How to insulate footsteps on steel staircases. Solutions and products to dampen a steel stair.

Sound Insulation for Steel Staircases

How to insulate footsteps on steel staircases.
A steel staircase can cause quite some noise nuisance in- and around buildings. Walking on a steel stairs sets the steps in motion with a gong-like sound as a result. This type of sound problem is called impact noise, noise produced by setting matter in motion. When carpeting the steel stairs is not an option, use our anti-drumming products to dampen footstep noise from the steps of the steel stairs.

Isolation products to reduce footstep noise from steel staircase
The insulation methods that we mention below are meant for steel steps without perforation. Steps with round holes in them contain a (significantly) smaller amount of surface to attach the insulation materials to. If you still want to insulate perforated steps, it is strongly recommend you to experiment with one step before treating the whole staircase. There are two methods for insulating steel steps. These insulation methods are called anti-drumming methods. Anti-drumming products ensure that the gong sound from the steps is significantly reduced.

Method 1
How to isolate steel staircases
The first method is the easiest and can be carried out using the bitumen anti-drumming sheets Vibraflex UF. Vibraflex is a self-adhesive sheet that is available in various weight classes. As for the anti-drumming of closed steel steps, the Vibraflex UF80 and UF100 variants (8 and 10kg/m² respectively) are most often used. The correct type of Vibraflex is determined by the thickness of the steel stairs. We recommend the most heaviest Vibraflex, 10 kg/m².

The procedure is relatively simple. First, you need to thoroughly clean and de-grease the steps. Vibraflex can be cut most easily when the product is a colder. In this condition, the bitumen is a bit harder, which facilitates the cutting process. Once you cut the sheets to size, you can warm them up to a temperature just above or around room temperature. You can use a hairdryer if needed. Preheated sheets are more flexible and have an 'activated' self-adhesive layer. Prevent air bubbles by firmly pressing the sheets in place. The pressure roller is a handy to tool to have!

Vibraflex has a EN-13501 fire certification class E, which can be important for applications in public buildings. Since in most cases we are talking about a surface of just a few square meter in total, this shouldn't be an issue. Finishing with flame retardant plasterboard can also be a solution. If indoubt, contact the local fire department to see if this product can be used. If necessary, we are happy to send you a product sample and documentation. 


Method 2 How insulate steel stair steps
The second method takes more effort, but offers (in many cases) a beter end result. In this method, insulating the steel steps is carried out by applying the sandwich anti-drumming principle. The materials used for this method consist of a combination of Vibradamp A-90-P, two component paste and Zincor steel panels. Sandwich anti-drumming is usually applied where anti-drumming by means of bitumen, like with Vibraflex UF, is undesirable. Vibradamp should be applied on steel thicknesses of 4 mm and higher.

The procedure is as follows. Thoroughly clean and de-grease the substrate! Make sure that the A- and B-component are at room temperature (blending the paste when it has a temperature under 15 degrees is hardly possible). Then, you add the B- component from the bottle to the bucket with the A-component and mix until the substance has an even beige colour. The paste should be applied in a ratio of 4:1:1. This means that on a steel substrate with a thickness of 4mm you apply 1,5mm Vibrdamp paste and 1,5mm Zincor plates.

After applying Vibradamp you press the Zincor plates in to the paste. The space between each Zincor plate should be around 15 mm. Ideally, fashion the plates in a brick lay format. The end result will be noticeable after a few days. The drying time of the Vibradamp paste underneath the galvanized steel plates takes longer than if the steel plates wouldn't be applied. After the hardening process is completed, the whole thing is paintable with wet varnish. All product details of Vibradamp, can be found on its product page.

Questions? Acousticshop customer service
Do you have any questions concerning this topic? Please feel free to contact us. Unfortunately, there are no product samples of Vibradamp.