How to Soundproof a Floor for Cheap [Including Flats] - Quiet Living (2023)

How to Soundproof a Floor for Cheap [Including Flats] - Quiet Living (1)

Last updated: March 7, 2022 at 9:47 am

There’s a few reasons why you should consider soundproofing your floors. Either:

  1. You’re neighbours are noisy
  2. You are noisy
  3. Sound is travelling internally within your house

Lucky for us, there’s various ways you can soundproof floors. So if you fall into one of the categories above, keep reading our full guide for what products and materials you’ll need to start and finish your soundproofing journey!


  • 1 Why You Should Soundproof the Floor
  • 2 4 Easy Ways to Soundproof Floors
    • 2.1 1. Carpets and Rugs
    • 2.2 2. Install a Fake Floor
    • 2.3 3. Install MLV – Mass Loaded Vinyl
    • 2.4 4. Other Ideas
  • 3 Soundproofing Floors in Flats
    • 3.1 Building Regulations and the Law
    • 3.2 Concrete is a Little Tricky for Soundproofing
    • 3.3 Wooden Floors in Flats
  • 4 In Conclusion

Why You Should Soundproof the Floor

To properly soundproof you need to establish what type of noise you’re working with. This allows you to choose the best soundproofing for your needs.

There are two main noise categories:

  1. Airborne
  2. Impact

Airborne noise travels through the air. Common causes are things like the TV, kids shouting, music and barking from dogs.

Impact noise is harder to contain as it travels through the structure of a house (can also be referred to as structure borne sound). This includes footsteps, banging and dropping things.

Either way, once you establish what type of sound is is causing the noise, you can choose which soundproofing solution is best for you from the ways below.

4 Easy Ways to Soundproof Floors

1. Carpets and Rugs

The easiest soundproofing you can achieve is using carpets and rugs to reduce airborne noise and muffle impact noise. There are carpets designed for soundproofing which offer increased thickness.

(Video) How to Soundproof Your NEIGHBOURS BELOW For Good!!

Airborne noise is talking, TV etc and impact noise is footsteps and dropping things

Underlay can also be used in conjunction with carpets to increase soundproofing. Underlay is used to protect your floor, but some can also improve soundproofing. Soundproof underlay generally has these main features:

  • Thick – usually more than 10mm
  • Rubber – made from high density material like sponge rubber which absorbs
  • and Tog – higher than 2.5g

If you already have carpet, consider upgrading to a denser, thicker one using high quality underlay.

2. Install a Fake Floor

A fake floor is the most effective way to soundproof a floor, but it’s also the hardest to pull off, the most expensive and the most work. You’ll also need to hire someone to do it for you, unless you’re comfortable with big DIY jobs.

Essentially, a fake floor is an extra floor on top of your existing one which can be packed with multiple layers of soundproofing to fight even the noisiest airborne and impact sound.

3. Install MLV – Mass Loaded Vinyl

MLV has been specifically designed for soundproofing purposes and can be used on floors, walls and ceilings. It can be used anywhere, and simply needs cut to shape and installed.

Usually with a Db level of around 30, it’s a great DIY solution for soundproofing the floor yourself.

MLV can be used on it’s own, but for aesthetics it’s best to use it as an under layer with laminate or carpet on top. If you use this with soundproof underlay and thick carpet explained in No.1, it will block most, if not all, airborne and impact noise.

It is very heavy because it’s so dense, and most tape won’t stick, so installing it with either nails or glue is best. Nails can cause slightly more noise then glue because they can cause echo, so a soundproof glue would be ideal.

How to Soundproof a Floor for Cheap [Including Flats] - Quiet Living (2)

(Video) Apartment Soundproofing That WORKS! - No Tools Required!

Advanced Acoustics Soundproofing Mat 3m by 1.25m by 2mm Thin - 5kg/m2 Mass Loaded Vinyl MLV 3.75sqm Per Roll

  • A 2mm thin soundproofing mat designed to block and reduce airbourne noise
  • It is equal to lead of the same mass in effectiveness and acts as a thin de-coupling sound blocker


Buy on AmazonQuiet Living may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Last update on 2023-05-22 at 14:03 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Other Ideas

If you’re soundproofing a small area or a child’s playroom, interlocking floor mats can work wonders.

Floor mats are easy, cheap to install and convenient… but may not look the most professional. Floor mats can be bought for about £20 so they’re one of your cheaper options.

