HA Acoustics were instructed to advise on type/s of underlay to use to reduce impact noise from a first floor flat to the flats below’.

Advice from the client, led us to understand that the building, was converted to three flats prior 1991. Consequently sound insulation between dwellings did not comply to the Building Regulations 2003, Approved Document E ‘Resistance to the passage of sound (as Amended 2010).

Our consultant explained that sound from the first floor flat may be travelling into the ground floor flat through a number of routes.  These included sound coming directly through the separating floor or another indirect route, called a flanking path. 

There are two distinct types of noise to consider for noise coming through floors. Impact noise, (for example footsteps directly on the floor above) and airborne noise, (for example speech and music). Remedial treatment can be applied to the ceiling below, the floor above or a combination of both. When only the void between ceiling and floor can have remedial treatment works, then options are more significantly limited.

Our consultant was aware that there was no option to install either a new suspended ceiling. Therefore, as access to the ceiling below was not possible, we gave the solution to construct a floating platform floor in the assessed flat, which isolates the walking surface from the basic floor structure below. This method significantly reduces the impact noise and may also help to reduce the airborne noise. Given the age of the property, the client was advised to check with a structural engineer that the joists can carry the increased floor loads satisfactorily.

Following our survey, the client advised that they had installed the products which we recommended, to the standard specified within our report. The result was that noise impact through the separating floor had been greatly reduced.