Looking for EPDM or Neoprene to float a floor

Discussion in 'Studio Construction & Acoustics Forum' started by mallardduckman, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. mallardduckman

    mallardduckman

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello! I am located in Canada (Vancouver, BC). I am attempting to construct a floating floor (15' x 15') but I can't find anyone who sells the floating material.

    I need either Neoprene or EPDM rubber and I am wondering if anyone out there knows where I can buy or order this stuff in Canada (or in the US that is willing to ship to Canada).

    I would prefer to use Auralex U-boats, but I can't seem to find them anywhere and the Auralex contact here isn't being very helpful, which is too bad because U-boats would be perfect

    I would appreciate some names of good, trustworthy suppliers of this material. It's frustrating when you have the money to spend but no one is willing to take it!

    Cheers,

    -M
     
  2. Greetings

    I can't help with the supplies in your area, but can I ask some more details on your floating floor proposal?


    Why do you want a floating floor?

    Are you familiar with how floating floors work?

    Are you familiar with the calculations needed to make them work?

    What do you expect the floating floor to achieve?

    How do you propose to construct the floating floor?

    Why the choice of Neoprene or EPDM rubber?


    cheers :)

    Paul
     
  3. mallardduckman

    mallardduckman

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Paul thanks for the reply,

    I am building a floating floor for a home studio that I am building in my loft here in Vancouver. My main goal is to keep the noise I am making from reaching my neighbors below. I have done a considerable amount of research regarding this and have found that a floating floor is the most cost effective choice for noise reduction and sound isolation. The construction is simple, 2x6's on EPDM pucks with mineral wool in between, a layer of plywood and a layer of MDF board and if I can afford it a layer of mass loaded vinyl. I am not familiar with the calcuations needed, but I know I need to have the pucks spaced roughly every 2 feet. I have been told that using 1/2" EPDM is the best material for the job since it can last much longer than Neoprene, but Neoprene will do if EPDM is not available. I am not too familiar with the science behind how they work, but I do know that floating as opposed to placing the 2x6's right on the concrete will reduce the noise considerably.

    I hope that answers your questions.
     

  4. Cool thanks! :)



    Floating FLoors work on the Mass-spring-Mass (MSM) principle.

    The original floor is the 1st mass, the rubber/elastomer( and air inbetween ) is the spring, and the floated floor is the 2nd mass.


    This MSM system has a resonance. At the resonant freqeuncy you won't get isolation, you'll get amplification. the opposite effect of what you trying to achieve.

    The Isolation region starts at 1.4 times ( sq root of 2 ) the resonant freqeuncy, and here it is ZERO. The higher the frequency from here the better the isolation.

    This is a graphical representation:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.earsc.com/img/engineering/whitepaper/vibration/Ifigtwo.gif

    It's recommended you calculate a resonant freqeuncy at least 2 to 4 octaves below the lowest frequency you want to isolate.


    There are two main types of decoupling material.

    1] Elastomers, which have air pockets, can compress
    2] Rubbers, EPDM etc work by deformation, rather than compression.


    To calculate the resonant frequency isnt' easy, You need the modulus of elasticity of the material ( Arrives in nomographs v. temprature , time, and load ) from this you can work out the stiffness, and correct it by the shape factor of the puck ( Load area to edge area ratio - i.e A cube has a shape factor of 0.25 )

    The resonant frequency is dependent upon the load on each puck, the thickness of the puck, the shape factor, and a few other factors, such as temperature and time.


    You particularly have to calculate the load on each puck, inlcuding any live loads such as people and equipment and furniture you put on the puck.

    If you make the floating floor really heavy, you will reach a decent resonant frequency, if you also use a thick enough puck. 1/2" ain't enough. And neither is acoupel of sheets of board or vinyl. And also the heavier the floor, the less change in resonant freqeuncy will occour when you put more weight on it. Again your proposed deign won't accomodate this.

    There is a load limit on 'pucks' where they wil 'bottom out' , thus shorting the spring out, and of coruse will be rendered useless..

    The spacing of the pucks is entriely dependent on all the factors I described above. NO ONE who knows about this would recommend a particular puck spacing unless they knew ALL the details of your design.


    Other things to note......

    If you design a system where the pucks are working ot their limits. i.e you get the desired resonant freqeuncy, but it's at the limits the material can withstand, the lifespan of the floating floor will be months, or even weeks, rather than years. You must build some 'load headroom' into your design.

    EPDM and Rubber are deformable materials and the Shape Factor is VERY IMPORTANT and a dominant factor in calculating the resonant frequency.

