We’ve all experienced it at some point – loud noise coming from a road, neighbour or party when all you want is a few minutes of peace. If it’s becoming a constant problem, then you need to take action – and this often means taking steps to soundproof your home.
Though you can hire professionals, soundproofing can be a relatively easy DIY project, especially if you’re tackling a floor. Alternatively, if doing the work yourself seems a little daunting, you can easily find contractors in your local area who can help.
In this article, we’ll be covering how much it costs to soundproof floors, what affects the cost of soundproofing a floor, how to save money on soundproofing materials, how to know if soundproofing is the right choice for your home and how to find and hire someone to instal soundproofing.
If you want to put the days of second-hand noise to bay, investing in soundproofing is the way to go. Keep reading to find out the most cost-effective route of acquiring peace in your home.
How Much Does It Cost to Soundproof Floors?
The cost of soundproofing can differ depending on the material you choose. Here are some of the most common soundproofing materials to compare the prices.
|SOUNDPROOFING MATERIAL||ESTIMATED COST PER SQUARE METRE||ESTIMATED COST TO SOUNDPROOF A LOUNGE/DINER (15 SQM)||LABOUR COSTS||TIME REQUIRED||TOTAL ESTIMATED COST|
|Rubber Impact Mats||£10 to £40 per square metre||£150 to £600||£300 to £500 per day||2 to 4 days||£750 to £1,600|
|Mineral Wool||£20 to £30 per square metre||£300 to £450||£300 to £500 per day||2 to 4 days||£900 to £1,450|
|Acoustic Underlay||£30 to £40 per square metre||£450 to £600||£300 to £500 per day||2 to 4 days||£1,050 to £1,600|
|SBx Boards||£30 to £50 per square metre||£450 to £750||£300 to £500 per day||2 to 4 days||£1,050 to £1,750|
Each material will incur labour costs of between £300 to £500 per day for a two-person team, and the average time to complete the soundproofing will be between two to four days.
Rubber impact mats start at £10 per square metre and can rise to £40 per square metre for more premium varieties. The estimated cost to buy the materials needed to soundproof a lounge or diner of around 15 square metres would be between £150 to £600, with the total estimated cost coming to between £750 to £1,600.
Looking at mineral wool next, the cost per square metre will be somewhere between £20 to £30; equalling to £300 to £450 for the materials alone for a 15 square metre-sized room. When labour costs are added in, we reach a total of between £900 to £1,450.
Acoustic underlay is slightly more expensive, at £30 to £40 per square metre, which would come to a total material cost of between £450 to £600. Adding on labour costs, this will equal £1,050 to £1,600.
Finally, we’ll look at SBx boards, which are between £30 to £50 per square metre. To cover a lounge or diner it’ll cost between £450 to £750, and when we add in the labour costs it’ll come to between £1,050 and £1,750.
It may be necessary to use a combination of soundproofing materials to achieve maximum noise reduction, which is something your contractor can explain when they determine what’s best for your space.
What Affects the Cost of Soundproofing a Floor?
There are numerous options when it comes to soundproofing, meaning there’s always a project to fit your budget. One way or another, you’ll be able to drown out the noise for a quiet and peaceful retreat.
Here are the main factors responsible for raising or lowering the overall price of your project.
Type and Loudness of Noise
First on the list will be simply ascertaining the type and loudness of noise you’re currently experiencing, as this will affect your choice and quality of soundproofing material.
- Airborne noise is explained as sound transmitted by the air, such as talking or music.
- Impact noise is structure-borne sound happening when objects impact each other, like chairs on the floor, or doors slamming.
- Loudness is determined by a decibel reading. Since 2004, Britain’s Part E Building Regulations for new builds and conversions have a minimum target for airborne noise of blocking of 45dB or higher, and for impact noise of 62dB or lower.
Depending on your reading results, the amount of soundproofing material you need will change, either lowering or raising your project fees.
Your Choice of Soundproofing Material
Further to the loudness and type of noise you have present, you then have various options of soundproofing material to choose from, all coming with different price points.
