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I am rebuilding the floor of a living room/dining room and am down to the plywood subfloor. I want to reduce noise transmission to the basement while keeping a low maintenance, low-ish budget solution. I have read a number of ways to do it, but I was thinking of adding (on top of existing plywood), in order from bottom to top:

  • Mass Loaded Vinyl
  • 19/32 OSB
  • Quietboard
  • LVP

I was thinking of floating the 19/32 OSB and Quietboard, is this okay? Should I add a simple moisture barrier anywhere in this layer to prevent potential water transmission to the OSB?

One solution below was proposed for a studio; I'm not looking for a studio grade solution. I also believe studios would be generally better maintained and be less likely to deal with spills and other accidents, so they use less low-maintenance materials.

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This guy has the best advice on sound proofing.

Do not use MLV when soundproofing

Most applicable to you is likely the floating floor.

How to build a budget floating floor

I have done two sound resistance floor/ceiling assemblies before this guy's videos were around.

Assembly 1: (2x10 dimensional). Floating Laminate / underpad / 2" concrete floor / 5/8" plywood subfloor / closed cell spray foam 2" / roxul 6" batt insulation / 5/8" drywall ( pot lights).

Assembly 2: (10" ijoists). Floating Eng hardwood / low R value rubber underlay / 3/4 plywood sleepers / high R value underlay / 5/8" subfloor / roxul 6" batt insulation / hat-track genie clips / 2 layers 5/8 drywall with green glue (no potlights).

Both assemblies muffle voice enough that you think they might be outside but you can still hear people ( similar to someone talking loud 10' away from a closed double pane window ). Very hard to get the details 100%. Both assemblies block the higher frequencies of music. Low frequency bass tones, foot falls, impact noises pass though though much less than a creaky floor on an uninsulated floor assembly where you can participate in the conversation.

I'd say both perform similar. Assembly 1 suffers from some areas that connect the two floors (walls/chimney/un-concreted portions of floor/pot lights). Assembly 2 suffers from a bad green glue job and not very good detailing on the ceiling to wall isolation.

They both probably work 50% as well as the budget floating floor and cost 4 times as much. I'd guess your assembly with work slightly worse than mine. You can probably do an STC / IIC for your assembly to get some kind of comparison against the budget floating floor.

Pliq also makes a genieMat FF if you have extra cash. I bought their sound isolation clips and hat track.

HomeRenovision youtube also does some sound proofing videos if you want some more 50% assemblies for higher cost.

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  • This guy is very good for making a dedicated studio, but less good for a large living room + dining room floor, lol. I'm not sure using fiberglass + two layers of drywall is an economical solution for the entire dining room / living room floor. I will update my question accordingly.
    – Mark S
    Nov 9, 2023 at 8:05
  • have you priced out the products you listed? budget floating floor is budget and effective. maintenance wise this solution is almost as good as yours. you could use 2 layers of osb instead of the drywall to add cost and get less performance but have slightly better water resistance but you shouldn't be putting water into your floor/ceiling assemblies anyway. both the MLV and the quiet board and LVP will hold water in your floor assembly and rot your osb if you are spilling water routinely and it gets into the assembly. or 1 layer of OSB with significantly less performance. Nov 9, 2023 at 8:35
  • Thanks for the repl! I gave it some more thought. I imagined drywall to be an unideal product to take the impact/deformation a floor might deal with - I've not heard of putting drywall in a floor. I think having resistance from water is important; I've also heard that OSB can be unideal since it can warp from atmospheric moisture - and while it's floating, this could cause a problem with the underlying floor. Is this a reasonable worry?
    – Mark S
    Nov 22, 2023 at 11:40
  • osb is pretty stable - i wouldn't worry too much. that said plywood is going to be more stable and more resistant. i'd go plywood over osb. I haven't done this assembly myself but if I was going to then I'd probably go with a paperless drywall so if water did get into it then i'd have less chance of mold. ceiling drywall below is always a risk but generally ceiling assemblies leak quickly and drain with gravity. basement walls are my main mold worry. Nov 23, 2023 at 3:48
  • So I gave this all some thought, I looked around a bit. My conclusion is that if I'm putting floating OSB on top of a layer of fibreglass insulation or something, then a double layer of staggered OSB that's screwed together is the best to prevent warping. I will consider plywood as well. Thanks for the responses!
    – Mark S
    Dec 19, 2023 at 21:33

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