How to Soundproof Flooring

How to Soundproof Flooring: 7 Ways That Actually Work

How to Soundproof Flooring: Noise is something I find extremely difficult to tolerate, and this post will discuss various methods for soundproofing a floor.

Given the nature of my job and lifestyle, it’s even more intolerable. For a while, I was frustrated because I didn’t know what to do about the noise coming from below me.

Even moving furniture across the room makes a lot of noise. Then I came across the concept of soundproofing.

It seemed like such a big deal at first, and I never imagined I’d be able to do it. But I did find the majority of the information I’m going to share here.

Soundproofing is an effective method of preventing sound from entering or exiting a room. It is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in houses where tenants share walls.

So, depending on where you think you need to be soundproof, there are a few options.

Although some routes are more comfortable than others, it is entirely up to the dealers. Now, I’ve decided to soundproof my floors because it will help me deal with two types of noise.

  • Impact sound.
  • Airborne noise.

Without any delay let’s get started.

How to Soundproof Flooring: 7 Ways That Actually Works

For your convenience I divide these 7 ways into two different modules which are: 4 Ways of Soundproofing New Floors, 3 Ways of Soundproofing Existing Floors (in Apartments).

4 Ways of Soundproofing New Floors

In this section I mention 4 ways of soundproofing new floors:

1) Install an acoustic floor underlayment.

  • In terms of impact noise
  • Regarding airborne noise

If you are constructing or laying a new floor, make sure to include acoustic floor underlayment. The type of floor underlayment you select will be determined by the noise you want to eliminate.

You should know whether you’re dealing with airborne or impact sounds by now. If not, think about it before moving forward with a solution. Of course, an acoustic underlayment can be added for each type. This is the #1 ways on how to soundproof flooring.

Underlayment with Resilience

You can reduce impact noise by using an acoustic floor underlayment made of resilient materials. Instead of spreading directly to your house structure, sound waves will travel from the floor to the underlayment.

To be more specific, a resilient material can absorb energy. This typically refers to soft and dense materials such as rubber, foam, fibre, and cork. IIC ratings are used to assess the effectiveness of flooring underlayment in mitigating impact noise (Impact Insulation Class). The higher the number, the better.

Acoustic underlayment absorbs and dampens sound waves in the mid and high frequencies. The type of flooring you use is also important. Different types of underlay are required to soundproof hardwood flooring, floor tiles, or laminate flooring.

Underlayment Solid

Heavy underlayments are the most effective at blocking airborne noises like voices or TV sounds. The best way to soundproof under hardwood floors (or any type of floor) is to add extra layers of mass. It’s similar to stacking a sound barrier to your floor. This can be accomplished by incorporating layers of heavy materials such as:

  • OSB (Oriented Strand Board) (Oriented Strand Board)
  • MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) (Medium Density Fiberboard)
  • Board of cement
  • Drywall
  • Vinyl in Large Quantities (MLV)

2) Eco-Friendly Glue

In soundproofing projects, Green Glue is a go-to dampening compound. Make sure you get the right one. The company makes two products: acoustic caulk and a damping compound.

Because it’s a viscoelastic material, it never completely hardens. It dissipates sound waves between two structural layers, lowering the level of transmission. Sound waves are absorbed by the compound and converted into heat energy. Green glue effectively blocks low-frequency airborne noise.

Green Glue, on the other hand, should never be used in place of existing soundproofing materials. It must be used between two solid layers of similar weight and thickness. For example, two OSB boards should suffice.

The company’s website contains extensive test data that explains how it works. Check it out to get a better understanding of what other materials you should use. While most tests focus on walls, the logic is applicable to floors as well.

In a floor construction, for example, the Green Glue could be sandwiched between a layer of floor laminate and a layer of OSB, with resilient acoustic underlayment beneath. This is the #2 ways on how to soundproof flooring.

3) Channels of Resilience

  • In terms of impact noise
  • Regarding airborne noise

Resilient channels are simply long pieces of metal that are clipped together. These clips contain small rubber washers that dampen sound waves as they pass through the structure. The flooring materials are then secured into the resilient channels.

This results in what is known in the industry as a floating floor, which is a decoupled structure. Floating floors are very effective at reducing impact and airborne noise transmission.

As you might expect, this is a large soundproofing project, but it yields satisfactory results. Decoupling should always be used in conjunction with other materials such as acoustic underlayment and dampening compound. This is the #3 ways on how to soundproof flooring.

4) Isolators for Joists

  • In terms of impact noise
  • Regarding airborne noise

Joist isolators are a similar product, but because they are smaller, they may be easier to install. Typically, we’d use U-shaped rubber spacers that sit over the joist and are supported by the floor. They are made of plastic and aid in the isolation of vibrational energy passing through the floor.

You can also use noiseproofing joist tape. It is typically made of PVC and performs a similar function in terms of sound isolation.