These are made from very thick rubber and are designed to stop children hurting themselves when playing. But since they’re so thick, they are great for preventing impact noise (like dropped and throwing toys about) from making it through the floor.

Interlocking floors mats are most effective on top of laminate or even concrete, but can be used on carpet for additional cushioning. If your existing laminate is squeaking, read here.

Soundproofing Floors in Flats

How to Soundproof a Floor for Cheap [Including Flats] - Quiet Living (3)

(Video) Soundproof a Floor - 8 Cheap & Easy DIY Ways!

Whether you’re on the 1st or 17th floor, learn how to soundproof the floor of your flat the easiest way possible.

There are three main floor types we will cover; concrete, wooden and carpet. You’ll most likely fall into one of these categories to give you the best shot of soundproofing your flat floor.

If you don’t own the flat, make sure to read over your lease or contact your landlord about doing improvements. If you do own it check with your local council about the law regarding soundproofing in your building.

Building Regulations and the Law

You will be limited by building regulations (and potentially your lease) which we’ll cover now. The same document covers the legalities when soundproofing the ceiling in your flat… it’s called Resistance to Sound: Document E.

Building regulations for soundproofing, or the official title of “Resistance to the passage of sound” explains what soundproofing measures have to be in place for houses and flats.

Regardless of what building regulations state, always check your lease first. If you rent, then the property is not yours. Any soundproofing work undertaken could be deemed a permanent altercation which is not allowed in most leases.

Concrete is a Little Tricky for Soundproofing

Concrete floors in flats is tricky because you can’t lift them or alter them in any way (realistically). The best way to soundproof concrete floors is laying carpet and/or using soundproof mats to prevent impact noise. Airborne noise shouldn’t be a problem for concrete floors.

Wooden Floors in Flats

Wooden floors in flats are easier to soundproof than concrete, and you have a few more tools available. As with concrete, thick carpet and soundproof underlay can be used on top of the wood to dampen any airborne or impact sound.

This would obviously mean you’d lose the benefit of a wooden floors however. Although, if you’d ever like to revert back the carpet can easily be lifted.

How to Soundproof a Floor for Cheap [Including Flats] - Quiet Living (4)

(Video) Soundproofing a Ceiling Between Floors FOR GOOD!

Royale Sonic Gold 5mm - Acoustic Underlay for Wood or Laminate

  • Royale Sonic Gold Underlay - 5mm Thick - For All Wood / Laminate Flooring
  • 15sq.metres per roll (1m x 15m)


Buy on AmazonQuiet Living may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Last update on 2023-05-22 at 14:07 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In Conclusion

For soundproofing floors you certainly have a few options. From a completely fake floor on top of your existing one and MLV, to more traditional methods like carpet/rugs or interlocking floors mats.


Always check what type of noise you’re trying to block, and select the best soundproofing method to deal with it. Impact noise will require more substantial soundproofing than airborne.

If you have the budget and the commitment then a fake floor will give you the best results. Other than that, MLV is the next best easy DIY solution.


What is the cheapest way to soundproof between floors? ›

If the noise is coming from downstairs neighbors, use thick area rugs to insulate the floor. Better yet, place a pad underneath the rug. Another option is to use acoustic foam and/or acoustic panels. Both options are relatively cheap and can stop noise from entering your bedroom.

How do I reduce sound through my floor? ›

3 effective ways to reduce noise between floors
  1. Remove the ceiling drywall (or other surface) and the furring strips attached to the joists.
  2. Fit insulation such as fibreglass or cellulose wool between the floor joists to completely fill the cavity. ...
  3. Fasten resilient channels spaced 24 in. ...
  4. Install two layers of ½ in.

How do you soundproof a flat ground floor? ›

4 Easy Ways to Soundproof Floors
  1. Carpets and Rugs. The easiest soundproofing you can achieve is using carpets and rugs to reduce airborne noise and muffle impact noise. ...
  2. Install a Fake Floor. ...
  3. Install MLV – Mass Loaded Vinyl. ...
  4. Other Ideas.
Dec 6, 2019

Can you soundproof a floor in an apartment? ›

Soundproofing Floors With a Carpet or Rug

Place the area rug in the center of the room. Use carpet runners down hallways or to lead from one room to another. A shag rug on the ceiling and rubber textile mats on the walls softens annoying noise within the apartment while also absorbing racket from the adjacent units.

What is the best soundproofing under floor? ›

The best kind of Floor Covering to attenuate Airborne noise is Carpet. Because it is soft, you do not hear your footfall. It also absorbs high-end frequencies, so helps to reduce refractive noise.

