Soundproofing between floors

After some research we noticed that one of the most effective ways to reduce impact noise between floors was to put a recycled tyre product between the floor and sub floor. It creates a vibrating cushion that absorbs the impact, thus deadening the sound.

The only problem is that this product is costly. And costly is not green in the slightest.

So we went to the mechanic down the road. He was more than happy to give us some used tires. He has to pay to dispose of them into the landfill. We took the tires and cut them into little strips.

The strips were placed wherever a stud or support beam made contact with the floor above, creating a sound impact barrier between the two floors. Kids jumping, heavy boots and games of basketball should all become less audible from the neighbors above thanks to our technique.

Cutting the tires into strips.

Placing the tire under the joists.

The same tire pictured above but now we have put the support beam beneath it. The tire now acts as a sound barrier between the joists and the beam, breaking the vibration that would normally pass from the joist to the beam and the floor below.

Here is an example of the tire placed between the stud and the footer. It is better to place the tire between the stud and the header to stop sound coming from above. But in this case the stud was supporting the stairs so it didn’t matter.

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

5 comments to “Soundproofing between floors”

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  1. Gennaro Brooks-Church - August 11, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Carpets help a little.

  2. Gennaro Brooks-Church - August 11, 2010 at 8:06 am

    I suspect you have certain rights. I would call 311 and see what they say. I don’t think he can just refuse to do anything about it. The best is if he can soundproof from below. But if that is not possible you can do it from above too.
    There are many things you can do and each one helps a bit. Do whatever you can.
    What do you have on the floor? If it is wood you can take it up as well as the subfloor.
    Fill the space between the joists with cellulose insulation. Put padding on the joists. Put the subfloor back. There are layers of soundproofing material you can put down. Each layer deadens certain aspects of the sound wave. Thick plastic, rubber, cotton padding, cork, fiberglass boars. Then you put the floor back on. You also need to seal the walls. You put more layers of sheet rock with green glue in between each layer. You could even do the ceiling with more layers of sheet rock since the sound will travel up and then back down. It is not cheap but maybe worth the good night sleep.

  3. himalyanacoustics - August 11, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Hi, I live on the 2nd floor of an apartment building, downstairs below me is a club/restaurant that blasts loud music, how do I block the noise that is coming through from the downstairs ceiling to my apartment? THe noise is loud and sometimes that´╗┐ is vibration too. The owner of the restaurant/club is not wiling to do anything about the noise. Should I put sheetrock on my floor to block the noise?´╗┐ What materials would I need and how would I do this?

  4. Gennaro Brooks-Church - October 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    It works well. Cutting them is a pain. We found a jigsaw was the best for cutting. The blade needs to be sharp or else it smokes. Tires are not flat so you need to be extra careful in terms of leveling.

    The Green Glue Company sells some cool foam padding you put down over joists below the subfloor that works really well too.

    If you don’t want to fork out the money for their stuff there is carpet underlayment that might work.

  5. luke griffiths - October 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    how has it worked out? am building a rehersal room in an art studio at the mo got lots of tires yesterday with the intention of building my studio on top of them, looks like cuttin them up first would be best,any pointers would be hugely appreciated
    All the best

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