    For Elastomer materials which compress, the shape factor is still important but not nearly as dominant.


    Bear in mind also that the floating floor will ONLY stop structural noise escaping from the floor. Airborne noise in a room hits all 6 surfaces. In a cube the floor is only 1/6th of the total surface where airborne noise will get into the structure.

    If your'e not floating the whole room...This leaves a lot of sound still in the structure to be transmitted to the rest of the building or outside.

    A floating floor done properly is expensive and is usually the last thing to include in the design for those wanting the ultimate soundproofed room.

    It's not cost effective, floating floors fall under the law of diminishing returns. i.e the cost is a lot more than the gain.


    But, if you don't calculate it properly, it'll be at worst a total waste of money. At best an expensive gamble where the odds are against you.

    You simply cannot know the floating floor will considerably reduce the noise unless you design or get it designed properly. It sounds as if you have got advice of someone who doesn't actually know about floating floors. Understandable. as they are very misunderstood.

    hope that helps


    Paul
     
  5. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Central Village, CT
    The other question here is this:

    Have you had a structural engineer analyze your existing floor to see if it can handle the weight of your new floating floor as well as the structure it's going to carry.

    The amount of weight you are taking about adding to your loft is quite significant - and it would be an absolute shame for you to one day drop that loft on someone below.

    When a collapse like that happens - it usually gives no warning - it just goes BANG and people sometimes die in the process.

    Food for thought.

    Rod
     
  6. mallardduckman

    mallardduckman

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow thanks guys, that's a lot of information. Everytime I think I am ready to go ahead with this I get a new bunch of new info.

    What I am trying to accomplish is very simple - I am making noise (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals, bass guitar and perhaps even some percussion although I know a full drum kit would be too loud regardless of my soundproofing), and I would like to stop as much of that noise as possible from going below. I have no neighbors above or to the sides so that's not a concern.

    Everything I've read about soundproofing says that decoupling (floating floors, resiliant channels in walls) is the best way to go but after reading Paul's reply I'm starting to think I shouldn't bother with the "floating" part.

    My question is this - considering I have a very limited budget here, if I just put down some 2x6's, stuff mineral wool in between them, Nail down some plywood and MDF, would I be accomplishing what I want? Is there another way to isolate sound between floors that I don't know about?

    This doesn't have to be a perfect, just a significant reduction so that I can play my music at 2am at a moderate volume and not wake up the neighbors below - and yes I am aware that bass is very difficult to stop without a huge amount of mass.

    Rod thanks for the concern, I have checked it all out and I have the go ahead to put down the mass I am proposing :cool: .

    Thanks again guys,

    -M
     
  7. proudtower

    proudtower

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    achterhoek, netherlands
    Very nice, good and short formulated and clear summation Paul, back that one up to use more often!

    :cool:

    Bert
     
  8. Thanks Bert :)

    I must have only had 2 splifs that night!!! :D :D
     
  9. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    I thought it was generally accepted that building walls/ceiling within the walls/ceiling of a room will attenuate the transfer of sound from within said room, to the outside world. (do I have that right? I've certainly read it in a lot of places)

    So how can it be that this fairly simple concept works for walls, but not a floor?

    It would stand to reason that the 'pucks,' being contact points, would transfer some energy to the floor below, but I can't wrap my head around how the whole resonant frequency thing can work well on a wall and then go and screw you when it comes to a floor???

    Confused...
    Keith
     
  10. Greetings

    The Mass-Spring-Resonance physics works the same for wall within a wall as it does a floating floor.

    With a wall within a wall the spring is completely air, while with a floating floor the spring is the pucks+air.

    Indeed with a wall wthin a wall teh TL will be a lot lower at the resonant freqeuncy, and it's advisabel to get this as low as possible, either by hgh mass walls, or larger air gap. Or preferably both.

    Other factors come into play with walls, such as the coincident effect which lowers TL at mid frequencies. ( Eric is much better for an explantion fo this ). I would imagine a concrete floor would be affected thistoo, but is proabbly negligable in such a floor.


    Paul
     
  11. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    Okay, so maybe the question from those of us in this situation should be:

    What can the average DIYer, on a limited budget, do that will attenuate, as much as reasonably possible, the sound transfer, via floor, from within the room, to listeners in the outside world???

    Bewildered...
    Keith
     
  12. avare

    avare

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Exactly what you are doing right now. Good (read effective/most bang for the buck/not destructive) sound isoaltion like anything with with good studio construction is 90% design and 10% building.

