Soundproofing joist tape is a relatively low-cost solution to soundproof joists. Joist tape is available from most hardware stores and comes as adhesive joist tape or joist tape with self-adhesive backing.
All joists have a commonly spaced joist hangers line, with joists effectively anchored to them using joist ties. These joist hangers ensure joists are secure and stable, but they can also make noise! When sound travels along the joists (much like it does across beams), the joist hanger transmits this movement as sound, making joists a weak link for noise control.
Heading joist hangers and joist ties with joist tape can eliminate joist-borne noises by dampening sounds as they travel along the joists. And, since joist tapes are tough and designed to be easily cut and laid in place, installing them is a quick and affordable fix.
The joists are the boards that support your floor joists by running perpendicularly across the ceiling or floor of your room. They are divided into two types: load-bearing joists, which run across beams in your ceilings, and finishing joists, which help provide support under wallboard ceilings. The placement of either type of joist directly affects the insulation value in your living space.
If you want to ensure that you get the maximum benefit from your investment in soundproofing for joists, then it is essential to use joist tape properly.
This is because joist tape soundproofing is an effective way of stopping noise from transferring between rooms, but it will only be successful if placed correctly on joists.
Secondly, joisting tapes are usually only placed in areas where joists are exposed, so it might not be possible to get enough joisting tape soundproofing into your ceiling or floor to make a difference. It’s better to make sure that you insulate the joists properly first.
Sound insulation for joists can also be achieved by filling your joists with insulation rather than using joist tapes; this may be preferable if you want to avoid the frequent trips up ladders you will need when fitting joist tapes.
Here we will look at joist tapes for soundproofing and joist insulation, and joist filling tips.
What is joist tape?
Joist tape looks like an industrial-strength double sided sticky tape used to hold either the joists or the boards that make up your floor in place. It can be either adhesive joist tape or joisting tape with self-adhesive backing.
Where you use joist tape depends on whether you are insulating your joists against cold or noise:
Insulating your joists against cold
If you want to stop cold penetrating the top of joists (and therefore prevent draughts), then it is recommended that you fit a layer of joist tape to the joists where they are exposed.
This solution will only be effective if you find a joist that has it’s top facing inward toward your living space or joists that have been blocked off from the outside.
It is probably better to insulate joists from the inside out using this method because it will mean you get direct contact between insulation and joists. Using joist strips works well for walls too, so it’s likely to work for joists in your ceiling/roof as well.