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Unread 04-04-2022, 05:13 PM   #1
Armando25
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Sound control mat for OSB subfloor?

I’m going to tile about 3000 square ft of the 2nd floor of my own house. The Subfloor is 3/4” OSB over 16” o.c. joists.

Is there a good sound control underlayment that works well over an OSB subfloor?

I have looked around and the issue is that all products I have seen have their IIC and STC ratings over concrete, poured gypsum, or when it’s a wood or open web truss floor it’s in conjunction with poured gypsum. This makes sense because this is what a commercial or multi family code would usually use.

I’m in a single family home and have no code requirement to meet.

My Goal: improve IIC and STC vs an uncoupling mat w/o a sound rating (Strata Mat, Ditra, or similar). And economically.

I want to improve footfall noise to a degree. This floor is currently carpeted and one can hear footfalls easy if directly below. I just don’t want to make it worse with the tile, or better yet improve it some.

Installation details:

- About 3000 sq ft of tile installed on 2nd floor of my own single home
- 2nd floor Subfloor is 3/4” OSB over 16” o.c. Joists
- Tile will be 12”x24” porcelain, using LFT thinset such as Custom Prolite or similar
- I will use best practices to prevent flanking noise from floor to walls (perimeter expansion joints and baseboard not directly touching)

Any thoughts on an underlayment that will provide some improvement over a basic uncoupling mat?

A wood subfloor already has some degree of resilient properties vs concrete, whereas concrete lacks the damping but has the mass advantage. The more resilient the subfloor, the less effective the sound damping underlayment, because it doesn’t compress much or at all.

So I don’t know if the products I’ve seen with good IIC and STC ratings and meet ANSI A118.13 specs do anything at all for a typical wood/OSB single family residence subfloor.

I’ve looked at many products. One that I’m considering is Protecto Whispermat
CS which meets ansi A118.12 and A118.13. It also doesn’t have a rated IIC or STC over OSB, but seems to be in the same price range as a basic uncoupling mat like strata mat or ditra that don’t meet these ansi standards. Worse case, it doesn’t nothing for sound over OSB, but it is still rated for 3/8” crack isolation. I’d love to hear feedback on that product as well before buying 3000 sq fr worth.

Thanks!
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Unread 04-04-2022, 05:37 PM   #2
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I doubt you’ll ever be able to improve over carpet floor. Best solution I’ve found is rock wool insulation in bays below subfloor but I can see that would not be optimal for 2nd level over finished 1st level.

Mass is your friend when dampening sound; 1/2 concrete underlayment may help but I don’t have any data on just how much (if at all).
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Unread 04-04-2022, 06:45 PM   #3
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Nice to see you pc! (Sorry, just watched your threads closely and appreciate the help)
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Unread 04-04-2022, 07:13 PM   #4
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Haha, @diydanny, thanks. Been rather busy for past couple years. Nice to have time to participate on the site again.
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Unread 04-04-2022, 07:51 PM   #5
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And it's nice to have you having time again, PC.
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Unread 04-04-2022, 10:49 PM   #6
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Schluter sells a sound control mat, but I don't think it's sold in the USA. https://www.schluter.co.uk/media/552...1a08dd51988c70

You might be able to import it, but the timing and costs may be high. I'd call them and see if maybe it's available here or not, or if they could get it for you.

Another thing that could help some is some of the products from Laticrete https://laticrete.com/tile-and-stone...f947f3eb366eaa

Their thinset is neat as it contains shredded rubber. It is somewhat disconcerting when mixing it up as when you measure out the water, it looks like it will never come together, then, eventually, poof, magically, it becomes the proper consistency...don't overwater and have some faith! You need to apply it a bit thicker to get the max sound attenuation than most thinsets, so that adds to the costs some.
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Unread 04-05-2022, 06:22 AM   #7
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Thanks, CX
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Unread 04-05-2022, 07:33 AM   #8
Armando25
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Thanks PC and Jim.

PC, I agree that I probably won’t get anywhere without adding mass. If I really want sound control, my best option is probably to get 2000+psi gypsum or self leveling underlayment poured in. (I could also add additional layers of wood our perhaps a sound board product, but I’m not sure it’s possible to do that less expensively than pumped product. Plus, I’d get a level floor with the pumped stuff.)

The more I think about it, the more I think a simple membrane mat or similar can’t possibly help much. The physics doesn’t support it, which is probably why I haven’t found products with a sound rating over a simple wood subfloor.

Jim, yes indeed I’ve looked at the Laticrete and similar products, like Crack Buster Pro, etc. None I’ve seen make any claims about sound reduction over a wood subfloor.

The misleading thing is that products will happily state if plywood or OSB is a suitable substrate, meaning it will stick and install fine. But they don’t mention if does anything at all over wood for the sound rating. The IIC ratings are for full assemblies, which are based on concrete, poured gypsum, or similar floors.

I think my choices are to either not worry about the sound transmission, or invest in getting those ~3000 sq for poured with SLU.

I’ll see if I can find some Virginia based companies that service my area.

