The Sounding Board

Sound Testing

By November 14, 2020December 28th, 2020No Comments

New build and converted dwellings with separating walls and floors require sound insulation testing to Approved Document E. This is needed to ensure that the noise reduction of the floors and walls meets the levels set by building regulations and prevent any noise issues once the premises are inhabited.

There are two assessments which are undertaken during a sound test. The first is an airborne noise test, where a loudspeaker is used to assess the amount of noise reduction provided by floors and walls. The second test is an impact noise test, which is only required where separating floors are under test.  This replicates the effect of footfall and estimates the noise reduction through the separating floor & ceiling structure.

Both of these tests require a pass to be signed off by building control.

Where a sound test fails, remedial action will be required, followed by a retest – until the partitions under test meet the required performance targets.

In some instances, our clients prefer to have a ‘sample’ sound test conducted early in the project. This allows an estimation of the performance to be provided, and any issues highlighted before corrective measures become expensive.


When to book your sound insulation test?

The following list may help in understanding when to book your sound test:

  • All doors, windows and cladding must be installed.
  • Window trickle vents must be fitted (where applicable).
  • Internal doors must be fitted.
  • All walls must be complete (including sockets etc).
  • Structural floor and ceiling surfaces must be complete.
  • Smoke alarms must be deactivated during the test.
  • Domestic 240v electrical supply must be available on-site.
  • All premises to be tested must be clear of materials and workers.
  • Floor tests should be conducted without carpets fitted. If carpets are fitted they may need to be lifted to complete the testing.
  • Access is required on both sides of the partition.

Contact NCSL for more information on sound insulation testing, or check out our Noise Consultant Services page.

You can also have a look at the information provided by the GOV.UK website relating Sound Testing here .


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