Soundproofing Your Flooring at Home
Whether you live in an apartment or a multi-level residence (or even a single level home for that matter!), soundproofing is important for creating a comfortable living environment. Much of the soundproofing work happens during the installation and product selection stages however you can make some improvements without installing new flooring if you’re unable to make the bigger changes. Here are some of our tips for acoustic control in your home.
Carpet is the most successful flooring product for minimising noise transfer. The soft fibres, just like fabric, absorb sound at a much higher rate than hard flooring and it’s no surprise that places like bars, cinemas, apartment blocks, aeroplanes and other spaces utilise carpet for this very reason (and its cosy comfort factor too!). For sounds that impact flooring, such as chairs scraping, foot traffic and items being dropped- and reducing reverberation, carpet (along with underlay, see below) is the best option.
Underlay is essential under carpet for many reasons, such as prolonging the life of carpet, making it more comfortable to walk on and thermal qualities. Acoustically, it also is beneficial, giving an added layer to the floor to absorb and control the movement of noise. In open-plan spaces and multi-level living, this is particularly important.
If carpet is not a possibility and you wish to control the acoustics in your home a rug is a great idea. They look fantastic, feel wonderful underfoot and help protect more vulnerable areas of hard (or soft) flooring. A rug is an excellent option for so many reasons!
Hard Flooring Styles
Thankfully with new technology, there are several great options for reducing sound while enjoying the benefits of hard flooring. Some hybrid and vinyl flooring products include an acoustic underlay attached as part of the board construction, meaning fewer installation worries or hassle. There are also separate underlays for laminate, engineered boards and solid timber floors. They help to reduce noise but also add an effective layer of moisture protection. Every home is unique and asking a flooring expert which product will work best for you ensures you have a product you will love for years to come.
The more fabrics and softer materials to counter hard, cold surface in the home the better when trying to absorb excessive noise. As a decorative tool, they also bring comfort, visual interest and are practical too (throw rugs and cushions etc.). Curtains and fabrics which are heavier and plusher work particularly well.