General Soundproofing Information for Float Centers

"THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS"

Soundproofing is a bit like waterproofing, in that a small leak can kill it. The big difference is that sound can get in through many frequencies. Where a thin layer of plastic can block water, two heavy/damp/decoupled walls with insulation and an air gap in between them is where we begin to be really effective against noise intrusion.

While building soundproofed walls is outside the scope of most home or commercial float center owners' skillset, it's good to have a basic understanding of what's going on, and even more importantly perhaps is to know potential fail points in an otherwise well constructed room. This way we can oversee the construction of our rooms, and ensure that all the details get attention. If the room is already built, there is still some things we can do to fortify the room.

Common weak points in a quiet room can include:

  • The door.
  • The door framing (these gaps can be seen behind the door trim.)
  • Outlet boxes (extraspecially if found between the same studs as an outlet in an adjoining room!)
  • Light fixtures.
  • Baseboard trim (where the wall meets the floor).
  • Windows
  • Window framing (behind the window trim.)

Basically, if there's anything less than a sound wall there, do something about it. Drywall joint compound (gypcrete) is a simple DIY fix for gaps. Mix it thick and stuff in as much as you can fit. 

DOORS. GOTTA HAVE 'EM.

But did you know that the entrance to your float room is most likely the weak link in your soundproofing? These door covers are an affordable fortification against sound and light getting into your precious float suite, and are a great addition to any float room.

With an industrial vinyl facing, and easy installation and removal for cleaning, these door covers are float room ready.  They add an STC rating of 29, and block light from getting through gaps in the door frame.

THE DOOR BOTTOM IS IMPORTANT!

To really quiet the threshold we're going to need to mind the door bottom as well. For the best seal we recommend a combination of a heavy duty, high sound automatic door bottom and a door saddle. These are two will dampen airborne sound. Before purchasing door bottoms online, look for a local commercial door company. They can help you get the right size and mortise it in for a clean look.

DON'T FORGET THE TRIM

The door covers listed above do a good job of blocking noise that comes through the gaps in framing around the door, which is hidden by the door (and window) trim. We strongly recommend you remove the trim to seal behind with some soundproofing rubber and/or acoustical caulk. An affordable and adaptable but slightly less effective alternative to these products is drywall joint compound. Fill in all gaps. Overkill on soundproofing makes for great floats :)

OUTLETS & FIXTURES

These puddy pads are great, use them liberally on outlet boxes, HVAC punctures, light fixtures, even some of the shower fixtures. We've experimented with cheaper puddy pads we found locally, but they were not as nice to work with. We highly recommend the linked puddy pads.

For recessed can lighting, an effective and affordable solution is to build a box around them above the ceiling if you can, using two layers of scrap drywall with green glue in between. Then seal the gaps with acoustical caulk and put a fireproof blanket or insulation on top. Shhhh!!  :)

To order these and other noise blocking improvements head over to Trademark Soundproofing's extensive website. If you'd be so kind, when making an order please put "referred by Mandala" in the checkout note. Thank you for supporting us!

Float Center Lease Negotiation

Approaching a landlord or leasing company with the idea of building a float center can be a little scary, for all parties involved. It is important to start the conversation on the right foot. Having a real estate professional speaking on your behalf can be helpful, but only if your representative has gained your trust that they have your best interest at heart. With or without help you will need to know your business, and anticipate the concerns of the leasor. Communicate clearly what you intend to do in their building, and how it will benefit them. While it's true that we are altering the space significantly, it is also true that want a long-term lease. 

Before instigating lease negotiations you should be sure that this is the space for you. Almost every space is going to have its benefits and costs of course, and in our experience the most important thing is that the space is already quiet. Everything else can be worked with in one way or another. 

When we found our present location (which we LOVE), we had already been though years of looking and negotiating. A couple of good locations we lost by not having our things together and/or by scaring away the landlord with water and salt. We did not want that to happen with this space, so we took what we had learned from negotiating with previous (and less awesome) spaces and did our best to make everything clear and easy for the leasor in this introduction document. Feel free to use this document as a template when creating your own ice breaker document. We hope it helps!