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Soundproofing with independent ceiling: your experience please.

(36 Posts)
MariscallRoad Thu 27-Dec-12 15:19:26

We decided to soundproof with an independent ceiling and thick layers of soundblocker under our existing ceiling. We live in a flat. The upstairs flat has laminated floors which cause noise to travel to us. Noise does not stop all day and continues till 3 am and beyond all night. We spoke with the landlady and tenants but no luck. So we had a company here who advised us to do the independent underceiling insulation. They said that some offending walls have to be soundproofed as well to stop noise travelling from joists down to us. So, does any one have this expeirience? Any company recommendations?

onedaysandy Fri 28-Dec-12 21:54:35

No personal experience of soundproofing but am watching with interest (and bumping) because we have the same problem with our upstairs neighbours. In all likelihood we'll sell up though I wonder who would ever buy our property if they hear the noise from upstairs. Have you had any quotations? Do you know how much it might cost, or how much lower the ceiling would appear? Sorry to ask questions instead of giving answers!

FergusSingsTheBlues Sat 29-Dec-12 14:28:38

I had walls soundproofed. Hasnt really worked as you need to lose twleve inches to make it effective. Secondary glazing is v effective. Really wish that was an option for doing my one room at a time if you go for it. Alternatively contact council, laminate is against the law in many councils and they might be able to enforce it. I have no idea why people think its ok to have laminate in flats, living under it is a nightmare.

janmoomoo Sun 30-Dec-12 17:07:40

No experience I am afraid, but we looked into this quite extensively when we had a similar problem in a flat. We felt there just wasn't enough evidence that it was going to work sufficiently to justify the cost. A couple of surveyors said the same. I sympathise with you, its a complete PITA, we moved.

MariscallRoad Tue 01-Jan-13 11:48:12

onedaysandy, A year ago exactly a quote for one bedroom 12x11 feet was £1519. We want to start with this to see how it works. The quote for soundproofing 2 bedrooms and lounge was £6,100. The ceiling would be lowered by 7 inches. The sound reduction would be around 50% which will improve the quality of our lives: we study and work from our place. Unfortunately most of our friends who live in older conversions have worse noise problem they have to put up (electric guitars from 2 am on). We found soundproofing in our case works out cheaper than moving and can be immediate solution, plus works well as thermal insulation. Our heating travels upstairs.

Fergus, as you say, the firm told us the walls will become 7 inches thicker, but no guarantee of noise reduction. laminate is nightmare but our LA has not outlawed it.

A surveyor firm advised us to get quotes from specialist acoustic surveyors

chicaN Mon 13-May-13 18:06:14


I had a false ceiling added to combat impact noise from upstairs flat. It took about 8/9 inches off of my wall height. It cost me thousands and did absolutely nothing!

After much detailed research I believe the success of soundproofing between floors depends on the construction and date of the building, whether its wood or concrete floors and expertise of soundproofers - no point doing anything unless all the edges round floor/ceiling are properly sealed. if the building is liable to bit of movement, those edges will open up and undermine the whole effort.

Most recommended sound insulation for impact noise is 'floating floors or ceilings', however again it is up for question how successful they are- depending on some of what I have shared! Out of these two they often say it is best to get the soundproofing done on the floor of the trouble flat as impact noise is best treated at source of contact.

At least the firm were honest enough to tell you they could not guarantee success, mine told me there would be a 70% reduction on impact noise.

I hope it's been a success if you've had the works done.

PaulyV Tue 06-Aug-13 11:26:20

I have issues with impact noise from the flat above mine.

It's really interesting that despite a myriad of Internet searches with variations of the words "ceiling insulation success stories", I am still yet to find ANYONE who has a positive story to report.

I recently got a quote for the installation of a hybrid independent ceiling of £4,000. I was quoted 90% reduction in impact noise. If I go to "checkatrade" then I find many many happy reports from customers of this company saying how great their workmanship is, but STILL no one talks about the reduction of noise having been effective.

And then, doing some research on "checkatrade", I find it is in no way a reliable website.

I am left in a situation where I genuinely don't know what is best to do.

£4,000 is a lot of money to spend on an experiment....


