Soundproofing Your Floors: What You Need to Know

Learn about special considerations when installing an acoustic or soundproofing underlayment for your floors. Find out what materials work best for soundproofing and how to ensure you get the best results.

Soundproofing Your Floors: What You Need to Know

Noise is something that can be difficult to tolerate, and soundproofing your floors is one way to reduce the amount of noise in your home. But what are the special considerations when installing an acoustic or soundproofing underlayment for your floors? The base (with floor covering) must be acoustically tested to demonstrate how much impact noise it reduces. This is because not all underlying layers are created the same way, and you can't assume that a 5 mm underlay works the same as another. To soundproof a floor, materials with good noise-reducing qualities would be needed to achieve the desired acoustic insulation.

The quality of the soundproofing would also depend directly on the weight of the material used on or under the floor. To reduce noise on hardwood floors, you can place a floating floor or an acoustic rug. Base mats can absorb noise and vibrations even before they can pass through the floor structure. It also minimizes the transfer of airborne noise.

Acoustic floor mats can be installed under floor coverings, such as laminate floors, rugs, vinyls and tiles. In addition, it's best to consult a local flooring contractor before using any acoustic floor mat. In other places where there are no local requirements or legislation, it's good to have a base for acoustic floors. While far from being an exhaustive list of acoustic subfloor options, there are some materials that are better suited for soundproofing than others.

QT Underlayment is one such product made from recycled rubber that has been thoroughly tested in several hundred field and laboratory tests. Improved foam underlayers are also a better version of standard foam, but they tend to last longer. These materials are very effective when combined with other soundproofing materials, such as carpet padding and floor subfloor. Instead of just looking at one material, you should holistically analyze the needs of your application (aesthetics, high or low traffic, durability, acoustic needs) and choose the best equipped pavement material to offer good performance and provide value throughout its life cycle.

In addition to the bottom layer under the floor covering, carpet padding can reduce noise in the room, especially if you have a hard surface floor, such as tile and hardwood. The general rule is that if the finished floor would normally be installed loose, the base can also be installed loose. In apartment buildings, multi-level homes, hotels, apartment buildings, condominiums, and anywhere else where people are wandering above and below, the floor covering blocks the transmission of structural and aerial sounds.If soundproofing materials no longer provide you with a noise-proof home, it's probably time to repair or replace the floor. To ensure that you get the best results from your soundproofing efforts, make sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for adhesives and subfloors so as not to void the warranty.

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