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Diagram showing underfloor heading with sound insulation

How to install a sound proof underfloor heating system?

The Hush acoustical technicians have designed sound insulation solutions for almost any type of floor, wall or ceiling that requires soundproofing.

In this guide we explain how to add sound insulation in floors with underfloor heating.

Does underfloor heating make a noise?
Will Acoustic overlay boards work?
A better solution when using sound insulation boards
How joist strips will help
Will Isolation tape work?

Many UK properties – whether residential, commercial or public – are built using timber joists for the structure of separating floors, which is why there are plenty of underfloor heating systems available that will suit this kind of construction. Unfortunately, timber joist floor construction is prone to impact noise problems, like the sound of footsteps on a wooden floor or items being dropped.

Does underfloor heating make a noise?

Like most things in construction, if it’s installed correctly – it should be fine. However, similar to radiators, you can have problems when air gets into the system and this can create noise. Or, if you’re using a heat pump that has not specified to work with your heating system.

Noise can also be created if the clips are not fitted correctly or the screed has not been mixed properly and has crumbled around the pipework. But otherwise, your system should be noise free.

Will Acoustic Overlay boards work?

One of the most popular products manufactured by Hush Acoustics is their flooring board, which can be used to create a floating or resilient surface with improved acoustic properties. The Hush Panel 28 combines high quality chipboard and the Hush designed felt in order reduce noise transmission when compared against standard timber floors construction. But with underfloor heating, there is the possibility that you could have a problem. The board’s continuous resistant layer will act as an insulation and block heat transmission from pipes in your system to what should be at floor level! This means less warmth transferring through into areas of residence.

A better Solution

Hush-Panel 28 could be suitable for use as a board on which underfloor heating systems can sit on top of. Systems such as those manufactured using insulation with pipes cut into it, or systems which consist of a timber flooring board such as P5 chipboard with the pipes cut into it, can all sit on top of the Hush Acoustic Flooring, such as Hush Panel 28. In these systems, the resilient layer will not impact on heat transmission.

Resilient felt strips offer a simple solution for underfloor heating when placed between the joists

The purpose of the Hush-Panel resilient layer is to separate the timber board and the joist. So why not think differently and instead apply the resilient layer only where the board and joists connect on top of the joists?

This is the principle behind Hush-Felt 25 joist strips. These are purpose-designed as a joist treatment comprising a 140mm x 50mm hardboard slat fixed to a double layer of 10mm Hush-Felt resilient material.

They are stapled to the tops of timber joists, with the integral hardboard slats presenting a firm, smooth surface to support a choice of chipboard, OSB or plywood tongue and groove flooring boards.

Read more about how joist strips work here

By having a resilient layer only on the tops of the joists the heat from the underfloor heating pipes that are placed between the joists can rise through the majority of the floor construction as planned and heat the room – yet impact noise is reduced significantly.

Hush Felt might not be practical in some domestic upgrades or refurbishments due to height build up so one of the other joist strip products available from Hush Acoustics could provide an alternative solution.

These include Hush-10 joist strip, a 10mm thick, 50mm wide resilient strip supplied in lengths of 1.37m which can be stapled to the tops of joists with ease. With compression, the strip thickness will reduce to 8mm so the chosen floor finish will need to account for this.

Will Isolation Tape Work?

Another option is to use Hush Isolation Tape. This self-adhesive tape is primarily designed for use beneath internal partitions or for perimeter isolation when installing the Hush systems, but it can also be useful in certain underfloor heating applications. The same applies to Hush Resilient Seatings – load bearing rubber strips that isolate timber joisted construction effectively, as well as masonry construction and metal beam construction.

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