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Author Topic: small room office floor soundproofing feedback  (Read 7315 times)

Lincoln McCulloch

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small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« on: February 25, 2009, 12:06:46 pm »

Hi again,
Continuing from here http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/27038/19870/ but being more focused on one issue at a time, I'm hoping for some feedback on my choices below.

Goal
- maximum soundproofing keeping sound from getting out.  No concern with sound treatment yet.

Room
- 550 sq ft (pretty much square)
- 3rd floor office building
- existing floor carpet on wood

Current plan:
- pulling baseboard, fill/seal everything
- lay heavy poly so it comes up about 6" on the walls, all taped/sealed

Now I'm thinking 2 options, no idea if either is better by much or at all.

Option 1 - floating floor
- closed cell neoprine blocks (or whatever I can get), minimize contact with existing floor
- 2x4 floor frame
- fill cavities with rockwool (or whatever I can get)
- 2 layers 1/4" plywood with greenglue beteween, offsetting seams, screwed together
- top layer of either carpet or thin rubber/neoprine/foam (whatever I can find) likely not more than 1/2"

Option 2 - no frame/blocks
- basically the same as Option 1 but no neoprine blocks or 2x4 frame

I'm mostly unsure about
- would having any type of cavity be worth the cost?
- would filling the cavity with rockwool be more useful than empty air?
- is there a more effective combination of materials for the floor sandwich?

The floow will be built to as close to the wall as possible, but not touching.  The gap would be sealed.  I was thinking angled rubber glued/caulked down to the wall/floor at the seam.

I'm hoping to begin work this week and will be documenting with pictures.

Thanks for any help Smile

Another article I found useful here http://www.uhfmag.com/Issue63/soundproofing.html
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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 12:49:03 pm »

I read your post fast, but I can tell you that you need to decouple your floor with a product that has a very low natural frequency (like some elastomers or springs for ex). And that goes most if not all of the times with rather heavy floor on top.

If the frequency is too high, it's not going to help too much as for freq under that point, among other things the floor will acoustically behave as one - as if it isn't floated.

What kind of load is your floor supporting? For offices I would suspect 250/300daN/m
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Thomas Jouanjean
Northward Acoustics - Engineering and Designs
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Lincoln McCulloch

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 02:32:01 pm »

I will look for options related to this "like some elastomers or springs for ex".

So you're saying decouple for sure.  Ok.

And yes, I'm just assuming I need to keep the weight down as much as possible with it being a regular wood frame office building.  I haven't had an engineer in yet.

I was even thinking of a plywood layer down first, then blocks on top for the decoupled floor so as to disperse the load on the original floor.

My only other thought was to not bother with the full floating floor, but rather focus on floating risers for drums, bass cabs etc and then maybe just throw down a rubber floor on top of the carpet/poly.  It would definitely be lighter.  Any thoughts on that?

I know I'm coming across as uninformed and am no professional but I do appreciate the help.  Just trying to make do with what I have available to me.

Cheers
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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 02:37:23 pm »

Oh, sorry, I didn't get the fact that it's the floor structure that is in wood, not just what is under the carpet.

We use concrete a lot more than in the US in Europe - I assumed concrete.

You indeed have a load problem - and a rather high flexion under load problem too.

In the US, this company is great. See what they can do for you:
http://www.kineticsnoise.com/

I'm sure they have a solution in house to offer for your problem.

I would suggest having a look at this: http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/rim/wood.aspx
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Thomas Jouanjean
Northward Acoustics - Engineering and Designs
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Lincoln McCulloch

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 03:10:56 pm »

Good stuff.  I'll check it out.

Thanks
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jetbase

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2009, 05:53:08 pm »

Lincoln, I have a similar situation to you in regards to the floor. I'm still in the design phase for my studio.
I've steered away from a lightweight floating floor, as I have been advised that, in a recording studio situation, it may resonate at certain frequencies & cause problems.
I can't afford to have the floor structure strengthened & then to lay a concrete slab floating floor, so I'm simply planning to add mass to the existing floor (most likely plasterboard & plywood). This maybe ok for my situation, as below me are a storeroom & amenities, & I could look at doing more treatment from below later on if there are still problems (e.g. insulate & then hang the ceiling below).

Thomas, do think the floating floor you link to would cause resonance, or would it be ok? I'm pretty sure I asked about that specific floor at John Sayers forum a while back and was advised against it.
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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 02:28:58 am »

Yes, I'm never in favor of those types of light floors. When I float it's always heavy concrete floors with no cavities in it whatsoever. and very low natural freq (under 10Hz).

The problem here is that there is a need for soundproofing first and foremost. So I assume resonances / re-emission in this case comes second in the list.

But all what you say is right - just a question of priorities. And weight load limits.
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Thomas Jouanjean
Northward Acoustics - Engineering and Designs
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Lincoln McCulloch

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 10:18:47 am »

Then perhaps I misunderstand resonance problems Smile

I definitely don't want to end up with a floating floor where it atually resonates and therefore transmits anything outside of the room.

