As we all know, most high-rise buildings are constructed of concrete and steel, so you’d figure they’d be pretty soundproofed already, but that is not always the case. Even though the floors generally have 6″ to 10″ of poured Gypcrete as their foundation, Gypcrete is still a rigid hard surface and can readily transmit impact noise to the unit below. Gypcrete is a lightweight concrete that is used in high-rise structures for stability and strength, but the fact is that it is still a hard substance and if the floor above is tile, granite, marble, or the infamous hardwood, there is still the likelihood of sound transmission from the hard floor above into the Gypcrete and ultimately into the ceiling of the tenant below.
I know the price most of you pay for these units, and you want (and deserve) your nice wood or marble flooring, but if you are set on this type of flooring, it is always best to overlay the Gypcrete sub-floor with a layer of soundproof flooring underlay such as the UnderBlock Rubber Underlayment, a 3/8″ thick recycled rubber, soundproof underlay that is rolled down on top of your concrete floor using an adhesive that we can supply called DA-5. You then caulk and tape the seams before placing your new hard surface floor on top of the American Impact Standard. There are some exceptions to a direct lay of your hard floor over the underlay. One exception is with a nail down wood floor where you need to lay down a wood subfloor or wood furring strips to nail into. The second one is when you are going to lay down Marble tile where you would use a backerboard like hardi-backer before doing your marble tiles.
As for the walls in a high-rise, check out our soundproof a party wall article.
As always, if you need help with your soundproofing project, please contact one of the soundproofing experts at Soundproofing America Inc.