Author Topic: Dilemma: work from above or below?  (Read 3400 times)

Don Robinson

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Dilemma: work from above or below?
« on: August 08, 2003, 05:36:26 PM »
I own a condo built in the late 70’s with a unit above (which is a rental property) that transmits both impact noise and ambient sound (voice, music, etc.) through the ceiling.   I finally convinced the owners of the unit to replace the carpet (an upgrade that will hopefully bring better tenants) and as part of this effort I’m considering a layer of the 1/8” loaded vinyl available from Super Soundproofing below a rebond pad.  Is this the most effective approach to reducing this problem or would I be better served spending money working below on my ceiling by adding resilient channels?   Unfortunately I can’t do both but I want to get the most bang (no pun intended) for the buck.  

If I work in their unit they will help defer some of the cost of the loaded vinyl which is probably going to run close to $2000.  And this doesn’t include the cost of the carpeting.

Also, it’s highly likely I’ll lay the loaded vinyl myself.  How difficult is this material to work with?  I have no experience laying carpet but I can use a utility knife and take accurate measurements.  Is this an adequate skill set?

Finally, I can’t imagine you want to nail tacking strips through the vinyl so what do you use to attach the pad/carpet for stretching?

I’d love to see some success stories on this web site/forum also!  I’m a bit apprehensive dropping a few grand on a *solution* I’m not totally convinced works (but appears to be better than anything else I’ve found).  References would be great!  Heck, if it works for me I’ll definitely add a thread regarding my story.  Customer success stories are a great way to sell product and educate a desperate public whose quality of life is diminished due to problems like this.

Thanks very much for your help!

Desperate Don


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Re: Dilemma: work from above or below?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2003, 03:36:26 PM »

You are on the right track as far as the Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) under the carpet, however, treating the problem from above is the second best way to combat impact noise and airborne voice and television noise coming from above. The best way is to actually float your ceiling below using either resilient channels (RC-1) or even better still, the SSP sound clips and metal furring channels. These products and procedures are explained in detail on the website. See the links below.
Now Don, if floating the ceiling is not an option, then you are definitely on the right track with the (MLV), but you will want to use the Floormat with the 1/4" foam backing for under carpet and padding. This system offers better protection from impact noise (foot fall). You will need to caulk inbetween the over laps as you lay this material out wall to wall on your floor, and of course you will need to caulk around the perimeter of the vinyl mat. This is key to making the MLV a membrane barrier to the ceiling below. The foam backing is not a soundproofer, but rather a decoupler, which decouples the MLV, the rebond padding and the carpeting from the subfloor.
Yes Don, you can actually nail the tackless (carpet tack) right through the vinyl barrier, it won't hurt a thing. The Floormat was specifically designed for underneath carpet and pad, and nailing the tackless through the vinyl alleviates having to piece the MLV around the tackless and thus making it less effective unless massive amounts of caulk is applied to the pieced  areas. I encourage the liberal use of acoustical caulk for any soundproofing project, but I want the barrier to be as much of a dam to the noise source as possible, and piecing it together works against that goal.
Donnie, I hope this answers all of your questions. The vinyl , though heavy, is very easy to install. You will over laps the seams and caulk between the overlap and around the perimeter. You can easily have this ready for your carpet guys to come in an make short work of a quick and successful carpet install. Thanks for the great post Donnie, and let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Bob Orther
Super Soundproofing Sales/Technical Associate.
Ph: (760) 752-3030    FAX: (760) 752-3040
For orders only (888) 942-7723