How can I soundproof my flat?

Fed up with noise from the upstairs flat? Ben Hancock, Managing Director at Oscar Acoustics, explains how you can make your home more soundproof

How can I soundproof my flat?

As many more of us live in flats than in the past (43 per cent of Londoners!), noisy upstairs neighbours are complaints we’re very familiar with. Ceiling soundproofing is more affordable and easier to install than you think. If you’re a DIY aficionado, you may even be able to take care of it yourself.

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How to soundproof ceilings

If the noise is coming from above, you can significantly reduce it by creating an isolated, floating ceiling with acoustic hangers, such as Oscar’s Iso-Mount Type 1 and 2. This will stop the vibration that causes the transfer of unwanted noise from floor to floor. To ensure level insulation, find the lowest point of the lowest joist as a reference before you start. For each mount, make sure it has a maximum point loading of 18kg, so each square metre can have up to 54kg of loading capability – this should be more than adequate for most domestic ceilings. Once you mark and fix the bracket positions, a simple clip-together installation using a standard clip-on steel channel will enable you to carry out all work from the room below. So, your neighbours never need to know.

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How to make a room more soundproof

If the noise is coming from within, which is likely if you’ve got the kids at home running amok during the holidays, there are ways of making it more bearable. Try and avoid smooth, flat surfaces as they’re the worst for creating an echo. They will exacerbate any unwanted sounds and bounce them around your home. Carpets, wall hangings and soft furniture will absorb a lot of sound and prevent an echo – opt for a rug if you don’t want to overhaul the flooring, adding an anti-slip backing if you‘ve got laminate.