There are cheap room soundproofing options for flats, but before you jump into flat soundproofing, consider what you want from it! Firstly, if you rent a room, don’t spend big money on the flat. Secondly, if your noise issues are severe, you will need a decoupled system, which can cost more.
How much does it cost to soundproof a flat cheaply?
The cheapest floor soundproofing we would advise is £21 per m2, wall soundproofing is £34 per m2. For a cheap job, it is better to save up to treat your ceiling, read below to find out why cheap ceiling soundproofing is not a good idea for impact noise!
How to soundproof a room in a flat
To learn how to soundproof a room in a flat, first correctly identify the type and source of your noise issue. It could be footsteps form above (impact), or shouting and music (airborne). You need different solutions for different scenarios.
High mass panels, like soundproofing boards only block airborne noise. Don’t stick it to your ceiling to block footsteps because it won’t work! Much of how to soundproof a room hang on science and I briefly explain soundproofing science below for you.
You are unlikely to need to soundproof your whole room, even in a flat! You are likely to have a problem wall or ceiling but hold off doing the whole room! Read through the room soundproofing solutions below to find out how to soundproof a room in a flat.
Cheap flat soundproofing hacks
Firstly, check that you are only soundproofing where you need to. This starts with some investigative work on your part. Do this to save you money in the long run! Flats can be hard to soundproof because you are connected to different dwellings and have plenty of pipes and cables shared between you all.
Pipes can be a huge cause of sound transmission in flats because they are able to move vibrations along their length. This means sounds from your neighbours bathroom can run into your flat through the plumbing. Luckily, this can be solved with specific pipe soundproofing! This costs far less than wall soundproofing and uses a membrane with absorption to cover the pipe and reduce transmission.
How to stop impact noise in a flat cheaply- top 3 options
The cheapest way to stop impact noise from above in a flat is to soundproof that floor. I know you might not have access to the room above but this is both the cheapest and best way to soundproof from footsteps. If you haven’t already spoken to the flat above, now might be the time!
|MuteMat OSF 5
|MuteMat OSF 10
|Price per m2
|Impact & Airborne
Cheapest flat floor soundproofing
MuteMat OSF 5
The cheapest flat floor soundproofing we would suggest is MuteMat OSF 5. This is a fully recycled rubber crumb acoustic matting that can be rolled out over a subfloor. We have a thinner, and even cheaper, OSF mat, however it is best to use this alongside another product.
The MuteMat OSF 5 is a good option for impact vibrations as they will be absorbed within the material. The material doesn’t bottom out so the impact can’t directly hit the subfloor. The MuteMat OSF 5 is only 5mm thick and I would say this is a draw back if you’re using this as a stand alone product.
Ideally, if the OSF 5 is the highest your budget can go, use a carpet over this as it will give you a slightly improved performance over a hard floor.
Budget friendly flat floor soundproofing
A level up from the OSF 5 is the OSF 10. This will reduce more noise because it has an additional 5mm of rubber crumb. This means it can more easily cushion your foot and prevent the impact noise from traveling throughout the building.
Like the MuteMat OSF 5, the OSF 10 is made from recycled rubber crumb making it a sustainable option. This can be laid over the top of a subfloor and then a hard floor or carpet can be laid over the top.
Best performing acoustic underlay for impact
The best performing underlay for impact noise is the MuteMat 2, hands down! While this is a bit more expensive, it’s still a budget friendly option when used as a stand alone option. This product differs from the rubber crumb options because it used a closed cell foam instead.
A closed cell foam allows the material to continually ‘bounce back’ from compressions and retain it’s performance. This acoustic matting also includes a layer of mass loaded vinyl which will reduce some airborne noise as well (winning!).
Cheapest flat wall soundproofing
The cheapest flat wall soundproofing is also high performing and uses only three materials. This keeps your costs low but we have used the best three materials to give you a massive 14dB sound reduction! While you will come across other ‘cheap’ wall soundproofing, we have taken a lot of time to create this system which is much better than traditional, so called cheap, options,
|Cost per m2
While many places try to push a direct to wall, on panel system as a cheap wall soundproofing system for flats, it’s just not true! Logically, they seem cheaper because it’s one panel (often made of more than one material), but it only adds mass to your wall. In soundproofing we need to add mass but also decouple and add absorption.
The Bronze system, our best and cheapest wall soundproofing, gives you a fantastic sound reduction by using all three core principles of soundproofing. We have kept your costs low by using a single layer of acoustic plasterboard over the top.
How cheap wall soundproofing works in a flat
Our cheaper wall soundproofing, at £34 per m2, works by decoupling, adding mass and using absorption. These are the three core principles of room soundproofing that most cheaper systems won’t give you.
We start with a MuteClip system that will decouple the new partition. This simply means that the soundproof plasterboard that finishes the wall is not going to be in direct contact with your existing wall. This is the best soundproofing technique (referred to as a room within a room), because vibrations are unable to easily travel between materials.
We then pack the cavity spaces with dense acoustic mineral wool. This is how we stop sound reverberating around inside a space. This will actually lead to amplification of the original noise issue and is why you have to use mineral wool in soundproofing.
For rooms in flats, acoustic mineral wool is especially important because you are likely going to be dealing with a variety of sounds. Impact and airborne vibrations can be amplified from above, below and all sides to create a bussing, noisy environment. This does mean you have to remove the existing wall, floor and ceiling surface to get to the cavities inside.
How to cheaply soundproof a flat ceiling
Cheap flat ceiling soundproofing is a bit of a myth, and we want you to know about it! Most people in flats want to soundproof from impact noise, like footsteps. Because this noise is a physical vibration through the building, simply adding another layer of plasterboard onto your ceiling will not stop these vibrations!
|Direct to Ceiling System
|MuteClip Ceiling System
|Type of sound
|Impact & Airborne
|Cost per m2
You have to decouple the new ceiling to that the vibrations can be resisted. If you think about it, the new ceiling is being hung upon a structure that is going to move when people walk. There is no way to prevent your new ceiling from also moving with these vibrations unless we use vibration isolation technology.