Rubber Impact Mats
Laminate flooring has become very popular in recent years thanks to its affordability. However, it leaves little to be desired when it comes to soundproofing.
If you want to reduce noise levels, you’ll need to put some form of rubber matting down.
Isosonic mats can be easily installed and are a cost-effective option to use beneath laminate floors. It can also be used under screed to reduce impact sounds from concrete, and below engineered floors to create a floating floor with low impact.
Made from recycled rubber, Isosonic mats are dense, tough and easy to cut, and won’t result in a spongy-effect floor either. Acoustic membranes can also be combined with rubber matting to increase soundproofing.
If you’d prefer to add the soundproofing insulation in the dead space under your floor, you’ll need to lift the floorboards first. Despite the work, it can be worth the time and effort as under-floor soundproofing with an acoustic membrane and mineral wool can be extremely good at reducing airborne sounds.
Mineral wool is a popular choice amongst those with period properties as it’s a great way of maintaining the original flooring while granting the homeowner soundproofing properties.
Once back in place, the original floorboards will also provide some insulating properties of their own. If you’re limited to only working beneath the floor, this system is ideal and relatively easy to install.
And, if you want to get really good results, you can apply two levels of membrane; one below and one above the floorboards.
Acoustic underlays have options for airborne and impact noise reduction, so depending on the type of noise disturbance you are experiencing, there will be an option for you.
If you don’t want to lift your floorboards, you can add a layer of insulation on top of them, though you need to remember the level of your floor will rise as a result. One of the most cost-effective strategies for this method is to use SBx Boards.
SBx boards are said to be more effective at blocking out noise than rubber mats and are a good solution for those wanting to block external noise from coming up, as well as stopping airborne noises from travelling upwards.
They’re also extremely easy to fit, and you simply butt the pre-cut boards together before covering the entire area with tiles, carpet or laminate.
Unlike solid or rubber boards, SBx boards have a loose core that has an irregular arrangement. This means sound can’t simply pass straight through the material.
The Size of Your Floor
The size of your floor will impact the price you pay. The bigger the surface area, the bigger the price, and vice versa.
The Amount of Space You Can Afford to Lose
Depending on the type of soundproofing you choose, you may need to raise the level of your floor. This will in turn add the need for you to raise the skirting, the plug sockets, and trim down doors, which adds to the overall cost.
One of the main cost factors to consider when you’re soundproofing a floor is labour.
Though doing the work yourself is fairly easy, it can be time-consuming, especially if you’ve decided to pull up the floorboards. Hiring a contractor can be a welcome option, and though it will cost a lot more for the project, it will be completed quickly and efficiently.
How Can I Save Money on Soundproofing Materials?
Soundproofing floors can get expensive, fast. Here are some ways to lower those costs with a few alternative ideas.
Use Alternative Methods
Before fully undertaking a soundproofing flooring project, you can first experiment with other methods like making sure any gaps around windows or door frames are sealed to help stop the airflow, and in turn, the flow of external sounds into your rooms.
Add Soft Furnishings
Sound bounces off reflective materials – it’s why empty rooms are so echoey as the sound jumps from wall to ceiling to floor.
You can see if adding more soft furnishings, like rugs, throws and cushions to your space reduces the noise bouncing around. If you have noisy floorboards, this can be a good temporary fix if you’re in a space you can’t necessarily alter yourself, such as rented accommodation.
Is Soundproofing the Right Choice for My Home?
Soundproofing your flooring can be an excellent way of reducing the amount of noise coming into your home. It’s particularly beneficial if you’re living in a block of flats where the neighbours below might be a little louder than you’d like.
Alternatively, you might want to insulate the bedrooms in your house so when the kids are downstairs with the television blaring, you’ve still got a peaceful place to relax.
On the other hand, maybe you’re a budding drummer or musician and want to soundproof your home for the good of your loved ones and neighbours.
