Case Study: Soundproofing at Design West

19 July 2022
Exterior of Design West

Design West chose our 15mm x 180mm Character Grade Bristol Tectonic® oak planks for their event spaces at Bristol’s historic harbourside.

Exterior of Design West

Founded in 1996, Bristol’s Design West is a centre of excellence for design and placemaking. A registered charity with design and social value at its heart, Design West’s mission is to inspire the public, politicians, and professionals across the built environment to design better, healthier places to live, work and relax.

We are thrilled with the results of both the flooring and table tops in our café bar, The Architect. Our building is an 18th century former warehouse, situated in the heart of Bristol’s historic docks. This recent transformation has breathed new life into our venue.

Dr Anna Rutherford, Director at Design West


The brief was to create high-quality oak flooring for Design West’s new first floor office and event spaces. The rooms — designed for networking, presentations, meetings, and workshops — are located directly above their newly refurbished café bar, The Architect. As a result, there was a need for a good level of soundproofing to insulate the workspaces from both impact and airborne noise.

With these requirements in mind, we started by laying Rockwool slabs into the cavity, then installed ‘Z’ bars attached to the joists and a Trim Space Saver acoustic floor system between the floor joists.

Soundproofing at Design West
Rockwool sound slab, Trim Acoustics Space Saver and Defender systems

Next, we laid a Trim Defender subfloor onto the joists to create a high-performance, sound reducing surface. This structural subfloor consists of a 22mm moisture resistant chipboard bonded to 3mm Polymeric Barrier and a 10mm layer of recycled foam, designed to reduce impact noise. Again, we installed this with perimeter flanking strips to stop noise transfer at the edges.

Finally, we fully bonded our engineered oak planks to this chipboard to create a beautiful, hard-wearing, oak floor.

Matt Oiled oak flooring at Design West

On our first floor, a high level of soundproofing was needed. These spaces are directly above our busy café bar, The Architect, which is open to the public simultaneously with any events taking place upstairs.

Dr Anna Rutherford, Director at Design West

The Finish

The flooring was pre-finished by Chaunceys in Matt Oil, showcasing the natural beauty of the character grade planks whilst providing durable, easy-to-maintain protection. This was an ideal choice for these high-traffic areas.

Matt Oiled oak flooring at Design West

The Architect

Design West also used some of Chaunceys’ pre-finished Sawn & Brushed oak planks to create characterful table tops for The Architect café bar.

Exterior of The Architect bar and cafe, showing sign

Now our spaces have launched, we look forward to welcoming many new people to Design West to enjoy the results of the recent transformation. Stop by for a coffee, book a space, become a member, or attend one of our inspiring events!

Dr Anna Rutherford, Director at Design West
The Architect bar oak table tops

Working with Chaunceys

In search of an experienced, reputable local company, Design West followed recommendations from their industry contacts and chose Chaunceys to consult on, supply, and install high-quality flooring for their refurb project.

Chauncey came highly recommended to us by contacts within the architecture sector. We had a fantastic experience working with Chaunceys — the work was of a very high standard and the team were so friendly and excellent at communicating progress of the project.

Dr Anna Rutherford, Director at Design West

If you need more information about soundproofing for your flooring project, please contact our friendly customer service team.