Mia894 Wed 18-May-16 23:13:27

Hi I know this is an old thread - but did you go ahead with the soundproofing and did it work?

Ashh1 Sun 23-Oct-16 16:52:55

Hi. Same here - would be really interested in knowing if you had the work done and whether it was a success. Any other success stories out there?? Maybe there is no one!!

Warzy1981 Sat 18-Feb-17 15:56:19

Hi.. I come across this about soundproofing ceiling. I live in a flat with people above they bang around, can hear kids screaming etc.. anyways 8 years now we have decided to drop the ceiling and soundproof. (Concrete slab ceilings). I started with drilling 3inch, 10mm holes and cutting 8mm thread bar to 6inch. Used injection resins and put the threaded bar in the holes let it dry over night! That sorted my problem of hanging 3-2" joists bolt them up to the ceiling. 500mm apart. Giving me 9 joists that took 3days to put up! Inside the joists I put Rockwool sound insulation 100mm. (That has done a treat on the airborne noise) No sound from kids screaming. Now for the inpack noise from dropping items and running around. I put 2x2" joists opposite way holding up the 100mm rockwool. Between the 2x2" joists I put rubber to separate the joists. I put the 2x2" 400mm apart. That drops the ceiling 5inch. Between the 2x2 I put 50mm rockwool soundproof insulation. So it covers the 3x2" joists. That gives 150mm rockwool. No noises from airborne sounds like TV Children screaming etc. Now.. I put resilient sound bar onto the 2x2" joists. Making sure it's away from the joists itself! Use a plaster jack to lift 15mm soundproof plasterboard and screw only into the resilient bar,. Making sure not screw into joists. That separate the plasterboard from joists. Making it resilient to inpack noise. This dropped my ceiling by around 6inchs. Costs around £600. And I done the work myself. I cuts out the airborne sound 95% and inpack around 70%. Well worth the work! Next room soon:0)

MasterMark Mon 09-Oct-17 10:46:01

Hello all, a rarely accessed thread, but thought I'd share my experience!

I recently completed a refurb in North West London, and have a rather heavy-footed upstairs neighbour with solid wood floors and no underlay (!). I spent over £5k having a fully independent ceiling installed in 2 rooms. While it appears to have been useful for reducing airborne noise, it has seemingly made ZERO difference on reducing impact noise, which was the problem I was aiming to resolve.

Seems to have been nothing but a very, very expensive experiment. Happy to share more info if anyone's interested, but I urge you to do your research! For the record, I did a LOT of research and spoke to a number of companies.

johnd2 Mon 09-Oct-17 12:20:39

For airborne noise you can block it with something heavy anywhere between.
For impact noise you have to block it before it transmits into the building fabric.
The best solution is carpet or cushioned lino, then it has to be very thick underlay under any hard flooring. Another option is cushioned pads between the structural floor and the joists.

MasterMark Mon 09-Oct-17 12:46:43

Thanks John. Unfortunately, I don't have access to the flat above. My expectation was that an independent ceiling would help to a decent degree in reducing impact noise as well, and that flanking noise should be relatively limited given solid (rather than breeze) block construction of the relevant internal wall.

Groundhogdays Mon 06-Nov-17 10:13:10

Hi, I was thinking of doing this but have been put off by your post.
Did you install independent joists etc?

MasterMark Mon 13-Nov-17 11:47:20

Hi Groundhog, yes, it was installed with a fully independent ceiling with new joists around 2 inches below the existing ceiling.

I've not moved back into the bedroom yet as I'm still waiting for some building work to finish, but my initial impressions of being in the room haven't been great. If you're not in a major rush, happy to let you know in 2 or 3 weeks when I've hopefully moved back in and can give a better update.

Assume it's impact noise you're most concerned with?

Groundhogdays Mon 13-Nov-17 12:21:40

Hi Mark and thanks for responding, yes both impact and airborne.

I was planning independent joist packed with high density insulation of at least 60kg per m cube then 19mm plank plasterboard and then 12.5mm acoustic plasterboard.

I'm assuming you've done similar research to me and this is viewed as the best approach with what I've read.