How do you make homemade soundproofing? ›

Cover walls with thick blankets, moving pads, tapestries, or quilts. Virtually any soft material will work, though thicker ones absorb more sound than thinner materials. If you don't mind adding an industrial look to the room, fasten sound-absorbing panels to the walls and, if necessary, the ceiling.

How do you soundproof a flat? ›

Blocking noise coming through ceilings and walls

One of the best ways to soundproof ceilings in flats is to install acoustic insulation into a false ceiling built underneath the existing structure. This is a method commonly used when soundproofing a flat as it produces great results.

Does floor soundproofing work? ›

Does Soundproofing Work? Absolutely! To effectively soundproof a floor you need to: Improve the mass of the floor for airborne noise.

How much does it cost to soundproof a floor? ›

Floor. While a new home or addition is being built, soundproofing measures can be installed within the floor structure, typically as an underlayment. Homeowners can choose from soundproofing floor mats for $1 to $3 per square foot or soundproofing floor underlayment for $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot.

Does soundproofing a flat work? ›

Soundproofing is an excellent solution if you are experiencing unwanted noise from noisy neighbours. This unwanted noise could be coming through your walls, floors or ceilings, or being heard through a combination of all three.

What floor doesn t make noise? ›

Cork or Vinyl Plank

Both can help absorb sounds found in your home—whether it's from walking across the floor or even just white noise—and provide a quieter space. Both of these flooring materials come in various styles and options and look just like real wood, yet offers a very noticeable noise absorption quality!

Do foam mats reduce noise? ›

This misconception is incredibly common – so if you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “So, does sound-absorbing foam work? Isn't foam used for soundproofing a room?” Unfortunately not. Foam doesn't stop a sound, it absorbs the sound vibration or reduces the echo within the room. Don't feel bad.

What floor of an apartment is quietest? ›

If having a quiet and tranquil home is important to you, you might want to live on the top floor. You will get much less noise from neighbors, considering there will be no one above you. Additionally, as long as your building has more than just two floors, you will have less noise from the street below to deal with.

How do I stop hearing my neighbors apartment? ›

While they're not always foolproof, it sure beats the uninhibited sound of Sir Barks-a-lot upstairs.
  1. Add a rug or two.
  2. Invest in a white noise machine and earplugs.
  3. Incorporate more furniture.
  4. Invest in some sound-reducing curtains.
  5. Utilize a door draft stopper.
  6. Speak with your neighbors.
  7. Offer suggestions to them.
Sep 16, 2022

What absorbs noise in a room? ›

Insulation fills the gaps between walls and the spaces between studs, absorbing noise and breaking the path of sound. To stop noise transfer between rooms use it in both interior and exterior walls.

Does egg boxes work for soundproofing? ›

Do egg boxes work for soundproofing? The short answer is no. Egg boxes are made of a very thin cardboard, allowing sound waves to travel directly through them and, as such, are unable to help reduce noise.

What is the best way to reduce sound between rooms? ›

Fabric placements: Drapes or wall hangings can help absorb sound and reduce transfer. Also add pillows to furniture — the more the better, so long as they do not get in the way. Drop ceilings: If your office has drop ceilings, you can put insulation above the ceiling tiles to help reduce sound transfer.

What is the best block for soundproofing? ›

Lignacite General Purpose, Standard Fairface, Paint Grade and Lignacrete provide excellent levels of sound insulation between buildings and adjoining rooms.

How thick is floor soundproofing? ›

Floor soundproofing for timber floors varies in thickness from 5mm to 28mm depending on the type and level of soundproofing required.

What makes the best soundproofing? ›

One of the most effective ways to soundproof a room or space is to use sound insulation. This insulation looks similar to fiberglass thermal insulation, but it's typically made from mineral wool, as it is denser and more expensive than many other options.

How do I make my room 100% soundproof? ›

Insulation: For the most thorough soundproofing of a room, add sound absorption material within the walls: Remove drywall to expose studs. Add a thick layer of cotton batt, fiberglass insulation or other soundproof insulation between the studs.

How can I soundproof my room without renovation? ›

While not technically a renovation, a quick fix for soundproofing your home is to add soft furnishings, since they help to absorb sound. Use heavy and dense materials such as rugs, lined curtains or cushions, for instance. Carpeting is a more drastic step that will help soundproof floors.

