Hollow cement floors are a common feature in many homes and buildings. They are relatively inexpensive to construct and provide good structural support. However, one of the drawbacks of hollow cement floors is that they can be very noisy. Sound waves can easily travel through the air pockets in the concrete, making it difficult to block out noise from other rooms or from outside.
There are a number of different ways to soundproof a hollow cement floor. One of the most effective methods is to install a soundproofing mat over the concrete. Soundproofing mats are typically made of dense materials such as rubber, cork, or foam. They help to absorb sound waves and prevent them from traveling through the concrete.
Finally, you can also help to soundproof a hollow cement floor by sealing any cracks or gaps in the concrete. Sound waves can easily travel through even small openings, so sealing any cracks or gaps in the concrete can help to block out noise.
Types of Noise Can Travel Through a Hollow Cement Floor
There are two main types of noise that can travel through a hollow cement floor: airborne noise and impact noise.
Airborne noise is sound that travels through the air, such as noise from conversations, music, or traffic. Airborne noise can be easily transmitted through hollow cement floors, since the air pockets in the concrete act as sound conductors.
Impact noise is sound that is caused by an impact, such as footsteps, furniture moving, or objects being dropped. Impact noise can also be easily transmitted through hollow cement floors since the vibrations from the impact can travel through the concrete.
Soundproofing Procedure for a Hollow Cement Floor
Now that you’ve identified the nuisance, let’s move on to the fun part – soundproofing your hollow cement floor. The good news is that you don’t need a degree in acoustic engineering to get this done.
To soundproof a hollow cement floor, you need to address both impact noise and airborne noise. Here are some tips:
Add a resilient underlay. A resilient underlay is a layer of material that is placed between the concrete floor and the new floor finish. Resilient underlays are designed to absorb vibrations and reduce impact noise. Some popular types of resilient underlay include rubber, cork, and foam.
Install a floating floor. A floating floor is a floor that is not attached to the concrete slab. This helps to decouple the floor from the slab and reduce impact noise. Floating floors can be made of a variety of materials, including wood, laminate, and vinyl.
Add mass to the floor. The more mass a floor has, the better it will block impact noise. One way to add mass to a hollow cement floor is to install a layer of soundproof drywall over the existing concrete. Another option is to install a layer of mass-loaded vinyl (MLV). MLV is a heavy, dense material that is very effective at blocking sound.
- Add mass to the floor. As mentioned above, adding mass to the floor is a good way to block airborne noise. You can install a layer of soundproof drywall or MLV over the existing concrete.
- Seal all air gaps. Airborne noise can travel through even the smallest air gaps. Make sure to seal all cracks and gaps around the perimeter of the room, as well as around any pipes or vents. You can use acoustic caulk or sealant to do this.
- Add a sound-absorbing material. Sound-absorbing materials help to reduce the amount of sound that is reflected off of surfaces. Some popular types of sound-absorbing materials include carpets, rugs, and acoustic panels.
If you have a serious noise problem, you may want to consult with a professional soundproofing contractor. They can assess your specific situation and recommend the best soundproofing solutions for your needs.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you regain your peace and quiet:
Step 1 – Clean the floor
Use a vacuum cleaner or broom to remove any dirt, dust, or debris from the floor. This will help to ensure that the soundproofing materials adhere properly to the floor.
Step 2 – Repair any cracks or gaps
Use a caulking gun or sealant to repair any cracks or gaps in the concrete floor. This will help to prevent sound from traveling through the cracks and gaps.
Step 3 – Install a soundproofing mat
Lay the soundproofing mat over the concrete floor. Make sure that the mat is completely adhered to the floor and that there are no gaps between the mat and the concrete. You can use double-sided tape, adhesive spray, or a staple gun to adhere the mat to the floor.
Step 4 – Add a layer of mass
Install a layer of heavy material over the soundproofing mat. This could be gypsum board, plywood, or concrete. Gypsum board is a lightweight and easy-to-install option, but it is not as effective at blocking sound as plywood or concrete. Plywood and concrete are more effective at blocking sound, but they are also heavier and more difficult to install.
Step 5 – Seal any cracks or gaps
Use an acoustic sealant to seal any cracks or gaps in the walls and around the perimeter of the room. This will help to prevent sound from leaking out.
Once you have completed these steps, your hollow cement floor will be ready for soundproofing. You can now install your final flooring material, such as carpet, hardwood, or tile.
Here are some additional tips for soundproofing a hollow cement floor:
- Make sure to install the soundproofing materials properly. If the mats or sealant are not installed correctly, they will not be effective in blocking sound.
- Consider installing a floating floor. A floating floor is a type of floor that is not attached to the subfloor. This helps to reduce impact noise by decoupling the floor from the rest of the structure.
- Add rugs and furniture to the room. Rugs and furniture can help to absorb sound and reduce noise levels.
- Keep the doors and windows closed when possible. Closing the doors and windows will help to block out noise from outside.
By following these steps, you can effectively soundproof your hollow cement floor and create a more peaceful and quiet space to enjoy.
Which Types of Soundproofing Mats You Will Need?
There are a number of different types of soundproofing mats available on the market. The best type of soundproofing mat for you will depend on your specific needs and budget.
Some of the most common types of soundproofing mats include:
Rubber soundproofing mats
Rubber soundproofing mats are very effective at blocking out impact noise. They are also durable and easy to install.
Cork soundproofing mats
Cork soundproofing mats are a good choice for blocking out airborne noise. They are also environmentally friendly and renewable.
Foam soundproofing mats
Foam soundproofing mats are a good all-around choice for soundproofing a hollow cement floor. They are effective at blocking out both airborne and impact noise. There you will find different types of foam mats such as SoundMat 2, Soundmat 2 Plus, ImpactoMat 5, and so on. For example, if you are having higher sound issues then you can go for Soundmat 2 Plus, it has a lower impact noise rating and a lower impact noise rating (LnT,w) is better because it means that the floor soundproofing solution is more effective at blocking impact noise. For example, for footsteps, the value is 47dB. The thing is, always go for a mat that has a lower impact noise rating for a better output.
Soundproofing a hollow cement floor can be a relatively simple and inexpensive project. By following the tips above, you can significantly reduce the amount of noise that travels through your floor.