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David J. Wyatt, CDT
Senior Member
Username: david_j_wyatt_cdt

Post Number: 333
Registered: 03-2011
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 11:46 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Good morning, 4 specs community.

I am specifying steel stairs with steel treads for the Pro Football Hall of Fame hotel in Canton, Ohio, The project architect suggested we add spray-applied sound-damping material to the underside of the stairs to reduce the inevitable noise these stairs will generate. Have any of you had to do this? Any recommendations or success stories? Thank you in advance.

Dave Wyatt
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1359
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 11:57 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

David, are you thinking of using something like ICC's K13 - https://www.spray-on.com/k-13-acoustical/ or Sonoglass https://monoglass.com/sonoglass-acoustic-treatment/?

I don't know if either will hold up over time with all that impact and vibration. Are you concerned about the insulation delaminating over time?
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 841
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 12:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Steel treads? that does sound a bit noisy! I would recommend an adhered acoustic matt product under the treads and behind the risers, and then if possible, I would reccommend a spray applied textured acoustical pedestrian grade coating on top of the treads to help reduce direct impact noise and allow options for the contrasting stripe and so forth.
Edward J Dueppen, RA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: edueppen

Post Number: 76
Registered: 08-2013
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 12:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Dave - my first guess would be to use a sound-deadening mastic, such as applied to the underside of stainless steel counters and the outside of trash chutes. But I don't have first-hand knowledge of how this works in the real-world.
Nathan Woods, CSI, CCCA, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: nwoods

Post Number: 842
Registered: 08-2005

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I will expand on my initial response with real world feedback. I did a project for a large healthcare provider that promotes taking the stairs as part of their ThriveWalk initiatives. The Owner's rep was interested in budget, while the regional manager was interested in goals. So we got diamond plate stairs in a 3 story building in stairwells designed for frequent public and patient use.... Noise and slip were major concerns that we mitigated with the solution I listed above. In the end, it worked okay, but even the PM said he went too cheap on the stairs, but only because the damned architect insisted on these wearable surfaces that needed recoating every so often...(instead of using concrete pan treads like we begged him to do).
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI ,SCIP
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1870
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 02:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

You might try the following:

Daubert Chemical Company, V-Damp 3680: https://www.daubertchemical.com/products/vibration-sound-dampening/product/v-damp-3680


Art USA Noise Control Products, VBD-10 Damping Compound: https://www.noisecontrolproducts.com/product/water-based-viscoelastic-damping-compounds/
David G. Axt, CCS, CSI, SCIP
Specifications Consultant
Axt Consulting LLC
Ed Storer
Senior Member
Username: ed_storer

Post Number: 85
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 04:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have to go along with Nathan.

Concrete filled steel pans or precast stair treads are the only to go if you want a stair that doesn't resound with each footfall.

Sound dampening mastic doesn't do much on what is essentially a drumhead that will sound every footfall. Depending on when and how that mastic is applied, it may cost as much as a tread with concrete.

I've only used steel treads in exit stairs, that were not used for frequent floor-to-floor travel and were in a 2-hour enclosure. Cheap, fast, and meets code.

If the footfall noise is a concern, I wouldn't specify a metal tread. Acoustic dampening coatings are good for trash chutes, but they don't do the job when it comes to frequent traffic on metal stair treads.
Ed Storer, CSI Member Emeritus
Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: michael_chusid

Post Number: 601
Registered: 10-2003

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 05:32 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I suspect your stair will be used for exiting, so will require whatever you apply to meet code.

If they like the concept of metal, offer them a bar grate. Stiffer than sheet metal, they should have less vibration. And all the open area should reduce the concussive effect of footfalls.

But really! Football fans are noisy. Give them what they are used to and be sure to use hard surfaces on walls to reflect the noise. I mean, the cheers of the crowds, the hubbub of the tailgate parties, and the impact of the tackles.
Michael Chusid, RA FCSI CCS 1-818-219-4937
www.chusid.com www.buildingproduct.guru
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 1155
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 12:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have always felt that resilient treads would do something to dampen the sound, but I have never seen any testing to support that view.
J. Peter Jordan, FCSI, AIA, CCS, LEED AP, SCIP
Steven Bruneel, AIA, CSI-CDT, LEED-AP, EDAC
Senior Member
Username: redseca2

Post Number: 695
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 03:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

At what point will the addition of sound deadening materials to the steel stair equal or exceed the cost of concrete filed pan treads?
Ronald J. Ray, RA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP, AIA
Senior Member
Username: rjray

Post Number: 202
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 03:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Hi Dave.

I think I will get back to your original question and not provide editorial comments on what the architect designed for the stair.

If permitted by code, a sound deadening mastic, similar to what is used in the food service industry under stainless steel countertops, may work. The product I use to specify is:

A. Sound Deadening: Heavy-bodied resinous coating filled with granulated cork or other resilient material, compounded for permanent, non-aging, non-flaking adhesion to metal.
1. Applied thickness: 1/8 inch.
2. Finish: Aluminum paint.
3. Acceptable manufactures and product:
a. Component Hardware: Q75-2000 Multiflec Sound Deadener.
David J. Wyatt, CDT
Senior Member
Username: david_j_wyatt_cdt

Post Number: 334
Registered: 03-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2021 - 01:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Thanks, all of you, for your recommendations. Actually, I recommended the resilient treads that Peter Jordan suggested above, but I was denied due to cost. But, by the time the relatively small amount of sound damping material is purchased, shipped, and installed, we will have increased project cost and complexity (by adding a new material and a skilled applicator). At some point, the treads will be added, and it will appear that the design team was not informed or practical.

I am getting old and impatient. Now I understand why similarly-situated people are susceptible to inappropriate laughter and profanity-laced invective.

But, thank you for the good conversation.
Marc Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 625
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2021 - 02:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

yes and that brought to mind this little de-motivator from https://despair.com

Madness does not always howl. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "Hey, is there room in your head for one more?"
ken hercenberg
Senior Member
Username: khercenberg

Post Number: 1370
Registered: 12-2006

Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2021 - 02:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Chin up lad.
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and the world laughs at you.

Sometimes they point.

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