Soundproofing Ceiling Footsteps and Impact Noise

Whether it is the neighbor’s kids upstairs running around playing, the heavy footsteps of the inconsiderate neighbor or the neighbor having a party upstairs, soundproofing ceiling footsteps is a must if truly want your peace and quietness.

These find of noise are very common in apartments and hostels. It can be unbearable sometimes especially if you are trying to get some sleep. The worst thing that can happen to you is hearing stomping or heavy footsteps on your ceiling.

soundproofing ceiling footsteps


It can sometimes even appear as if the ceiling is about to fall on you. I have been there if you know what I mean.

Maybe you tried talking to your neighbor or not. Either way, your neighbor has the right to enjoy his or her apartment just like you. So, their activities above might be out of your control and annoying.

The only thing you have control over is your ceiling. If the impact noise made by your neighbors’ footsteps is too much, then you have to do what is under your control. Thus, soundproofing your ceiling against the noise of the footsteps above you.

There are a couple of ways to soundproof footsteps noise in the ceiling. The best way is always to have soundproof underlayments in the floor above during construction. But that wasn’t done in your apartment.

The other best way is to drop the ceiling in your room but that is expensive.

Therefore we will look at other ways to use soundproofing materials to reduce the impact noise.

Footsteps noise is a form of impact noise that occurs as a result of one object impacting another and thereby causing the molecules of the objects to vibrate passing their vibrational sound energy to other molecules and the pattern continues.

Let’s see how to soundproof ceiling footsteps.

How to Soundproof Ceiling Footsteps and Impact Noise

Here are some tips to help you reduce the impact noise of the footsteps above you. These techniques can be combined if you want to do so. Some are temporary methods that you can easily get rid of especially if you live in an apartment building you don’t own.

But it is good to know that the best way to deal with impact noise like footsteps is to deal with the problem at the source. That is why my number one recommendation is to use thick carpet or floor rug on the floor with the footsteps are been heard from.

This is the most effective way to deal with this kind of noise.

Others too might be suitable for a homeowner who won’t mind whether it is temporary or permanent.

1. Carpet the Floor Above Your Ceiling

In this situation, it is obvious that your ceiling is someone else floor. So one way to reduce the impact of the noise of their footsteps is to place a thick carpet, floor mat or a floor rug on the floor above you. This is actually the best way of dealing with footsteps noise.

I know you might be wondering how do you accomplish that?.well, it is a tricky situation if the floor above you is not owned by you.

But if your neighbor is friendly enough for you, you could suggest to buy them a carpet or floor rug or mat to help mute the footsteps a bit. But you have to do this respectfully. Remember your neighbor owes you nothing.

They might be doing you a favor to accept a carpet or rug from you. If you approach it well, they might even buy the carpet themselves or accept your offer to buy them a floor mat or carpet.

This will help a lot with the footsteps because, when your neighbor is moving around whether in shoes or not, they will be walking on the thick carpet or rug which will absorb some of the impact noise.

This is especially good if the floor is hardwood, concrete or tiles. These type of floors makes the most noise when there is impact sound.

The carpet or floor mat will cover the walking space to reduce the noise.

If the floor above you is yours or you have easy access to it, then that makes your work easier. Just get one of these rubber floor mats and place it there. They are thick and come in different colors that you select from.

rubber floor mat

The other floor protection you can use is these beautiful floor rugs which come in different thicknesses, sizes, and colors to choose from. Plus they have a very thick pad that is sound-absorbing.

floor rug

Either of these will help in reducing the noise of the footsteps.

2. Seal All Gaps and Cracks in Ceiling

some type of ceilings begins to crack as they get old. When this happens, gaps and cracks are left. Noise can pass through these gaps in your room. Therefore, it will be wise to seal them off with a soundproofing compound.

Sound can pass through air or objects to get to your room. Sealing these gaps and cracks will bring you one step closer to reducing your ceiling noise.

There are many soundproofing sealants in the market, but the most popular soundproofing compound around is the Green Glue compound.

