Generally the biggest problem with a washer-dryer combination is dealing with downstairs neighbors in a condo or apartment scenario. There is always a concern about vibration and structure borne noise (especially with an unbalanced load) being transmitted downwards to the neighbor below. The best method for treating this situation is to roll out a layer of American Mass loaded vinyl on the floor (usually the 1 Lb MLV will do) beneath the washer and dryer (provided they are side by side units) and then actually putting both the washer and dryer up on vibration isolation pads. These pads will go under the feet of each machine and will sit on top of the rolled out mass loaded vinyl.
Now if the sound of the washer is bothersome to the occupants of the home (airborne sound) where the machines are used, it is always best to soundproof the alcove where the machines are located, using either America mat for the walls and possibly the ceiling, or simply lining the walls and ceiling with the American Mass loaded vinyl. If you use the MLV, it is essential that you caulk the seams as well as the perimeter and then tape the seams with a seam or lead tape. Lastly we always recommend layering over the MLV with a layer of 5/8″ fire code drywall. Now if the drywall is not feasible, then you can actually texture the MLV with a latex texture, and paint the MLV with a vinyl or latex paint.
Now lets talk a little bit about under the counter dishwashers. The manufacturers of today’s dishwashers are very aware of sound control issues with their machines, however, when any mechanical device is enclosed in a wood based structure, there is always the possibility of sound transmission into the structure. The most effective method of soundproofing a dishwasher is to pull it out from the counter and adhere America mat (usually at least 1/2″ thick) to the outside of the unit. It is also a good idea to cover the back of the machine as well, taking care not to block essential ventilation passages. We also advise lining the under counter cavity with the 1/2″ foam mat. This will basically give you twice the soundproofing as well as much needed vibration absorption and dampening. The last thing is to reinstall the machine back under the counter and turn it on and see the remarkable soundproofing results you have achieved.
Well, that’s it for appliance soundproofing. If you have further questions, always feel free to call the soundproofing experts at Soundproofing America, Inc. Thanks for reading and learning, we all know what Knowledge is by now, right?
As Always, Dr. Bob!
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