Does soundproofing stop noise coming in? ›

Soundproofing products keep sound contained in a space, making it impossible for sound to leave or enter a room. Sound absorption products absorb the extra sound waves that bounce around a space and cause poor acoustics, background noise, and bad echo.

How do I temporarily soundproof? ›

Easy & Removable Ways To Soundproof Your Apartment
  1. Hang Soundproof Curtains. Curtains made from thick fabrics are a great choice for covering windows, doors, and walls in UMN housing. ...
  2. Install Acoustic Foam. ...
  3. Muffle Noise With A Bookshelf. ...
  4. Lay Down Some Rugs. ...
  5. Rearrange The Furniture.

Do rugs reduce floor noise? ›

A cut pile rug dampens vibrations by reducing sound transfer from shoes, animals, furniture and voices making a real difference to the acoustics by absorbing sound. The Carpet and Rug Institute claim that, depending on how thick a rug is, it can eliminate footfall noise by up to 100%.

Can you insulate between floors? ›

You can seal the gaps between floors and skirting boards to reduce draughts yourself quite easily, with a tube of sealant bought from any DIY store. It's even easier to insulate your timber floor if you have an unheated cellar or basement space underneath that you can get into.

How much does it cost to soundproof a 12x12 room? ›

Soundproofing costs depend on the size of the job, but you'll typically spend about $10 to $30 per square foot for professional installation from a local soundproofing pro, as well as materials.

Should I soundproof between floors? ›

Short of that, placing a dense sound barrier in the open joist spaces between the floors is the most effective way to slow the transmission of noise. This is done is by removing the ceiling drywall and inserting enough batt or roll fiberglass or rockwool insulation to fill the joist space.

How can you soundproof an existing floor without removing a ceiling? ›

Soundproof the Floor Above

If possible, consider installing soundproofing material into the floor above your room. Products like Impact Barrier QT Flooring Underlayment will prevent airborne noise from leaking into the room upstairs while limiting the effects of impact noise on your space.

How long can you stay in a soundproof room? ›

Only very few people have been able to withstand being in the room for a long period of time — at most an hour. After a few minutes, you'll already start to hear your own heartbeat. A few minutes after that, you can hear your own bones grinding and blood flowing.

Why is soundproofing so expensive? ›

Acoustic panels are expensive because of high shipping costs, expensive materials used for acoustic panels, and the opacity benchmark of the market. and thus can be charged higher because of it. Acoustic foams are not expensive.

What is silent flooring? ›

Silent flooring underlayment provides you with a superior sound dampening effects, insulation, and vapor barrier. This is premium choice for installation of laminate and engineered wood flooring.

Which floor is the noisiest? ›

Higher is noisier – noise travels upwards and that is why higher floors tend to be noisier (it usually starts to reduce from around the 15th floor). Banging from construction work nearby can be heard acutely on higher floors even through the source of the noise can seem very far away.

Why are the floors in my house so loud? ›

The noise that you hear when you step on a floorboard (or floorboards) is usually a result of loose boards. The bounciness and movement in these loose boards causes them to rub together or onto a fixing nail or floor joist which, in turn, creates an unpleasant and annoying noise referred to as creaking or squeaking.

What kind of foam is best for soundproofing? ›

Open-cell polyurethane foam is a popular choice because it offers good sound absorption capabilities. However, if you want to maximize the noise reduction in your room, thicker foam made of composite materials like glass wool can be a better option.

What are the disadvantages of soundproof foam? ›

One drawback of using acoustic foam is that it has fire properties. Because acoustic panel is composed of mainly polyurethane, it releases a high smoke level when burned. Hence, this material may not be safe for occurrence of fire.

Is foam or rubber better for soundproofing? ›

The rubber is made from scrap tires and other recycled materials, providing a more substantial mass for insulation. As a result, it is more effective in reducing sound and impact noise transmission and has a higher reduction to impact sound pressure level (∆Lw).

What is the safest apartment floor to live on? ›

Increased security

The top floor is the most secure out of all the levels. Thieves or other invaders will rarely make their way to the top of the building. If you're on the top, you can feel safe from people who might push into the building from the outside.

What is the best floor to live on in a flat? ›

Ground floor properties are favoured for the obvious reason they will most often provide the easiest access within the building. For those who don't like stairs or have a pet, a ground floor flat will be favoured.

Which floor is best for apartment living? ›

According to Vastu the ground, first, second and third floors are the best floors to live in because they are close to the water element.