Either way, soundproofing a floor can be a good start in reducing the flow of noise through or into your home.
Advantages of Soundproofing
The most obvious factor – soundproofing will reduce the airborne and impact-based external noise in your home. There’s a lot to be said for repetitive road noise or neighbourly footsteps day-in, day-out, and by eliminating it, you’re taking a clear step towards having a much more relaxing home space.
Kinder To Your Neighbours
You may live above someone and cringe each time your floorboards creak, knowing how loud it must sound to your neighbours below.
Having a candid conversation with them about noise can help you to see if it’s impacting them and if there’s anything you can do about it to help them. Because, if you were in their shoes, I’m sure you’d want considerate upstairs neighbours to have the same conversation!
Soundproofing gives you the benefit of a quieter living experience, while also positively impacting your heating bills by reducing heat loss through your floors or walls.
Disadvantages of Soundproofing
Period Features = Time Consuming Efforts
If you’re living in a period property, you mightn’t want someone coming in and pulling up your floorboards to lay in soundproofing materials for fear of damage happening to the boards. However, if you are to retain the original floorboards, this is the only way of getting the job done.
This can be a costly and time-consuming endeavour, so you need to be prepared for a lengthy process and quite a bit of disruption.
If you’re laying soundproofing materials on top of your existing flooring, you’ll be raising the height of the floor itself. This has a knock-on effect, meaning you will have to then raise your skirting boards, plug sockets, and trim down doors to get them to close again.
It can be a considerable undertaking and cost more than you might have budgeted for if you take this route, so it’s something to bear in mind if your project looks like it might be taking that route.
How Do I Find and Hire Someone to Install Soundproofing?
The best route is to seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbours. This way, you’re cutting out a considerable chunk of time that would otherwise be spent searching for a suitable trader, and potentially sidestepping any rogue traders who won’t be worth your time.
If this isn’t possible, then you can use HouseholdQuotes and look to save up to 40% on your project, by selecting a pre-vetted trader who will be perfect for your project.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
In any home renovation job, you must ask for a written quote. This stops any funny business when you come to settle payments, and there’s less room for adding on unexpected costs at the end of the job.
You should always find out your trader’s experience before agreeing to sign with them to make sure they’re a good fit for your needs, and part of this involves looking at their references to see if their marketing stands up to what their actual customers say about them – and if there are photos or videos of their finished work, it’s good to see those, too.
Finally, any trader worth their salt will carry insurance, but it’s a good habit to check in with them first to make sure this is, in fact, the case.
Are you ready to say goodbye to unwanted noise in your home? Soundproofing your floors is the way to go to grant that slice of serenity amidst the chaos.
- Find out what quality of noise you have
- Understand the options of soundproofing available to you, given your type of noise and flooring
- Find a suitable trader using HouseholdQuotes to save you up to 40%
- Get a written quotation before work starts, and check their references and that they have insurance
- Be prepared for a bit of disruption during the job – and then relax into the peaceful, noise-free space once it’s done!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Floor?
Adding a plush carpet or rug to bare floorboards is a great first step to soundproof easily and quickly. It’s non-invasive, and if it does the job for you, then you needn’t bother with structural soundproofing, which is a bonus for you.
Can You Soundproof an Existing Floor?
You can soundproof an existing floor, but you will have to then raise skirting boards, plug sockets and shave your doors to make sure they still fit once the soundproofing has been laid.
What’s the Most Soundproof Flooring Besides Carpet?
Cork flooring, rubber flooring or vinyl tiles are all good options for those of you wanting a quiet floor from day one.
How Can I Stop Noise From Upstairs Floors?
The best options to stop noise from upstairs floors is to soundproof your ceiling, or soundproof the floors above you.
Do I Need to Soundproof My Entire Floor?
It’s recommended that for best results you soundproof the entire floor to stop noise from travelling through the gaps where soundproofing materials aren’t present.
Does Underlay Reduce Noise?
Underlay may have some effect, but for best results, you should choose products sold as an acoustic underlay.