Soundproofing an attic flooring may appear a little bit difficult at first. However, it’s actually extremely similar to soundproofing any other flooring in a residence or apartment. The only potential distinction is the sort of sound that you’re attempting to Soundproof. That is what this article will tackle!
The method of soundproofing will depend on what type of noise you’re attempting to block or absorb.
There are two main types of noise that you might want to tackle while soundproofing any type of floor. Airborne noise and impact noise.
If you want to block airborne noise you will need more density. Impact noise might require special soundproofing material to absorb the vibrations on whatever is causing the impact inside the attic.
Let’s begin with the top 10 ways to soundproof an attic floor once and for all! The 10 methods are divided into 6 primary ways of soundproofing the attic floor.
1. Add an Extra Layers of 5/8″ Drywall
If you’re looking to soundproof the attic floor then you might as well begin one level down with its ceiling.
Whatever the reason for soundproofing the attic floor I’m guessing that the main reason is to mitigate the amount of noise coming through the attic floor causing chaos through the entire house. That might be a bit dramatic but either way, you want the floor bellow the attic to be quieter or vis versa.
That is why you should begin one-floor bellow and soundproof the ceiling by adding an extra layer of 5/8″ drywall. If you’ve gone through some of my content you will most likely notice that I use this soundproofing method a lot, the reason for this is because it works!
The material you will need;
- 5/8″ Drywall
- Two tubes of Green Glue Noise Proofing Compound for every sheet of drywall
- One tube of Green Glue Noise Proofing Sealant should be enough
- Light fixture electrical box extender
- And of course drywall screws
Step 1— Unhook the lights and install a light fixture electrical box extender. You will do this because of the gap you will create after installing an extra layer of drywall. Make sure to shut off the appropriate breakers before disconnecting the light.
Step 2– Have the proper measurements for your drywall and prepare them by placing some green glue noise proofing compound on each sheet of drywall you will be using. You will require two full tubes for every sheet of drywall. Lay the green glue in a random pattern all over the side of the drywall that will in contact with the ceiling. Click here the learn more about green glue.
Step 3– With the help of another person, install your second layer of drywall on the ceiling. If you’re going to be doing this alone you can use the help of a drywall hoist. You can rent them at your local hardware store or buy a one from Amazon (Link for Drywall Hoist) for personal use. These things work great if you’re installing drywall alone!
Step 4– Grab a tube of Green Glue Noise Proofing Sealant (not to be confused with “compound”) and insert it in a caulking gun. This type of soundproofing caulking will help block noise from coming through any holes or gaps that you might have on the ceiling.
Place some sealant around the lighting electrical box to seal the gap between the box and the drywall. You should also seal around the ceiling where the ceiling meets the wall. This type of sealant will not crack over time due to aging.
Step 5- Now this step is not necessary but could help reduce a few extra decibels of noise coming from the attic floor with the help of acoustic paint. Plant the finished ceiling with acoustic paint to give you an added advantage against noise. Click here to learn more about this type of soundproofing paint.
2. Lay a Subfloor in the Attic
Adding a floor to an attic will not only help soundproof the attic but will also increase storage space or create a new room. Before you begin laying subfloor in your attic, you need to make sure that the floor can support the additional weight.
The floor can be built using plywood, OSB, and MDF panels. This will increase the insulation by reducing both impact and airborne noise. Plywood is certainly the most affordable material to go with but OSB is still very affordable.
The best quality and better sound insulator are indeed the MDF panels.
Step 1 – Call a professional to find out if your ceiling can withstand the extra weight. The reason for a professional is that they will be able to tell you if your ceiling trusses can handle the extra weight of not only of the subfloor but the weight of people walking around or storage. The ceiling can cave in if the structural integrity of the house is compromised by the added weight on weak attic trusses.
Call a contractor in the area and find out if this soundproofing method is worth pursuing or just go down the DIY route.
Step 2- Now that we are going forward with adding subfloor in the attic, its now time to go ahead and begin. So for the second step is to watch the video below to be better informed on how to install a subfloor the right way.
3. Acoustic Mineral Insulation
Another good way to improve the soundproofing effectiveness of your subfloor is to take out the old insulation that’s in the attic and replace it with Rockwool Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation. This type of insulation works great as Acoustic insulation or as a soundproofing material.
Rockwool is also cost-effective and Very High NRC Rating. It is also water-repelling, hydrophobic and has a class A fire rating.
This soundproofing method is a bit more work but will give you some of the best results in soundproofing the attic floor.
Here is a video that talks more about acoustic mineral wool and how to install it.
4. Use Green Glue Tape & Compound
One good way to make a subfloor an even better sound isolator is by tapping the top of the subfloor with green glue soundproofing tape. This is a soundproofing method that you don’t hear often.
That’s too bad because its an easy and cheap way to improve the soundproofing effectiveness of your subfloor.
What makes this type of soundproofing tape effective is that it helps absorbs and deaden the noise generated between the floor joist and the subfloor from people walking around the attic.
Here is a good video explaining exactly how this type of material works.
Now to the Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound. This will be done in the same fashion as the two layers of drywall on the ceiling but this time we will place the green glue compound in between two layers of subfloor.
One sure way to make the attic floor much quieter is to place another layer of flooring on an existing subfloor. Use two full tubes of green glue compound for each sheet of plywood.
This will act as a good sound barrier and will also add some thickness to the floor which will, in turn, reduce the amount of noise coming from the attic.
5. Place Some Solf Material on the Attic Floor
If you’ve properly soundproofed the attic floor you will want to look at ways of reducing impact noise even more. One way to reduce impact noise is to add some soft material on the attic floor.
One great thing about adding a soft rug (Amazon) or interlocking floor tiles (Amazon) is that it does not only help mitigate the noise from footsteps, it will also help combat echo.
Soft material like rugs will help absorb all sorts of noise emanating from the attic itself and help reduce echo.
A lot of people use rugs to help combat impact noise but not a lot of people know much about interlocking floor tiles.
These types of tiles are made of foam matting with a thin wood finish on the top. This will not only help regarding noise reduction, but it will also help keep the attic warmer than it would be in the winter months saving you on your heating bill.
They are very easy to install and remove if you want to someday change it up. I would try to cover as much area as possible. The more you have on the floor the quieter the attic will be.
6. Install Floor Floaters
When it comes to soundproofing your attic floor, floor floaters (Amazon) does a great job, especially by reducing impact noise.
Floor floaters are also known as joist isolators and are made of very strong rubber. The reason they also go by the name of joist isolators is that you install them between the joist to isolate and block vibrational noise or any type of movement coming from the joist themselves.
You can install these yourself in no time! All you need to do is place them under each joist correctly.
For best results, place each floor floater at a distance of between 16 to 24 inches.
Judging by the number of floaters you get for the price, these are a highly effective product.
There are certainly many ways to soundproof an attic floor but if you’re working on a tight budget, I would begin with the floor floaters. If you have a few hundred dollars to spend I would definitely look at building a second layer of subfloor on top of the existing one using green glue noise proofing compound.
Feel free to take a look at our other articles to learn many different ways on how to soundproof a ceiling to help you keep the attic as quiet as possible.