Is it normal to hear Neighbours in apartment? ›

The short answer is yes! Lower-level apartments tend to hear more noise from foot traffic, furniture moving, and the like. The biggest complaint with regard to noise from lower-level apartments is the noise neighbors above them make while walking around.

Can my upstairs neighbor hear me as much as I hear them? ›

Upstairs versus Downstairs Apartments

Generally, upstairs units are less likely to hear the noise coming from units that are lower, but sound can still travel upwards. What's more, loud noises can easily travel to units that are on the same floor.

How much does it cost to soundproof between floors? ›

Soundproofing a room in an existing home costs $10 to $30 per square foot, while new-construction soundproofing costs $12 to $25 per square foot. Installing soundproofing is less invasive for new construction and therefore slightly less costly because the walls and floors have not yet been constructed.

How do you reduce noise between main floor and basement? ›

Applying foam, fiberglass, cotton or polyurethane acoustic panels directly onto ceilings works to reduce noise in most basements. Hanging ceiling baffles to absorb sounds further, this works best in large, open-concept basements with hard floors.

Is it worth putting sound insulation between floors? ›

Putting insulation between the ground and first floor should, in theory, stop sound, vibration and heat from moving between levels in your property. This will also increase thermal insulation for the room above and below, making them more comfortable to be in and quieter too.

How do you soundproof a room on the second floor? ›

Mats made of foam or rubber are a way to dampen sounds, mostly from vibration emanating from upstairs. Apply underlayments below hardwood or laminate flooring to muffle sounds. Carpeting also dampens sounds, especially when using a carpet pad that doubles as sound insulation.

Can you soundproof an existing floor? ›

Underlayments are ideal for soundproofing floors. They serve to lift the finished surface up and away from the structure that connects the rooms together. By forcing the disconnection, the floor underlayment will decouple foot noise by absorbing its impact, thus minimizing the strength of the vibration.

Can you use Styrofoam for soundproofing? ›

While looking for soundproofing solutions for your home or studio, you may have come across styrofoam as a solution. While styrofoam can significantly dampen or cancel out noise when it's paired with denser materials, it doesn't achieve adequate results on its own.

How do you soundproof between flats? ›

Harder surfaces or hollow objects allow the soundwaves to either reflect back across the room or bounce around to amplify it. Adding materials such as foam panels to the walls can have a hugely positive impact on reducing sound as it travels from room-to-room.

Is it better to sound proof ceiling or floor? ›

Should I soundproof the floor or the ceiling? If possible, the recommendation would be to always soundproof the floor above against impact noise. Absorbing impact noise at the source, (before it enters the structure) achieves a better result than absorbing the vibration from the ceiling below.

Is it better to insulate floor or ceiling? ›

So insulating the floor of the attic is not only the best solution, but it is also the simplest and cheapest. In practical terms you can choose between mineral wool or insulation boards.

How do I fix a loud second floor? ›

Here are some of our favorite tips for how to deal with noisy upstairs neighbors (so you won't have to call the police).
  1. Try ceiling clouds and acoustic fixtures. ...
  2. Rearrange your furniture. ...
  3. Fill up your bathroom. ...
  4. Seal the windows. ...
  5. Seal the doors. ...
  6. Hang wall art and tapestries. ...
  7. Add thick rugs with rubber backing.
Mar 7, 2023

How do I stop hearing footsteps upstairs? ›

For noise that's coming from upstairs, install a drop ceiling in your home. Use resilient channel, and invest in acoustical tile that's designed to block noise. Because the drop ceiling is situated below the original drywall ceiling, the plenum space in between helps isolate noises from footsteps or similar sounds.

How do you soundproof apartment so neighbors can't hear you? ›

Add Carpet, Rugs, and Pads

You'll not only make your space quieter, but your neighbors will thank you, too. The thicker the carpet, rugs, or wall hangings, the better sound absorption they can provide. Today, you can even purchase wall hangings and rugs specifically made for soundproofing.


1. Soundproofing Secret That Actually Works
(Home RenoVision DIY)
2. How to Soundproof a floor against a noisy neighbour using the SoundMat3plus
(Soundproofing Store)
3. Soundproofing Noise From Above - Your Question Answered!
(Soundproof Guide)
4. Soundproofing A Room (It's Easier Than You Think)
(Home RenoVision DIY)
5. LOUD Neighbors 📢 Apartment Sound Insulation TIPS
(Something Kind)
6. What material is the best for soundproofing?
(DIY Builds)


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