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floor insulation in victorian house

Hi! I am working in an old Victorian building in San Francisco. I am a psychotherapist who needs calm to work with clients. The landlord is installing a small wine bar underneath my office. he is at street level, I am on the floor right above. He has put a double layer of sheetrock on the ceiling of the wine bar to block the noise. He is planning on putting new carpet in my office with some insulation. He has tried it in other offices and from what I see, he has used "recycled rubber tires sheeting" in one of the offices and it smells very bad. I have two questions: will the double sheetrock layer be enough? What is the best insulation to put underneath the carpet?

I don't want any noises or smells. I am afraid the rubber tires smell is toxic. Thank you!

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Posted 2013-05-11T00:03:46+0000  by fredbelgium fredbelgium

Hey fredbelgium!


Thanks for your question and welcome to the community!


Well for starters, I'm not even going to mention the recycled rubber tires tile, as that shouldn't even be used as carpet padding.


I'm not aware that double sheetrock would be enough for sound reduction, since I don't know what type of subfloor and load bearing beams that comprises what is underfoot in your office.


I will say this though, buy any materials that has sound reducing properties in it. For example, your landlord could of placed dense insulation in between the floor joists to get rid of some noise. However, this would of been needed before the drywall was installed.


At least for you, using a cork underlayment first before you even use any additional padding can reduce sound. This glue-down style of underlayment is easy to use and helps with noise reduction.  Click on the image below to find out more information.

QEP 200 sq. ft.50 ft. x 4 ft. x 1/4 in. Roll of Cork Underlayment for Tile, Laminate and Floated or Glue-Down Wood Floors

This type of cork glues down with a specific underlayment adhesive. The great news about cork is that as an underlayment, it is naturally hypoallergenic, which leads to improved room air quality.


Once the cork is down, you can now place carpet padding that is suitable for your carpet. This will be determined by what kind of carpet you have. We carry a few selections in our store, but the best kind of pads are the ones we sell online or through your nearest Home Depot's Flooring Dept.


The pad shown below is by Scotchgard. It is antimicrobial and hypoallergenic as well as one of the best, if not the best, carpet padding The Home Depot sells. Click on the image to find out more information.

Scotchgard 1/2 in. Thick Foam Premium Carpet Pad 

Once you get a good underlayment as well as padding, the carpet will be the icing on the cake.


I hope this information has assisted you, and let us know if we can help you with any additional question you still may have.




Posted 2013-05-11T14:44:57+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Thank you for this very valuable info. I now have a tool to use to make the soundproffing acceptable.

Posted 2013-05-11T18:32:04+0000  by fredbelgium

You are very welcome. I'm glad we can be of help to you.


Please update as your project goes along. Even though the office is in an old building, using the cork and having good soundproof below on the ceiling should go a long way.


Keep in touch and let us know how everything turns out.




Posted 2013-05-11T18:34:56+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

I have read about the adhesive for the cork layer. It says non flammable, low VOC etc...what about the smell of it? How long does it take for the fumes to dissipate? Thank you.

Posted 2013-05-11T18:44:32+0000  by fredbelgium

You are absolutely correct regarding the 7250 Cork Underlayment; it is low VOC and non-flammable.


Since it is a latex-based formula, you'll be encountering a similar smell and drying time similar to latex acrylic-based paint. However, you'll still need open ventilation when working with it. The drying time will be determined on how the temperature is as well as moisture in the air.


According to the Datasheet for your glue,


"The Roberts 7250 adhesive, cork underlayment

and subfloor must be at least 65°F (18.3°C) or

higher if recommended by the underlayment

manufacturer with a relative humidity of less than

65 percent."


As for drying time it also states that:


"Restrict foot traffic and moving of heavy

objects for 24 hours."


Check out the Datasheet for other specific installation questions/concerns you may have. It includes what kind of notched trowel to use for the installation.


Let us know if we can further assist.



Posted 2013-05-11T19:04:14+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
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