When you need to reduce noise transmissions, whether it’s for personal reasons or professional obligations, the first thing on your mind will likely be ‘how much is this going to cost?’. It’s a natural question to have and to cut a long story short, it depends on to what degree you are intending on soundproofing the room.
It is important when you are looking into reducing noise transmission across a party wall you are clear about the different kinds of noise that can be generated. The two main kinds of noise are impact noise and airborne.
Impact noise is caused by things like footsteps and furniture being moved, while airborne would be sound travelling through the air like music or speech. Different solutions are required for these different types of sound, so it is important to be sure of exactly what kind of noise you are trying to nullify/mitigate.
Depending on what kind of sound you are trying to minimise one of the most commonly used solutions is to put sound-absorbent material in your walls. There are several methods for reducing noise transmission via walls. The cost of soundproofing walls is determined by the method you pick and the size of your room’s walls.
There should be little contact between the new wall and the existing wall to reduce sound vibrations through the walls. This may be accomplished by anchoring the new wall in place with the help of the floor and ceiling, giving it a stand-alone appearance. There are a number of different specific methods of sound-insulating a wall, all of which have different functions and costs.
Rubber strip and plasterboard
A fairly common method is to install a rubber strip at the head of a new wall thereby reducing the sound transmission. Additionally, two layers of heavy sound cancelling plasterboard may be installed as part of the wall build-up.
The general cost of installing rubber strips and plasterboard can depend on the amount required and a variety of other factors. It’s likely going to be between £400 parts + installation costs £300 to £1200 total cost for a larger project.
Create a second wall
The most effective way of preventing noise is to build a new wall entirely with inbuilt sound insulation. This naturally can be a difficult ask for many, as they may not have the space necessary to install an entirely new wall, and there are structural questions that have to be answered during its construction as well.
Creating a second wall will likely cost between £1100 to £1600 depending on the size of the room and wall required. To many, this is a fairly high cost, and certainly, there is a significant amount of work that needs to be done for this solution, however, as mentioned above it is one of the most effective ways to lower your noise levels.
If you don’t have the room to lose by building a new wall on its own, a frequent alternative is to build a new wall immediately on top of an existing wall. This can be achieved by simply fixing a wooden or metal frame on top of the existing wall and installing the sound absorbent material to it.
Soundproofing a floor
The second most common and used method of sound insulation is soundproofing your floor. The ways of doing this are often similar to those used on walls, with rubber mats and plasterboard layers. It should be noted though that the kind of sound that is produced by a floor is far more impact-based than from a wall, and therefore needs different solutions.
The first thing that needs to be considered is the structure of the existing floor, and how the new sound dampeners can be best implemented.
You’ll be able to apply soundproofing acoustic insulation straight to the concrete in properties with solid concrete construction. However, acoustic insulation should be put between the floor joists to minimise airborne sound when dealing with wooden floors, which will increase the cost.
Types of floor soundproofing
There are many ways and materials that can be used to sound insulate your floor, with some of the most basic being to simply put down a carpet or rug that can absorb some of the sounds from footsteps. If you live in a flat or apartment it can be a frequent problem if neighbours can hear your footsteps, especially on a wooden floor. Putting a carpet down can really help with this, and naturally, the cost is much lower than a full sound dampening setup.
Here are some methods to reduce the noise transmission through the floor:
- Acoustic matting: Cutting pieces of thick rubber matting and laying them in a brick-like layout will reduce the noise transmission. This will then be overlaid with the finished floor build-up.
- Floating floors: Soundproof floating floors are ready to install immediately on top of an existing floor and will minimise the amount of sound that travels through to the room below.
- Soundproofing panels: Another efficient technique to reduce the amount of airborne or impact sound that passes through your floor to the room below is to use acoustic panels. Acoustic panels can be easily slotted in underneath carpets and rugs and are not too expensive.
Other forms of soundproofing
There are a number of different types of soundproofing that can be used in conjunction with sound insulating your floor and wall.
One of the most basic and easy ways to dampen sound in your home is to use furniture. Wall fittings and art can be surprisingly effective at dampening sound, as well as sofas, beds, wardrobes, carpets and curtains. Ultimately you want to create space without flat surfaces that will break up the larger sound waves into smaller ones.
We at Air Tightness Solutions provide a variety of acoustic services, whether you’re in the planning phases and require soundproofing guidance or need sound installation testing. As acoustic experts, we’ve worked with a wide spectrum of customers, from small builders to large construction companies.
Take a look at our services page to learn more about how we can help you reduce your noise levels.