How does it feel to be woken up in the middle of the night because of an upstairs floor that is not soundproof? An upstairs room can be a source of noise for those downstairs with babies crying, loud stereos, footsteps, pets scratching floors, you name it.
As such, when installing an upstairs floor, soundproof features should be at top of the list.
Important Factors When Considering an Upstairs floor
A major factor when choosing an upstairs floor is the noise level of the flooring type. Sound waves need to be absorbed to prevent spreading, multiplying and echoing off floors, the ceiling and walls.
In this case, you need an acoustic flooring that will prevent sound transmission from an upstairs room to a lower room. Noteworthy, the ceiling and wall also need to have some soundproof features. You need the floor to stop the transmission of impact sounds and airborne sounds.
Usually, the impact noise of a flooring type is measured by its Impact Insulation Class (IIC). The best upstairs floors have a high IIC. On the other hand, airborne sounds are measured using a sound transmission class (STC) rating which determines its airborne absorption capabilities. To further increase the soundproof of a floor, consider installing carpet pads, floating floors or a sound insulating underlay to enhance its IIC and STC rating.
When it comes to soundproof floors, tiles are the noisiest followed by hardwood floors. Whereas carpets are the best soundproof flooring material.
Additionally, you need the floor to be strong enough to support whatever floor that needs to be installed. For example, tiles will need a strong foundation to be installed on a second floor.
To add to that, consider other features of the flooring type including comfort, waterproof, durability, ease of maintenance, cost, whether you have pets and children among other factors.
Upstairs Room Flooring Options
Carpets are the coziest flooring type out there and the best at absorbing sounds. This make carpets a suitable upstairs floor type because of their ability to mitigate sound. If you need the carpet to further absorb sound in a room or reduce sound transmission, then you can consider a higher pile carpet or a carpet with a thick pad. You can also add a memory foam pad.
Carpets are available in a wide range of textures, colors, and sizes to suit different styles and preferences. Carpets are good for kids’ bedrooms because of their comfort features. The downside is that carpets tend to accumulate stains and collect dust and cleaning carpets is not as easy as cleaning other flooring types. Because children can be messy other flooring types that are easier to clean can be reviewed.
You can use laminate flooring in your upstairs room. Original laminate floors were not sound proof. Technological advances have taken laminates a notch higher in terms of features, including the capacity to muffle noise. You can hardly compare hardwood floors to laminates, hardwoods are noisier. To minimize noise further, consider installing a sound-insulating underlay.
Laminates are good for bedrooms and especially children bedrooms because they are warmer than hardwood floors and are easy to clean. Laminate is also easy to maintain making it perfect for your kids’ bedrooms. Because there are many varieties of laminate floors, make sure you look for a soundproof type.
Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)
LVT is resilient to sound. You can install luxury vinyl tiles with a sound-insulating underlay to enhance the soundproof features.
Although LVT is not as soft as a carpet it is soft enough for a bedroom. It is also not slippery making it an ideal flooring type for an upstairs bathroom if you want to avoid the noise that comes with tiles installed in upstairs rooms. LVT is also waterproof and ideal for water-prone areas.
If you must install a hardwood floor, then you may want to regard softer varieties like pine because they are better at deadening noise. However, if you must install a hardwood floor because of their value addition to your home, then there are various strategies you can use to deaden the noise. You can use soundproofing mats, acoustic laminate, mass loaded vinyl, acoustic underlay, acoustic mineral wool to name but some.
Wood floors have a timeless beauty to a premise increasing the market value and rent prices of a premise.