Thanks again!
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Unread 04-05-2022, 08:31 AM   #9
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I, too, think achieving a meaningful reduction in sound transmission in your situation is going to be a challenge.

FWIW, the main floor in my master bathroom is; 2X10 joists @ 16" OC, 8" of fiberglass batts, 3/4" ply between the joists, 3/4" on top of the joists, 1/2" fiber-cement panels embedded in mortar, Schluter Ditra Heat Duo, tile.

Bare or socked feet are mostly fine as one would guess, hard sole shoes are quite audible. And not through only the structure, but through the air as well.
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Unread 04-05-2022, 06:15 PM   #10
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Thanks, Dan. Your master bathroom assembly is a very helpful data point. My floor assembly is exactly the same, minus the extra layer of plywood and fiber-cement board so far.

I’ll go ahead and price out a more robust assembly. I’m thinking the most cost effective might be having a commercial flooring company pump a good thickness of SLU for my large area. Then I’ll layer on an ANSI A118.12 and A128.13 crack + sound isolation membrane on top of that. This would pretty much get me at or close to a commercial rated sound assembly.

There is a VA company that pumps Laticrete Supercap, but I’ll see if they service my area.
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Unread 04-05-2022, 06:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armando
Then I’ll layer on an ANSI A118.12 and A128.13 crack + sound isolation membrane on top of that.
I'm gonna guess that's a typo and you meant an A118.13 Sound Reduction Membrane.

I'm thinking the added SLC is just not gonna be cost effective at all as a component of your sound reduction goal, but I can't prove that. I'm also not at all sure about layering the A118.13 membrane over the A118.12 membrane. But I know a guy who does. I'll see if I can get him to look in here.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 04-05-2022, 07:52 PM   #12
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Hi CX,

Yes, that’s a typo. Darn phone keyboard. I typed it a few times correctly in the prior posts

No, I’m no planning on installing 2 different mats, but one that is rated for both functions: “One that I’m considering is Protecto Whispermat
CS which meets ansi A118.12 and A118.13”

Custom Crack Buster Pro, and some of the Laticrete products Jim pointed me to are also rated for both. And the Tri Max mortar even combines both ansi standards as well as a tile mortar all in one product. I may use that to re-do some damaged tile on my first floor, because it would allow me to match floor heights more easily.

As to using poured underlayment a for sound control—it is one of the most common ways to meet IIC & STC codes for commercial and multi-family residences. It’s part of the assembly at least, coupled with sound mats and other assembly details such a a decoupled ceiling on a resilient channel.

I didn’t want to go all out and meet a commercial spec (I’m not going to bother with retrofitting my ceiling below, for example). But I do believe adding the mass of poured gypsum or SLU plus a rated sound control mat will give me the biggest bang for the buck and also provide an ideal substrate for the tile.

There is one scenario where I’d use 2 mats. Some products such as maxxon poured gypsum have sound control mats that go under the gypsum to meet Target IIC and STC specs. I’ll price that out too. In that case I’d still have at least a basic uncoupling mat on top of the gypsum as well.

Please do let me know if you/anyone has a better idea, though!
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Unread 04-05-2022, 11:01 PM   #13
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One thing to understand when considering lots of layers that will thicken your second floor's surface is that you may need to redo your entire stairway to remain in code compliance about variations in step heights.

If the ceiling heights may be marginal, adding height to the floor may have other issues, too.
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Unread 04-06-2022, 07:29 AM   #14
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That’s a great point, Jim. I had been brainstorming about what to do about the stairway and landing area.

I’m thinking the easiest option would be to keep the landing area carpeted. We will have a runner on the stairs anyway, so that can just continue to cover the complete landing area. There would be a threshold/reducer in the transition to each of the 4 room entrances with the elevated floor & tile. We could use the thickest carpet padding possible to reduce the level difference some.

Otherwise, yes, I was thinking we’d need to change the height of every stair.

The only other option I could think of would be to keep the landing the same level, perhaps dropping the current OSB subfloor onto clips between the joists, then green glue and screwing another 3/4” on top and not pouring gypsum or SLU on too (unless a thin layer is needed to correct flatness).

But then the transition I height from the landing tile to adjacent room tile would call attention to itself and probably look funny, yeah?

He 2nd floor ceiling height is lower than the first floor at 9’ vs 11’. I didn’t think losing about an inch of height would be very noticeable—what do you think?
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Unread 04-06-2022, 12:33 PM   #15
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Reached out to a few poured gypsum / SLU companies. My area is out of service range for many but I got one quote.

Of course, inflation is crazy and quotes are for a limited time or I can lock in a rate by paying more to take less inflation risk.

1” USG Levelrock 2500 (2500 PSI) and USG SAM-N25 (1/4”) sound mat (goes underneath the gypcrete) comes to $7.35/sq ft with labor and everything. A big part of that I’m sure is how far away from them I live—I’m a few hours away.

I can add another layer of wood with green glue for cheaper. I’m sure there are other “sound boards” that I can attach to the subfloor.

I think it’s back to the drawing board for me. Please let me know if you have better ideas!
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