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Noise from footsteps

Are you bothered by noise from footsteps?

Many people are bothered by noise from steps, whether it comes from the neighbor or their own home. Step sounds are sounds between floors, and are a combination of airborne and structure-borne noise. Normal house noise from conversations, laughter, TV and radios is at about 1000 Hz. Common to these is that they are first airborne, then they hit walls, ceilings and floors, become structure-borne, and then again become airborne inside the neighbor.

How to stop noise from steps

Noise from steps is stopped by inserting a blocking / absorbent cloth in the most natural interface between the neighbors. These normally reduce 28-30 dB in the surface you cover.

Step noise is basically not airborne. It is scraped, pounded and hammered into the structure. This results in a lower frequency level and initiates noise vibration in the structure and this is managed much better. It is also much harder to deal with. One must look at the composition of the layers in the exposed surface (floor / ceiling).

IIC - Impact Insulation Class is the ability of a material to reduce noise from steps.
If you have a soft step sound cloth under the main surface of the floor that stays away from contact points by the wall (use a lot of silicone), and where you can relieve contact points, eg the bearing surface's on joists (use joist protectors), and avoid continuous fastening, then much done. You achieve what we call "floating floor".

A clean concrete floor of 15 cm alone gives an IIC of 28. You should have at least 50 as a total value. One can use various options to achieve this. You start with the relevant bearing surface in either concrete or wood and measure the IIC value. Then you apply a layer of the relevant product we want to measure over the concrete, and then measure a new result.

As a top cover on the floor, avoid thin laminates, preferably use a minimum of 15 mm parquet rod.

TEXFON step sound cloth has an IIC value of 22 dB.
Acoustiblok - which is often used to attenuate house noise - contributes with a step sound attenuation of 12 dB.
Heron 5 mm Step Sound Cloth has an IIC value of 21 dB.

Do you want to know more about which products can help reduce step noise in your home? Get in touch for a non-binding conversation!

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