Noise is disturbing to workers in a commercial building. It can also be a nuisance to residents and guests in a residential building. Noise from other rooms or the outside is transmitted through the wall, ceiling, or floor. On the other hand, noise originating from a room in a building is either transmitted to other rooms or absorbed by the floor, wall, or ceiling. You can deaden the noise using soundproof flooring materials.
What is Sound Treatment?
Everyone desires a quiet living or working environment. A favorable workspace or living room has good floor, wall, and ceiling insulation. This is especially if you are using the room for special functions like recording music. For example, if you have a home recording studio, performing music or playing musical instruments.
Acoustic treatment involves noise insulation between floors, like insulating an apartment floor from exterior noise while reducing background noise. By using acoustical flooring products, you can reduce standing waves, echoes, and reverberation. The result is speech and sound enhancement from your TV or stereo. Soundproof floors also allow better sleep and a conducive working environment.
Sources of Noise in a Room
There are two main sources of noise in a room: impact sound and airborne noise.
There are many sources of impact sound, including foot traffic, dropping objects, and vibrating machines. Soundproof flooring prevents the transfer of noise from your room to the room below. Impact Insulation Class (IIC) is a rating system that determines the effectiveness of a floor type at preventing impact noise transmission. The higher the IIC, the more insulation a floor type will provide. IIC is measured in decibels using a hammer machine placed on an upper floor. There are various solutions to impact sound, including carpet pads, insulation underlayments, and floating floors.
As the name suggests, airborne sound is the noise that originates from the air, like noise from speakers, people, and instruments. Airborne sound also passes through a floor to go to other parts of a building. Sound Transmission Class (STC) is a rating system that determines a flooring material’s insulation against airborne sound. An STC measures a flooring capacity to absorb airborne noise and its ability to prevent the transmission of airborne noise.
How to Insulate Floors from Noise
The best way to soundproof a room is during its installation. You can deliberate on different flooring options. At that point, you can choose floors with a high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC). NRC is an acoustic floor testing method. Carpet flooring has the highest NRC in comparison to other flooring types.
That said, there are a few ways you can soundproof a room after the floor has been laid. You can consider a solid and not hollow door, use soundproof wall paint, replace the woods, move furniture from your walls, or improve your ceiling board.
Soundproof Flooring Solutions
What is soundproof or acoustic flooring? Acoustic flooring minimizes the noise that a floor is transmitting. It is using soundproof flooring to reduce the transmission of impact noise and airborne noise. We discuss various solutions which can help tone down the transmission of outgoing to other rooms and incoming noise to your room. As much as it is hard to totally soundproof a room, you can combine various strategies to reduce the noise transmission levels. You can combine one or two methods for better soundproofing.
1. Reduce Noise Transmission
If you are stuck with your current floor, you can use simple items to insulate your room against noise. You can use area rugs or rubber floor materials on flooring types like hardwoods to reduce noise levels. Cloth materials and rubber are useful in soundproofing a room. Dense rubber is compact and has no holes to allow noise to pass through. Besides that, you can also use floating floors. A floating floor sits on floor pads; it is not glued or nailed to the sub-floor.
2. Installing a New Acoustic Flooring
Some floors are good at sound insulation while others are not. The best floors for sound insulation are cork and carpet flooring. Consider soundproof carpet flooring. Wall-to-wall carpeting with a thick underneath pad is a good flooring option to prevent impact sound. They absorb sound well and reduce noise transmission. Moreover, if you want more noise reduction, you can combine carpet flooring with resin flooring or underlayments. Both vinyl tiles and luxury vinyl tiles are good at sound insulation, with LVTs having more insulation properties. However, wood and tiles are terrible at sound insulation and may need underlayments or other solutions to curb the noise.
3. Installing Soundproof Floor Underlayments
Underlayments are one of the best ways of soundproofing a room. However, it involves laying the underlayments directly on the sub-floor. As such, you should first take up your existing floor. This can turn out to be an expensive exercise. You should only use it for soundproofing one room or if the costs are justified. Some existing floors may require replacement because removing them will cause much wear and tears on the floors. If you need to do this, then you can consider replacing the floor with an acoustic floor.
For a more effective way to soundproof a room, you can use a combination of flooring ideas that will help to tackle both airborne noise and impacts sounds.