What is Sound Insulation Testing?

Sound insulation testing is the process for measuring the amount of noise that passes through a partition, which is usually a floor or a wall for building regulations testing purposes but could be a product such as a window or a door when testing using a sound insulation suite in a laboratory.

By understanding the sound insulation between two rooms separated by the partition, we find out how much noise is stopped by the partition in 16 different frequency bands and report them back to the end user as a single frequency result.

sound level meter

How is Sound Insulation Measured?

Sound insulation is measured in two ways, depending on whether the test is an airborne sound insulation test or an impact sound insulation test. Where homes and apartments are only adjoined side by side, we conduct only airborne sound insulation testing. Where the homes are above and below one another, we conduct both airborne and impact sound insulation tests.

We always test from a ‘source room’ to a ‘receive room’.

Both types of tests are then subject to two control measurements.

Do all homes have to be Sound Insulation Tested?

Not all homes are subject to sound insulation testing. In all home nation building regulations requirements, a sample of plots are selected for testing. This does vary slightly for Scotland.

We tend to break up the number of tests we do into ‘sets’ comprising of 2 airborne floor tests, 2 airborne wall tests and 2 impact floor tests.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland Minimum Requirements

At least 1 set is conducted for each 10 examples per separating construction type.

For example, if we had a row of 12 houses, each with the same construction detail for the partition, we would conduct 4 airborne wall tests (2 sets). When calculating sets of tests, we always round up as one set of tests can be used for a maximum of 10 houses.

If we had 26 apartments, with identical partition construction throughout, we would conduct 18 sound insulation tests (3 sets) made up of 6 airborne wall tests, 6 airborne floor tests and 6 impact floor tests.


Scotland Technical Handbook Section 5 has a slightly reduced requirement for the number of sound insulation tests conducted across a new-build site.

The number of tests depends directly on whether or not the Example Construction Types are used (see link here Example Construction Types – Scotland). Testing requirements are then calculated according to the following table:

Other FAQ's