How to improve the sound insulation of a timber floor

Introduction

There are many different ways to acoustically treat a timber floor, but one should always consider that without exception all test performance results (advertised flooring product by suppliers) will be the performance across the entire floor construction including the ceiling and the floor treatment.

There are other factors that heavily influence the outcome of a successful acoustic floor treatment such as the depth of the floor void, span of the joists and even the surrounding wall construction. It is for this reason that Isomass Ltd offer a free advice/design service, because we recognise that the average home owner/occupier could not hope to recognise or appreciate what impact any small change in the detail could have to the acoustic performance of a party or partition floor.

Many of you will not need to carry out any testing because you are contemplating an upgrade of an existing floor structure in your home, but you will still no-doubt rely on test performance data during the product selection process. It is this performance data that few people fully understand and consequently are comparing the performance data without appreciating what the sequence of letters that follows the dB rating means.

So when an acoustic product is accredited with an airborne test performance it should appear as a Dntw+Ctr, Dntw or even an Rw. These measurements exist to qualify how floors will perform and the same floor measured as a laboratory-rated performance (Rw) compared to on-site (DnT,w), will range between 8-10 dB even though it is still the same product.

Acoustic floors will also be accredited with an impact performance because unlike wall systems it will receive footfall.

Improving the sound insulation of a floor

When contemplating the upgrading or enhancement of a floor, it is worthwhile establishing an accurate description of the existing floors composition together with surrounding elements such as the wall and ceiling construction if you can. This will help Isomass to try to qualify the level of improvement that can achieved and how close we can come to meeting the enquirers expectations.

It is also worth remembering that an airborne performance figure quoted across a floor treatment will also include the floor itself which may differ greatly in composition and stiffness. You should therefore appreciate that the same product could look substantially better in one test than another, but only because the floor to which it was applied was heavier, deeper or stiffer.

Isomass Ltd can apply their decades of experience to your application, just simply message via our contact page by clicking here and we will be happy to respond.

For those of you who have a little knowledge or perhaps a preconceived idea of what you were hoping to do, we have three options illustrated that can be modified to varying degrees and are as follows.

These are by no means the extent of what can be done as more complicated enquiries could necessitate the need for there own specific details.

Option 1:
Complies fully with Part E of the building regs for change of use or new build.

Key to diagram right (scroll through for close up views):
1) Existing direct plastered solid brick wall.
2) Isocheck Acoustic Board System.
3) Structural floor.
4) Timber joists.
5) Mineral fibre insulation between joists.
6) Isocheck Iso-Block and Iso-Bar system fixed across underside of joists.
7) Two layers of plasterboard.
8) Isocheck Angled Flanking Band.
9) Isocheck Acoustic FR Sealant to seal gaps.
10) Isocheck Isolation Strip.

Click here to download a technical detail sheet of this option.

Option 2:
Equally as affective as option 1 & 3, excellent for refurb applications but may require building control approval if used in an application for change of use.

Key to diagram right (scroll through for close up views):
1) Existing direct plastered solid brick wall.
2) Isocheck Acoustic Resilient Mat System.
3) Structural floor.
4) Timber joists.
5) Mineral fibre insulation between joists.
6) Isocheck Iso-Block and Iso-Bar system fixed across underside of joists.
7) Two layers of plasterboard.
8) Isocheck Angled Flanking Band.
9) Isocheck Acoustic FR Sealant to seal gaps.
10) Isocheck Isolation Strip.

Click here to download a technical detail sheet of this option.

Option 3:
Complies fully with Part E of the building regs for change of use or new build.

Key to diagram right (scroll through for close up views):
1) Existing direct plastered solid brick wall.
2) Proprietary deck.
3) Isocheck Acoustic Batten System.
4) APR insulation between battens.
5) Structural floor.
6) Timber joists.
7) Mineral fibre insulation between joists.
8) Isocheck Iso-Block and Iso-Bar system fixed across underside of joists.
9) Two layers of plasterboard.
10) Isocheck Angled Flanking Band.
11) Isocheck Acoustic FR Sealant to seal gaps.
12) Isocheck Isolation Strip.

Click here to download a technical detail sheet of this option.

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