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Noise from footsteps

What one should know about footstep noise

Noise in houses takes 2 forms: Airborne or Structured. All noise is a combination of this.
Normal house noise - conversations, laughter, TV, small radios are at a frequency level of 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.
Such noise is stopped by inserting a blocking / absorbed cloth in the most natural interface between the neighbors. These normally reduce 28/30 dB (decibels) in the surface you cover.

But STEP SOUND does not occur like this. They are basically not airborne, scraped, pounded and beaten directly into the structure. This results in a much lower frequency level and triggers noise vibration in the structure and this is managed much better. It is also much harder to deal with. One must look carefully at the composition of the layers in the exposed surface. (floor / ceiling) Here we must introduce other values, namely the ability to reduce step noise - called IIC - Impact Insulation Class, seen in relation to construction. This is a measure used by acousticians, one can read it by a method where 5 small hammers hit the floor, or material as such in a pattern through the frequencies, measures noise on the underside and makes a graph.
If you use the best possible materials and have a slightly resilient soft footprint under the main surface of the floor, stay away from contact points by the wall (use a lot of silicone) and where you can relieve contact points - eg the bearing surface system on joists (use joist protectors), å Avoid recurring fasteners, as much is done. We try to achieve what we call "Floating floors".

Here it appears that a clean concrete floor of 15 cm alone gives an IIC of 28. One should have at least 50 as a value here in total. It is shown how one can use various alternatives to achieve this. In order to be able to compare the values ​​of the different products in this context, we look at the following:


This is a quantification that shows the product's share / ability to reduce footstep noise. You start with the relevant bearing surface in either concrete or wood and measure the IIC value. Then you lay over a layer of the relevant product we want to measure over the concrete and measure a new result. The improvement - which is due to the new material - is measured in DELTA IIC. As you can see from the varying graphs on the appendix, one can then achieve different levels with different combinations.

If you ask about comparing our products with others - then we must answer that since we do not have or receive the values ​​from Norwegian suppliers of products to be used in noise reduction, it is difficult to give a meaningful answer.

Then to our product:

Our step sound cloth TEXFON has a Delta IIC of Δ 22 dB. Our 3 mm Acousti block - which is often used to attenuate house noise - will be able to contribute with step sound attenuation of Δ 12 dB. Our 5 mm Heron Step Sound Cloth has a value of ΔIIC of 21 dB.

Then you can build up a "layer cake" of different dampers and calculate a level you assume you will be happy with.

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

Ideally, you should use wall-to-wall carpet as we did before - then we took the evil at the root.