If you have a floating installation, there is no need to decouple the floor from the surrounding walls. If you want to fill the gaps between the wall and the floor, consider using acoustic sealant. This is the #4 ways on how to soundproof flooring.

Read More:

3 Ways of Soundproofing Existing Floors (in Apartments)

As you might expect, your options for making a soundproof apartment floor (that is already built) are somewhat more limited. If you can’t rip up the existing floor (for example, if you live in an apartment), here are some noise-canceling options.

1) Carpets and rugs

  • In terms of impact noise
  • Regarding airborne noise

Carpet is a good choice for absorbing impact noise before it enters the building’s structure. Simply put, it adds a soft layer between the noise source and the floor, cushioning the impact as it occurs.

Carpet will also help with airborne sounds to some extent. This is because the fibre structure of a carpet absorbs and muffles sound waves as they reverberate around the room. However, carpet is not a foolproof method for reducing echo and reverberation. Check out my article on how to reduce echo in a room for more information on solutions.

Thicker carpets, of course, provide better dampening than thinner carpets. Consider replacing the existing carpet with one with a thick pile if possible. This is the most effective way to reduce impact noises in your room.

However, if you already have a carpet that is too thin, you do have a few options. The first step is to place a rug over the carpet. While it may not be practical in every room, a thick rug can serve the same purpose as a thick carpet. This solution is obviously applicable to hardwood floors as well. This is the #5 ways on how to soundproof flooring.

2) Carpet Cushioning

Carpet padding is another option. Carpet pads are exactly what they sound like: pads that go beneath a carpet or rug. In this case, you’d place it beneath a rug on top of the carpet.

Carpet padding will add grip and thickness to counteract the impact sound waves. For example, RUGPADUSA is a popular choice for a thick model. This non-slip rug pad by VEXEN is a more affordable option.

Keep in mind that these options are only as good as the product you purchase. Consider the advice given above about acoustic underlayment, as carpet pads perform the same function. Look for materials that are durable, thick, and of high quality. This is the #6 ways on how to soundproof flooring.

3) Floor Mats That Interlock

In terms of impact noise

Floor mats are a similar solution (or tiles). These are the interlocking floor mats that you might find in a gym, a children’s play area, or even a workshop. They come in a variety of materials and colors, but EVA foam is a popular choice. It falls into the resilient material category, making it ideal for our requirements.

Rubber floor mats are typically arranged in a puzzle-style pattern. If you have a smaller space, you could also use something like a yoga mat. Depending on the color and style, interlocking floor tiles are ideal for spaces such as home gyms or children’s rooms.

This model comes in a variety of colors. If you require more thickness options, this other variant may be more suitable.

Of course, a rubber floor mat is not for everyone. But nothing prevents you from sweeping them under the rug, as I suggested above. Rubber floor mats, like the carpet pads mentioned above, are the best against impact noises. This is the #7 ways on how to soundproof flooring.

How to Soundproof Flooring: Proven Technique

1. Remove the baseboards and skirting.

This can be accomplished with a crowbar or hammer. Whether you want to reuse the baseboards or install new ones depends on how rough you are. In either case, having them in the room is usually beneficial.

2. Install an acoustic underlayment layer.

I’ve already gone into enough detail about this product, so I won’t go into it again. However, make sure to select the correct one for the type of floor you’re installing.

If your current flooring is carpet, you can simply keep it. Carpet does a good job of dampening impact noises, so adding more underlayment over it is unnecessary. Consider installing a vapor barrier to help control moisture.

3. Put in your new flooring.

For this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Laminate flooring will be the easiest to install over acoustic underlayment or carpet. However, there is the problem of hard flooring. Whatever you decide, make certain that it improves rather than worsens your sound transmission issue.

Consider using acoustic caulk around the floor’s edges. It will seal the gap between the floor and the wall, reducing sound leakage into the room below.

4. Set up the baseboards.

Once again, this is self-explanatory. Once the floor is in place, glue (or nail) them in place and you’re done.


You should now have enough information to begin your floor soundproofing project. Of course, I haven’t covered every nuance of materials and constructions, but this guide should serve as a good starting point.

I recommend devoting some time to determining your objectives and researching products. Manufacturers will have recommendations about which products work best where, and this advice can be invaluable if you’re not sure where to start.

Of course, if you have any questions regarding this please let me know. Please contact me in the comments section below to discuss this further. Thank you for your time!


Q1. What type of flooring is best for soundproofing?

Carpeting is frequently the best flooring material choice because it naturally reduces footfall and impact noise. If you have hardwood, ceramic tile, or laminate flooring, you will most likely have a higher level of impact and airborne noise and will require a heavy-duty soundproofing flooring to lay on top.

Q2. Can you soundproof an existing floor?

If you have carpet or laminate flooring, you can temporarily remove the surface and layer a sound barrier beneath it. Floorfighter is the name of the underlayment. If you cannot remove your existing floor surface, your only option is to soundproof the ceiling, as shown in our Ceiling Soundproofing section.

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