How to Build a Floating Floor for a Recording Studio

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Building a floating floor in your recording studio is one of the most important steps in isolating the studio from the rest of the building. A floating floor helps to deaden the room sound and also adds a level of soundproofing to the floor so that noises in rooms below are less likely to interfere with recording. In a floating floor, the surface level of the floor is raised just a few inches and the space between is insulated. It’s possible to complete the entire process on your own for less than $1000 (see Resources).

Things You'll Need

  • Neoprene padding
  • Plywood
  • Drywall
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Tape measure
  • Tin snips
  • Paint thinner
  • Contact cement
  • Saw
  • Utility knife

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Cut neoprene padding down to 2 by 2-inch squares. Tin snips work well for cutting.

Determine how many neoprene stack supports you will need for your floor by calculating the total weight of the flooring you will be laying on top of the pads. First determine the square footage of the room by measuring from wall to wall. Then, find out the weight per square foot of the plywood, the drywall and the underlayment. Multiply the weight per square foot of the plywood, the drywall and the wood flooring. Multiply the weight per square foot of each of your layers of flooring by the square footage of the room to get the total weight of your flooring. To distribute the weight at 15 pounds per neoprene stack, divide the total by 15. This will give you the total number of stacks needed. Or you can use more stacks and place them one per foot, which will give you more points of contact. This will make the floor slightly less effective, but the difference won’t be noticeable for most people.

Stack three neoprene pads together; attach them with contact cement. Cleaning the pads with paint thinner first will help the cement stick. Complete enough neoprene stacks to support your entire floor.

Place the neoprene stacks into position on the floor. They should be spaced roughly evenly. Insulate around the stacks. Lay the insulation. Use the utility knife to cut through the insulation around the stacks. The insulation should be below the level of the stacks, so that the flooring doesn’t touch the insulation.

Cut the first layer of plywood down to size. It should fit wall-to-wall in the room. Simply lay the plywood on top of the neoprene stacks. It will not be attached to the floor in any way.

Layer 5/8-inch drywall on top of the plywood. Attach the drywall to the plywood with drywall screws.

Add another layer of plywood on top of the drywall. You can use a few screws in the edges of the plywood to secure it to the drywall layer.

Lay a hardwood floor on top of the floating floor. Any type of hardwood flooring can be used to complete your floating floor, including easy-to-install laminate wood flooring planks.

References

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