Why is it important to soundproof your floors?

May 2014

Why Soundproof The Floors Of Your Homes?

https://26627341.fs1.hubspotusercontent-eu1.net/hubfs/26627341/blog/why-soundproof-the-of-your-homes.webp Noise is considered as one of the most pervasive pollutants that lead to various stress and health related disorders. According to a recent survey by the charity Environment Protection UK, nearly 17% of the participants are distressed by the noise from their neighbours, inside their home.
Hard surfaces such as timber floors partially absorb sound waves and also generate vibrations that transmit sound to the other side. This can result in harmless activities like talking, playing music or using household gadgets becoming a cause of stress and noise pollution, unless the floors are adequately soundproofed.
A good acoustic insulation works by acting as a shock absorber – preventing the transmission of these sounds by deflecting or absorbing the sound waves.
Several types of acoustic insulation material are now available with varying specifications:

 Insulation Material            Characteristics
Glass Mineral Wool
  • Mat like material
  • Long fibre with good tear strength
  • Non-combustible
  • Available in rolls and slabs
  • Suitable for suspended floors-typically with floor boards
  • Help sound insulation of floors
Rock Mineral Wool
  • They are short fibres having good compression strength
  • Non-combustible
  • Denser than glass mineral wool
  • Available in slabs, rolls and mattresses
  • Help in fire protection
  • Can be used in high-temperatures
  • Used mainly for insulating floors and walls
Extruded Polystyrene(XPS)
  • Light-weighted and rigid
  • Water-resistant
  • Available in sheets
  •  Can be cut to various shapes and thicknesses
  • Used in concrete floors
  • Excellent thermal performance
Extruded Polyethylene(XPE)
  • Suitable for installing damp-proof membrane
  • Good acoustic properties
  • Moisture and compression resistant
  • Available in rolls
  • Suitable for solid floors such as concrete, screed and wooden floors
  • Flexible edge strip in screeded floors
Expanded Polystyrene(EPS)
  • Available in sheets
  • Light-weighted
  • They are white  and grey in colour
  • Used in domestic floor insulation and wall insulation
Polyurethane (PUR) and Polyisocyanurate (PIR)  
  • Faced with aluminium foil
  • Available in board form and also can be spray applied on site in domestic projects
  • Better dimensional facility
  • Suitable for insulating timber frames
  • Very good insulators
Foil Faced Bubble Wrap
  • Light-weighted
  • Thin layer material


  • Used in heating under-floors
Multi-layered Foils
  • Light-weighted
  • Thin layer material
  • Used to stop heat build up
  • Ideal for refurbishment purpose
  • Used in under-floor heating systems below the screed
Recycled Rubber Crumb ( Iso Rubber)
  • Dense and tough material made from recycled waste rubber
  • Lays flat


  • Robust Detail approved product for use on pre-cast concrete floors


  • Compliant with new approved Document E for different concrete and timber floors


Conformity to the requirements of ‘Building Regulations Document E’

The U.K government has set up the “Building Regulations Document E” to provide a reasonable standard of sound insulation and to bring down the noise pollution between and within all residential buildings
The table below shows the performance standards of floors in dwelling houses.


Noise Type

 Separating floors between dwellings and rooms used for residential purpose
 Separating floors between rooms created by a change of use
Airborne Sound InsulationdB
(Minimum values)
45 dB 43dB
Impact Sound InsulationdB
(Maximum values)
62dB 64dB

The expected performance standards can be achieved by installing the insulation material underneath the screed as floating constructions. It is advisable to consult a screed/floor specialist to decide on the right type of insulation suited for your floor.