Impact noise - like footsteps on the hard-surface floor above you - is one of the most common, and most challenging forms of noise to deal with. The best product for handling impact noise is carpet and a thick pad underlayment. For a big upgrade use our premium soundproof carpet underlayment which utilizes sound barrier bonded to a closed cell foam. Not only will this dramatically reduce footstep noise, it will also block airborne sounds between floors. That combination outperforms all other possibilities.
For situations where carpet isn't an option, the information on this page should get you started.
Impact noise should be dealt with at its source.
Perhaps the most important thing that you should know about dealing with impact noise is that it is best to treat it at its source - the floor. Take a look at the two pictures below - one showing a situation using Green Glue in just the ceiling, and one showing a situation where Green Glue is also utilized in the floor.
Just treating the ceiling below can have a huge impact on path 1, and help with path 2, but does nothing for paths 3, 4, or 5. You see, once noise is in a structure, the low damping of common building materials allows it to move wherever it wishes, and sound moving around through a structure has a tendency to find its way to where you don't want it to be.
Also, it doesn't reduce the amount of noise that is generated from the impact at all, as the floor has not been improved.
The same basic principle applies to any sound proofing product applied only to a ceiling - it is not nearly as effective as treating the noise at its source.
Treating the floor with, in this case, Green Glue, on the other hand, as a vastly larger effect. Every path - 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, is mitigated. The damping action of Green Glue dissipates the vibration quickly as it tries to move along these paths, and the potential for problems is greatly reduced.
Additionally, the damping action of Green Glue will reduce the amount of noise that is actually generated by the impact. This not only reduces noise in the room below, but also in the room above, giving your home a more luxurious feel.
Whether Green Glue, carpet, an underlayment, or a combination of those, the best solutions for impact noise deal with the problem at its source.
Check out our other Sound Control Articles.