I own a brick two-story building built in 1899, with a commercial space on the first floor and what I hope to be an apartment on the second floor. The building is very original. Noise from anyone on the second level can easily be heard on the first level. The commercial space's ceiling is beadboard (wainscoting), nailed to floor joists, with the original inexpensive wood on the second floor. The state SHPO would okay a sound barrier, provided it is less than one inch high. If all goes according to plan, the second floor will have people walking around, with a full kitchen and washer/dryer. I would hate to drive out my first-floor tenant with the potential noise. I would appreciate anyone's suggestions. Thanks.
Swede - is the beadboard ceiling tongue and groove? If it is, you could carefully take it down and put a thick sound barrier between the joist and then re-install the ceiling. It's a bunch of work, but can be done. Our porch ceiling is beadboard t&g and we took it down, flipped the ugly painted side up, sanded and varnished the unpainted side and re-installed it. Took a little finessing the last piece in, but it worked.
That's a great idea. However the ceiling was caulked and painted about a year ago for a new tenant who renewed their lease. So I am very reluctant to remove the ceiling. Phil suggested the blowing in insulation into the joists from the second floor's floor (I'm not stuttering).
Another possibility might be to lift a few of the upstairs floor boards if they are a more crude tongue and groove. Then, insulation could be blown in for 8 or 10 ft. each direction of the lifted board. Insulation is good for sound control.
With the existing floorplan, this could be done and would at least muffle conversations, but not the foot-clomping. Have you or any other reader ever used acoustic rubber mats? It looks as if they would provide better sound mitigation. But if I wanted to keep the existing floor, I would probably have to take it all up, put down a subfloor to which the acoustic mat would be glued. Then the old floor would be reinstalled. THAT would certainly cost a lot. Thanks for your idea!
I live in a single family home, so I have no experience with any of this. I do know that when I am in my insulated attic (fiberglass) doing things, I don't hear my family much below, so I know that insulation muffles sound. Some sound will still carry through the joists, esp. with a wood ceiling and wood floor both nailed to the same joists.
Seems like you can blow the insulation as suggested from the floor on the second level, but that is only going to give limited relief......comes down to if you keep the floor wood upstairs then there is going to be noise transfer to the downstairs regardless......may consider getting some good thick padding and good thick carpeting for the heavy traffic areas upstairs. You do not need the wall to wall tack down install - you can go to a carpet store and have them cut and sew edging on the carpets (large area rugs more or less.....then you can still leave a couple feet of wood showing on the other floor perimeter to enjoy the fact there is wood there.......the carpeting will also help absorb the conversation noise and the carpet and pad combined will reduce the heal clomp of walking around.
Not a perfect solution, but will be your cheapest and most effective method i do believe........if that doesn't quiet it down enough buy your commercial tenant a good stereo.