Footfalls

by John Floodberg
(USA)

I have a condo on the first of a two story, wood framed structure. The tenants on the second floor walk very heavy footed.
The floor/ceiling assembly is:
 1 and 5/8 lt. wt conc. 5/8 plywood
 2x12 @ 16' o/c
 resiliant channel
 5/8" drywall
 NO insulation
 cross-bracing or blocking

QUESTION: How can I increase the sound dead from the unit below which is my unit?

Thank you for your help.

John Floodberg AIA

Reply from Noise Help:


John,

For impact noise (footfalls) coming in through the ceiling (and traveling through the building structure) from above, often the simplest approach to try first is to lay thick carpet on the floor of the upstairs unit, using the thickest pad available. But of course that assumes that you have access to the unit, or can influence the owner to make the modifications.

It's usually more effective to treat the area as close to the source of sound as possible. But assuming you don't have any control of the floor in the upstairs unit, you'll have to treat the ceiling of your unit.

It's a complex question that deserves a customized analysis. If you don't mind, I'm going to refer you to a couple of web pages where several approaches are outlined and well illustrated:

Soundproofing Ceilings (by the Soundproofing Company)

Interior Noise Problems in Existing Construction (by the Green Glue Company)

Both of these websites give good information about soundproofing principles and techniques.

I hope this gives you a starting point for considering your options. If you decide to engage a soundproofing consultant, it should at least prepare you with some of the relevant questions to ask so you can get a useful discussion going right away.

Best wishes for an effective resolution!

Regards,
Sarinne




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