:

My father-in-law was an acoustician and insisted we install resiliant bars as a cheap and easy solution for decreasing sound transfer from one room to another. As well as this, we did a lot of double boarding and all internal walls and ceilings had a sufficient layer of acoustic insulation and the results are a nice surprise.

 

My parents built a very similar construction to ours, but didn't take sound transfer in to consideration and can hear others using the bathroom elsewhere in the house. We can barely hear a relatively loud radio from one room to another.

 

I'd definitely recommend resiliant bars: https://www.floorscan.co.uk/product/db-resilient-bar/ was my supplier. Cost me about £650 inc VAT for the entire house (downstairs ceilings and all partitions where sound transfer wasn't desired).

Thanks for that .our house has sound and smell move from ground floor to the bedrooms. Kitchen smells and car in the garage below waft into upstairs rooms. Walk in a bedroom and clunks in the lounge . 
we will demolish it and build new and take your advice and others here . Well done.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 02/04/2022 at 06:45, Conor said:

Use precast concrete floor slabs. Half the cost of a Lewis deck and 10x faster.

 

Metal stud walls with 50mm accoustic insualtion.

 

Suspended ceiling with 150mm void and 100mm insulation.

 

ICF walls

 

Solid, fire rated doors.

 

Triple glazing.

 

Concrete stairs

 

Carpet and rugs.

 

Thats what we have (apart from stairs) and our house is silent. From both inside and from out.

 

Hi conor, 

 

That's gas, we are going for a lot of the same finishes. Just poured the first floor today on Kingsland multi deck. What was the make up of your metal stud partitions? 

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