    You are getting thousands of dollars of advice free. If you want it from a pro detailed for your exact situation, add ten thousand or so to that.

    Andre
     
  13. As avare indicates... Do the calcs and design yourself. And then build it yourself.


    With that approach my studio cost £12,000, whereas if I'd got someone else to do it all, it would have cost around £100,000

    Even on a limited budget, big results can still be achieved. But it requires BIG effort. :)


    Paul
     
  14. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    Okay, I'll try a different angle:

    What book details this in a way that the DIYer could possibly design and recreate floor attenuation so one doesn't run into the issues that Paul outlined in his original post?

    Thanks
    Keith
     
  15. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    While we're at it, one more brain teaser, just for fun.

    So if one is going for a subfloor>joist & insulation>main floor situation in any way, and one has a proper method for calculating the information, what about using slats and slots and turing the floor into a giant slat resonator? (assuming you don't mind crumbs and lint falling in the cracks forever...)

    If those bass frequencies are absorbed by the resonator,(which ought to also create better sound in the studio) is it then also attenuated for those below?

    Thinking in pictures...
    Keith
     
  16. avare

    avare

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    It isn't in one book. That is why people make tens of thousands of dollars designing for a living PER studio.



    Fine as far as you idea goes. You then still need a sound osaltion layer for your floor.

    BTW as I understand it electric studios (name?) does exactly that.

    Adnre
     
  17. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Near Clagary
    Home Page:
    Hmmmm... very cryptic indeed. I think we've stumbled onto a secret society here.

    Let me see if I have this straight:

    Question: Where does one get the pucks for floating floor?

    Answer: If you're mortal, you can't do it, it won't work, save yourself this trip into hell

    Question: So how does one achieve this sound attentuation?

    Answer: That first answer was sure well put, just read it again.

    Question: Why does it work on walls, but not floors?

    Answer: Because

    Question: So how could one achieve floor sound attenuation?

    Answer: it's a secret, you have to write a cheque with 5 zeros to unlock the code

    Question: Is there information one can read on this

    Answer: Yes, but that too is a secret.

    Gosh I hope the guy from Vancouver who asked the original question doesn't realise the futility of the situation and put a slug in his temple... :?

    And so it goes:?
    Keith
     
  18. avare

    avare

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Three manufacturers with websites are:

    Auralex
    Kinetics Noise
    Vibro Acoustics

    Contact them for dealers in your area.

    You didn't define "this sound rating". Any sound isolation is accomplished by mass and decoupling.

    What is "it?" Walls and floors (and ceilings and roofs) are all built differently due to strenght/envirnmental factors. Sound isoaltion is still achieved the same way.

    As answered above in general terms, mass and decoupling.

    Lots of it. From what I can tell of your knowledge expereience, read this

    http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?t=107

    Yes, it is long, but it is full of practical information.

    Good luck!
    Andre
     
  19. What's the probem Keith?


    The original poster wanted a floating floor. He was blamelessly completely naive about floating floors.

    I spent a LOT of time explaining to him the concepts of floating floors and what's needed to achieve a working floating floor.

    MOST people who think they need a floating floor don't actually need one, so once I've explained the basics it's upto the original poster to pursue it further if he/she decides they DO indeed want to make the effort to design their own floating floor. It's either DIY or pay a company many thousands to do it for you. Simple as that.

    I'm not gonna waste time writing a COMPLETE Guide to floating floors if the original poster decides to not bother in the end ( which most do, or ignore the advice and build somethign that wont' work anyway )

    Us regulars are here to ADVISE in the first instance, and give a helping hand during a build if the going get's Sticky.


    What we're not here to do is design the floor for people.

    I've already told him how floating floors work and what materials are used. If he's serious he'll already have opened Google and found a whole bunch of Elastomers and other floor components. As should you if you're interested.


    Your close to crossing the line there... :shock:

    What would you rather I do? Simply tell him to get pucks from here or there without any exaplantion, knowing full well he's designed something that's gonna be a waste of money?


    Paul
     
  20. eric_desart

    eric_desart

    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Belgium Antwerp
    Home Page:
    :mrgreen: :roll:
     
Similar Threads: Looking EPDM
Forum Title Date
Song & Mix Collaboration Here is the Opening Song, for an 8 Song CD, called "On the Planet" - Looking For FB Sep 4, 2014
Affordable Recording Forum Noob looking for advise Aug 29, 2014
Song & Mix Collaboration Looking for input... Jun 12, 2014
Pro Audio Gear Audio interface, what should i be looking for Mar 14, 2014