MasterMark Mon 13-Nov-17 13:39:05

Hi Groundhog, sounds like the same spec as I went for (included mine below for reference). If you're happy to wait 2 or 3 weeks, will be happy to update you with "real world" results.

In a way I'm lucky, as my upstairs neighbour's floors have been damaged and so he's installing a laminate floating floor with some half decent 5mm acoustic underlay, which should provide some help. (though it means I spent money I wouldn't have had he done it before!)

Gap to original ceiling – 50mm
New joists – 80mm
Acoustic MW/acoustic quilt between joists
16mm Resilient Bar
19mm Acoustic plasterboard
12.5mm Acoustic plasterboard

Groundhogdays Mon 13-Nov-17 17:06:19

Hi Mark, yes sounds pretty similar and I'm definitely willing to wait for your real world results.

It would be very helpful to know the exact spec of the acoustic mineral wool that has been used as it does differ in mass (weight) and thickness and I'm guessing your joists are deeper than 80mm ?.

Micmonro Fri 12-Jan-18 08:14:36

Hi MasterMark, many thanks for sharing your experience with us. I suffered as well from the people above. Its an expensive remedy I agree. I am considering it as well. but my problem is the impact sound from footfall.

parkview094 Fri 12-Jan-18 09:34:31

Just a thought: Have you checked whether the terms of your lease mention anything about flooring?
I lived in a 1920s block. Many flats installed wooden flooring, even though the terms of the lease explicitly forbade it. It might give you some option to force the flat above to do something about the noise rather than for you to have pay to sort it out in your own flat if yours does have a similar covenant.

MasterMark Fri 12-Jan-18 12:34:55

That's a good point from parkview094 - most, though not all, communal blocks from that kind of period would have had leases stating that wooden floorboards were not acceptable. I also lived in a 20s/30s block which had that explicit language. Definitely worth checking.

FYI if anyone's interested, I've had some time in the new bedroom. I'd say the new independent ceiling has done a good job at reducing airborne noise (which wasn't much of a problem). As for the impact/footfall noise - it was very bad before. It's better. Not amazing, but better. Best way to describe it is that the impact noise just sounds like it's coming for a little further way rather than right on top of my head.

Is it worth £100+ per square metre? Debatable. For that kind of money, assuming you had very, very friendly upstairs neighbours, you could pretty much pay for their new floors and new floor soundproofing at the source which would give much better results.

Fifip85 Sun 04-Feb-18 18:08:18

Hi, I'm also having the same issues. I've been in my flat share ( because that's what it feels like!) for two years and have decided I've had enough of hearing all of upstairs neighbors activities.

I'm really like my flat but am fearful of soundproofing incase it doesn't work l. I have recently began looking for new flats but can't seem to stop comparing it to what I have.

I really just want to be able to sleep without earplugs at a time that I want to sleep not when my neighbors have decided to go to bed.

Has anyone tried approaching they're neighbors to do soundproofing from above?

Any thoughts suggestions welcome

Taz52 Thu 15-Feb-18 08:49:14

I’ve recently contacted a soundproofing company and he said it’s best done at source but I don’t feel I want to approach the neighbours about getting it done in their flat, I’d be paying for something that’s sitting in their house and can’t see them wanting the upheaval anyway, plus I’d rather they didn’t know I was planning on any soundproofing work getting done I have spoken to them about the noise coming from the wooden floor and they seemed to indicate they may put a carpet down though they didn’t really want to, this was 4 months ago but no carpet yet. They have a young child running around and the impact noise is terrible plus toys being dragged around and dropped. I’m still considering getting soundproofing done in mine but I’m not totally convinced it will work and the guy from the company said it depends on the construction of the building. A lot of money for something that may not work. I love my flat but this new family are destroying my enjoyment of my home.

Fifip85 Thu 15-Feb-18 20:02:22

Good luck Taz52. I've actually started looking at buying somewhere else just trying to weigh up the expense of moving vs a soundproofing attempt. I got quoted 6k for my flat but still not sure what this involves. I'm gonna get another quote next month.

If you don't mind me asking how much are they quoting you?

Taz52 Fri 16-Feb-18 00:14:19

If I want the whole flat done it’s £11,000 for my hall ( they have hall floored, noisiest part of the house) £1,200

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