It’s a sound dampening compound that can convert sound energy into heat energy. You can use it to fill any gaps or holes in the home. To apply it you will need a caulk gun to help you apply it effectively on the cracks and gaps.

3. Green Glue and Extra Drywall

If your existing ceiling is made of drywall, then, it will make sense to increase the density of the ceiling by adding extra drywall with green glue sandwiched between.

Green glue is an effective soundproof compound that can reduce impact noise. If you would like to add extra drywall to increase the mass of the ceiling, then you it will great to place some soundproofing compound like green glue in between to help in the noise control.

To do this, you will need to apply the green glue to the new drywall using a caulking gun to effectively apply it to the drywall, then with the help of another person, you raise it up and fasten it to the ceiling starting at one side of the ceiling working your way to the other end.

You can choose to fasten the drywall using nails, staples or glue.

The green glue will convert the sound energy into heat energy and the extra drywall will increase the mass of the ceiling.

Similar Read:

Adding Sound Insulation to ceiling in your basement

4. Add Extra Mass Using Mass Loaded Vinyl Mat

Mass loaded vinyl mat is very effective at soundproofing impact noise and also airborne noise. Impact noise causes the vibrational energy to travel in all directions of the building unless there is an extra mass to absorb, block or reflect it, it will keep traveling on the same path.

One of the effective ways of taking care of it is to add high-density materials in the transmission path of the soundwaves.

mass loaded vinyl mat

When the sound waves hit the high-density material some of it is absorbed, block, and some are reflected. Mass loaded vinyl mat is an effective solution to block the noise even though it is expensive. But it is worth the price if you install it well.

Most soundproofing companies use these vinyl mats in dealing with both impact noise and airborne noise. It can also be used on the wall, the floor or even the door. You can also use it to soundproof noisy appliances and equipment.

It is fastened by stapling, nailing or using adhesive live glue.

The great part about a mass loaded vinyl is that you can use it with green glue and extra drywall to increase the mass density of your ceiling. This will help in reducing the overall noise levels that come through the ceiling.

5. Install Soundproof Panels for Ceiling

There are many different soundproof panels in the market today. Depending on your pocket you will get some that will work decently for you.

These Rhino Acoustic Absorption Panels have proven to work well in muffling footsteps on the ceiling. They help in reducing the impact of the noise of the footsteps. This is because they are high density are great at noise deadening, dampening, acoustic insulation, echo reduction, reverb diffuser and muffling impact noise.

Great for homes, or offices.  They have a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of 0.95. They are odorless, B1 Class Flame Retardant and it is safe for kids and pets alike.

rhino acoustic absorption panels

They are easy to install and can be done by anyone. To install them, you need a 3M double-sided tape which you can get separately. You apply the tape to each panel and adhere it to the desired position on the ceiling.

If you have the budget it will be good to cover most of the ceiling up with the panels, however, if you don’t have enough money, place the panels strategically at the spots where the impact noise comes from the most.

Final Word on Soundproofing Ceiling Footsteps and Impact Noise

Unwanted sound is annoying and if not dealt with properly can affect your health and happiness. Dealing with footsteps and stomping noise is important to have your peace. You can employ these above techniques to reduce the impact of noise.

The best way of dealing with impact noise is to deal with it at the source. That is why I listed carpeting the floor above your ceiling as the number one solution. If it is possible to place a thick carpet, floor rug or floor mat on the floor where the noise is originating from.

If that is not possible, or if you now want, you can add the extra mass to the ceiling using any of the methods above.

Sometimes, the floor above is not accessible to you, in this case, suggest buying a carpet or floor rug for your neighbor to help in reducing the noise. They only place you might have control over is your ceiling. Therefore you can soundproof your ceiling against these noises.

The other soundproofing footsteps method that is efficient is dropping the ceiling. This involves creating another ceiling below the existing ceiling. This is effective but expensive and will be a permanent fix to your ceiling noise problems.



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