Wednesday, August 22
DIY

Feedback: Tips to reduce floorboard noises

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Rodney, a long-time associate, has more technical detail around noisy floors.

It is heartening when fellow contractors contact me to offer advice on questions that have been raised. Rodney, a long-time associate, has more technical detail around noisy floors.

Your latest column about Mohammed’s noisy timber floor refers.

Going the route of an acoustic engineer will prove expensive. However, I have done several of these reasonably successfully, and without huge additional cost. Here is some advice for Mohammed:

When trying to reduce the noise produced from a suspended timber floor, there are two types to consider: airborne noise and impact noise.

* Airborne is sound caused by talking, music and so on and travels through the ceiling void. A suitable sound-reducing material like “cavity Batt” will solve that problem, and the thicker the better. A double layer of rhino board on the ceiling also works well.

* Impact noise is created from the vibration of the timber floor boards and timber bearers, caused by walking and running and so on. To solve this, one must isolate the timber bearers from the superstructure. In addition, the ceiling below the timber floor must be isolated from the timber structure. If the ceiling is suspended off the timber floor bearers, noise will simply vibrate right through.

Cosmas sent me the downside of something mentioned last week.

In “Feedback”, you noted that a friend, in order to soundproof an upstairs wooden floor, put down rubber matting and carpets. I had bad experiences with rubber matting under carpets. When lifting the carpet, after a number of years, the rubber matting had perished and become a melted mess stuck to the floor. Rather use a good quality, old-fashioned carpet underfelt.

*Handy Mac, aka Don MacAlister, is our expert on household DIY issues. If you have a question for him, please send it to don@macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859. Find Don on FB: facebook.com/thehandymac

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