Tips for soundproofing to avoid road noise – DSP 23
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>>Ashkahn: Alright, what's our question today?
>>Graham: Alright, our question today is,
“Help, I've just opened but I'm getting
at least a couple of complaints a day about
sound in the tanks, probably from traffic.
What are my options?”
>>Ashkahn: Traffic sound, huh?
>>Graham: The old traffic sound.
An oldie but a goodie.
>>Ashkahn: Yeah, so there are some options,
that's the nice thing.
They range from the basic to the extreme.
Basic is just, tear down your entire center,
rebuild it somewhere else-
>>Ashkahn: Start over.
>>Graham: Start from scratch.
>>Ashkahn: Start a new life.
Change your name.
So probably where I would start is vibration
isolation pads, because that's the cheapest
and an option that doesn't alter your building.
>>Graham: So here's the deal: If you're hearing
traffic noise inside your float tank and your
float tank isn't already sitting on top of
some kind of acoustical dampener, then you
have a really easy solution that is very likely
to eliminate most of that traffic noise coming
in, which is great.
And that's what Ashkahn said, which is the
vibration isolation pads.
Or vibration isolation mat.
At Float On, we tend to prefer the pads because
you have less points of contact with the ground,
which we'll get into when we explain these.
But basically there's varying levels of degree
that you can go to to soundproof vibration
coming in to your float tank from the floor.
>>Ashkahn: These things are, first of all,
not that expensive.
We usually use the three by three inch pucks.
We'll put —how many of those under a tank?
>>Graham: About 11.
>>Ashkahn: So, we'll put 11 of those under
So you're talking about $33.
And then you also need to usually connect
them to a rigid surface — usually what we
use is a plastic material, high density polyethylene,
or an HTPE board.
>>Graham: I should say that's opposed to plywood
or something like that.
Eventually, that plywood will get damaged
by salt water and just not be feasible anymore,
so we've switched to using this plastic material.
>>Ashkahn: So you're taking these vibration
isolation pads, and I guess I'll start with
what they do.
The whole idea is that they dampen vibration
going into your float tank.
They're really made more for doing the kind
of reverse of that.
They're made for putting under machinery that
creates a lot of vibration, to stop the vibration
from getting to the rest of the building.
You'll often see these on HVAC and stuff like
that, big air conditioner units on a roof.
>>Graham: We stuck them underneath crazy shoe
machines next door, when there was a shoe
shop right next to Float On.
>>Ashkahn: But they're basically these pucks
that have alternating materials in layers.
The ones we use just go rubber and then a
layer of this kind of EVA plastic is what
they call it, and another layer of rubber.
And just because the sound has to move through
those different densities of materials, it
changes the sound wave every time it hits
one of those places where it needs to shift
By doing that you're kind of dispersing the
sound, because sound waves don't like having
to continuously go through different layers
>>Graham: And it's actually amazing how well
these eliminate vibration sound coming in,
which I think is why Ashkahn and I jumped
immediately to this as a solution when we
heard the word traffic noise.
The traffic noise that you're hearing isn't
even the horns coming from outside, I can
almost promise you.
>>Ashkahn: Yeah, it's not the engines.
>>Graham: It's this low rumble coming from,
often, really big trucks, motorcycles.
That deep bass that just kind of goes through
the street and into your concrete foundation
or wooden foundation, up into your tanks,
is very difficult to block out by any other
means than actually just trying to decouple
your float tank from the floor and somehow
reduce those vibrations before they make it
up into it.
In addition to that, not only traffic, but
those are in general the hardest noises to
There's a chance that separate from the traffic
noises coming in that make people acutely
object, you might also just end up with a
much more soundproof environment.
It might be immediately noticeable, if you
get these layers of vibration isolation pads
under your tank, even just with the little
background hums and things like that that
>>Ashkahn: So yeah, you basically get these,
and like I said, they're just three inch by
three inch pucks.
That means that when the whole float tank
is sitting on just 11 of those, it's not really
touching the ground in that many spots, so
just the least amount of surface area possible
is also going to help reduce the vibrations
that can actually go up and get into your
But because there's just a few of them, then
they create these kind of points of all the
weight just sitting on those certain points.
Sometimes the base of the float tank or the
fiberglass might not be quite strong enough
to have all of it's weight on just 11 small
points like that, so we'll take the pucks
and we'll attach them to a big sheet of HTPE,
a kind of plastic material, and we'll cut
that to the size of the float tank and then
the float tank will sit on top of that.
That kind of distributes the weight over it,
but it still means the whole float tank is
only touching the ground on those points that
are made up of these vibration isolation pads.
One important thing to not forget is that
you have to do that to your filtration system
too, because the sound's always going to go
through the weakest spot.
So, if you have your whole float tanks sitting
on vibration isolation pads, and it's all
doing great and nice, but your pump is sitting
on the ground and your pump is connected straight
into your float tank through a pipe, then
the sound's just going to through that way.
So you kind of have to do the whole system.
>>Graham: It's incredibly easy to spend a
ridiculous amount of money on soundproofing
and accomplish almost nothing.
Again, having your pump sitting on the ground
can just ruin all of the time that you've
just spent putting that vibration isolation
stand underneath your float tank.
Similarly, your float tank actually touching
your walls is another one to avoid.
So have your tanks sitting at least an inch
off of your walls, on every side.
That's even true of things like cabin style
tanks, where often times you'll have the exterior
paneling kind of butting up and making almost
a solid surface.
Even that you want to have sitting off the
wall, and preferably only filled in with some
silicone caulking, or something like that,
to make the actual seamless edge.
But anywhere where your float tank touches
the wall, that's another place where vibration
can come up through your floor, through the
studs, through the wall and directly into
the float tank.
You might find, even putting in a stand, if
your float tank's leaning against a wall,
you still get that same traffic noise coming
>>Ashkahn: Yeah, so specifically dealing with
traffic noise, this seems to be the solution
that often does it for people.
It's not often that I'll hear a float center
does this and still has too much traffic noise.
So if this doesn't work, probably the next
step would be just to go outside, buy a giant
road closed sign and put it in the street,
and just not let anybody drive down that street
>>Graham: The City tends to frown on that,
but just throw the officials in a float tank
and you’re good.
Alright, thanks for the question.
We’ll talk to
you all tomorrow.