Do I just stick with a non-floating sandwich then?

I'm certain I won't be going with professional products due to the cost so I'm left with picking rather regular building materials to work with.

Any recommendations on a sandwich that works well within itself?

I was thinking 1/2" ply + 1/2" MDF on top with goo in between.  On top would be treatment but maybe even a layer of a rubber type of product.  But I simply have no idea what combination of materials would peform the best, or what thicknesses to use.  I do want to start lighter/cheaper to then have the option of adding more layers later if needed.

And in my case I'm not necessarily concerned with the people below (we're on the 3rd floor and the 2 storey shop below is never around when we play) but I am worried most about sound transmission into the areas of the building that we do care about.  Namely, other offices on the same floor and down the hallway.

I still plan on using drum risers/bass cab platforms to isloate those low freq instruments from contacting the floor as much as I can.
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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 11:01:00 am »

If you don't float, you'll transmit solidian noise to the whole building which is a guarantee of trouble with your neighbours.

Soundproofing of aerial noise is rather easy. Solidian, structure born, noises are another thing - and in your case they have to be addressed because they will render aerial noise soundproofing useless.

Adding layers to your floor will stiffen it and will likely allow more sound to be transmitted to the structure...

The resonance which is talked about is the resonance of the cavities under the light wood floor and the resonance of the light wood floor itself which are audible (re-emission) to you and not appropriate in studios, as they "pollute" the room response.

We usually try to avoid those - but in your case there is no choice.

I would not go without some kind of (calculated) decoupling because it is the only way to guarantee:
- your neighbours will not hate you after 2 days,
- that the money you'll spend is well spent.

IMHO you should contact Kinetics and get a quote - it's not very expensive stuff.
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Thomas Jouanjean
Northward Acoustics - Engineering and Designs
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andrebrito

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2009, 05:03:43 pm »

You can do another thing which is not common on studio recording but it is common in industrial acoustics and other spaces, which is to treat the sound sources producing vibration locally and individually.

The problem is that you end up with fixed sound sources in a room... the advantage is that is cheaper.

Never knew a studio that used this system but I have visited some discos that did this kind of application for the sound system.





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jetbase

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 05:21:59 pm »

andrebrito wrote on Fri, 27 February 2009 09:03

You can do another thing which is not common on studio recording but it is common in industrial acoustics and other spaces, which is to treat the sound sources producing vibration locally and individually.

The problem is that you end up with fixed sound sources in a room... the advantage is that is cheaper.

Never knew a studio that used this system but I have visited some discos that did this kind of application for the sound system.



So in Lincoln's case would the drum & bass risers be the same kind of solution? I take it speakers would be isolated as well?

On certain location recordings I would sometimes lay down plywood panels on foam rubber 'pucks' for drums, piano &/or upright bass. This wasn't for sound isolation however, but to improve the bottom end. Actually, I started to do it because I was trying to get isolation between instruments (with little improvement), and then realised that the main benefit was tighter bottom end.
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andrebrito

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 07:58:07 pm »

No, these solutions would be also made of concrete and appropriate elastomers or springs to have low frequency ressonance of the entire system.

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Lincoln McCulloch

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2009, 12:31:02 am »

oh I agree in terms of soundproofing, Andrebrito, but I'm looking for minimal floor load due to the wooden frame construction of the building.

I'm pretty certain I can't get away with anything more than an skim coat levelling layer of concrete.. which is pretty much pointless in my case (I think Smile).
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Lincoln McCulloch

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2010, 03:00:03 pm »

Hi all,
Sorry for taking so long to update this project.

Huge thanks to you all.  The reno's are complete and the studio is in heavy use.

The total cost was about $5000 CDN for materials alone.  No cost on labour as it was all volunteer.  Many of the materials were used as well.

I've put up lots of pictures and more info here:
http://www.eviljuiceproductions.com/?page_id=15&preview= true

If it makes more sense I could upload the pictures to this thread.  Just let me know if that's the way to do things.

Here's the short version of what was done:
- Kinetics isolation pads under a 2x4 framed floating floor.
- One wall got Green Glue/layer of drywall
- Floating separation wall to the drum room
- Isolation boxes and inner doors around the entrances
- Nothing done to the exterior wall since it was well built and we weren't too concerned about noise getting outside.
- Lots of acoustic caulking used, I think we went through 4 or 5 boxes of the large tubes.  Pretty much every gap and every contact surface on every layer got caulked.

Cheers,
Lincoln
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Thomas Jouanjean

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Re: small room office floor soundproofing feedback
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 06:30:27 pm »

Good to see it turned out great!

Sure you can post pics here if you want Smile
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Thomas Jouanjean
Northward Acoustics - Engineering and Designs
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