Assessing a Ceiling for Soundproofing

When soundproofing a ceiling there are various elements to look out for when you are looking to progress into the world of soundproofing, we will go through these step by step to give you clarity when looking to purchase soundproofing.

You are welcome to call on 01937 588 226 to go through in more detail.

Our document on Science of Soundproofinggoes into more detail about how sound works.

iKoustic provide a variety of different options depending on the results you are looking to achieve, the space you can lose and of course your budget.


Assessing the property

At this first stage you will want to investigate the current make up of your ceiling as well as the adjacent walls for flanking (we will come on to this on part 3) as best as possible. Properties do differ from each other depending on their period of construction and size – where most apartments will be constructed of concrete, early period and single dwelling properties will in most cases be a brick and timber construction.

Another part of the assessment is to indicate whether the building is listed or not, this would determine what solutions we can put in place.


Timber Construction

  • Lathe and Plaster (timber construction)

This is most common in earlier constructions pre-1950’s, this would be made up of timber joists and lots of smaller timber struts fixed across with a traditional wet plaster over the top.

If in good condition, these ceilings can retain some performance, but in the event of gaining the best soundproofing one large cavity has a better performance rating than multiple partitions.

This would typically be removed.

  • Plasterboard (timber construction)

Modern constructions may have a plasterboard finish which is dry and most commonly finished over the top – this may sound hollower than a lathe and plaster depending on the treatment between the joists (if any). These can be at times fixed to a suspended ceiling on metal frame work or timber frame work away from the structural joists.

If the property has gone through a recent renovation, Mineral Wool may be present which could be as soft as loft insulation or in some cases a much denser Mineral Wool which could be an acoustic grade and beneficial to the overall performance.

It is advisable to remove existing plasterboard to gain access to the joists for acoustic insulation between joists.


Concrete Construction

With concrete constructions, there may be timber work to help gain some separation from slab and fitted with plasterboard over the top in the same methods as the timber construction.

This may would appear hollow to tap, depending on whether there is any acoustic insulation between the joists.


What are the noise issues?

Noise can come in various forms in which you may be familiar with, this is Airborne, Impact or Structural Vibration

These can be present in all types of construction and the severity of this can be dependent on construction too. For example, due to the density of concrete – sound will travel tend to travel further as a basic principle which is why impact noise is more of a concern in these types of constructions.

We have listed a quick summary of common noise issues below;

  • Airborne; conversation, television, music, kitchen appliances in operation
  • Impact; footfall, moving furniture, doors shutting
  • Vibration; similar principles as impact noise as well as mounted audio devices on walls, other external noises

Are there any flanking issues?

Flanking Transmission is a term you may have heard of, but if you haven’t – this is where sound takes an alternative path so in the case of treating a ceiling, you will want to investigate whether sound is also transferring down adjacent walls.


What Ceiling Soundproofing options are there available?

We have a range of systems available for ceilings in which the 3 variables you will need to consider is budget, performance and space loss.


Can I install these materials?

If you have experience in plasterboard fitting and general DIY, you will find installation of these materials straight forward – we have designed each system to be applicable to those with an entry-level background experience in DIY.

If not, our installation team have over 15 years’ experience, so you can be assured that a fast and effective iKoustic System is put in place.