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Floating Floors and Isolation Platforms
Creating an isolation platform is not only very effective, but can also be quite fun as well. This makes for a nice weekend project with seriously minimal costs depending on what exactly you are trying to isolate. With these heavy sound generators, sound flanking through the floor joists is typically the main problem whether the sound is coming from above or from an adjacent room. Drums, sub-woofers, large speakers, guitar amplifiers, workout equipment, etc., can really transfer sound efficiently through a structure if not isolated properly from the structure.
What Will Work
Floating Floor or Floating Stage: Decoupling remains king even for something as simple as an isolation platform. This can be accomplished in a couple different ways depending on the size of the platform and the amount of weight on top of the platform. Overall the best method is the use of our GenieMat FF-44 Modular. This product is a 2' x 2' modular piece comprised of 3/4" OSB tongue and groove with nine 1" thick rubber isolation pieces evenly spaced beneath and rock wool insulation between each rubber piece. Refer to the image below.
You can decouple your entire floor using the method or just a area large enough for your drum set, piano, or band practice area. The design of the GenieMat FF Modular with tongue and groove OSB allows you to install the product in a permanent or temporary assembly. If you ever need to move then you can unassemble the floor and take it with you in 2' x 2' sections. For concrete sub-floor, simply instll the GenieMat FF Modular and overlay with a finish floor of your choice. For wood sub-floor we recommend overlaying the GenieMat FF Modular with as many as three layers of 1/2" OSB. Weighing down the GenieMat FF Modular in a wood structure will improve the performance significantly. Great performance can still be attained in wood structures without weighing down the GenieMat FF Modular, but we do strongly recommend this approach to maximize performance of the product. Contact us for more information and pricing on the GenieMat FF-44 Modular.
Small Floating Base: If you need to isolate something small like a sub-woofer, speaker, or guitar amp then consider creating a small surface platform using two or three layers of 3/4" MDF with Green Glue Compound between each layer. The base should be decoupled using a rubber element like our Iso-Sill or even a simpler element like our Iso-Sill Bushings with one on each corner of the base. Simply adding a sheet of rubber beneath a sub-woofer, speaker, or amp might reduce sound transfer a little bit, but it might also absorb sound from the speaker which in turn would affect the sound performance of the speaker. A rigid material like MDF decoupled with minimal points beneath the speaker would be much more effective without diminishing speaker performance. Serious noise generators will require the extra decoupling to really isolate a significant amount of sound.
Adding Damping To Floating Floors: After decoupling a large area by building a floating floor with the GenieMat FF Modular or with our IsoJoists, you can add to the performance by incorporating some damping products. Most common is a double layer of sub-floor with Green Glue Compound between layers. Another option is installing a layer of QuietGround Rubber Underlayment between a double layer of OSB/plywood. Either option will perform well with the QuietGround performing better to isolate impact from drum sets and workout equipment.