Any noise generated inside a building will either be absorbed, reflected or transmitted by the walls, ceiling and flooring.
While acoustic ceiling and wall treatments protect against the transmission of sound from room to room, acoustic flooring effectively reduces noise disturbances from an upper floor to a lower floor. It ensures compliance with Part E of building regulations for new builds and refurbishment projects as well.
There are various options when it comes to soundproofing floors – but to determine the best one for your building, there are several factors you need to consider first…
- Type of noise
Acoustic flooring can prevent the transmission of two types of noise:
- Impact – the sound energy generated by impacts (i.e. foot traffic, doors banging, vibrating machines, moving furniture, etc.). Impact noise is transmitted through the structure of the building and can disturb workers, guests or residents.
- Airborne – the sound that is transmitted by the air, like people talking, dogs barking, music, TV noise. Much like impact noise, the vibrations from airborne noise can travel through the floors and into other parts of the building.
Most of us will have experienced impact and airborne noise, or a combination of the two, at some point.
But to specify the best products for soundproofing your floors, you need to be clear on what you want to achieve. For example, some products are only suitable for combatting impact noise, some are designed to block impact airborne noise instead. Meanwhile, Cellecta Screedboard 28 has a resilient layer that reduces both impact and airborne sound transmission.
- Type of soundproofing product
From acoustic battens to cradles, decking and screedboard, there are countless options when it comes to acoustic flooring.
Typically, acoustic decking is applied over the top of the existing base floor and the overlay board is fixed together with tongue and groove edges and wood joint adhesive. It’s a cost-effective solution for larger areas and is relatively simple to install.
Acoustic cradles, on the other hand, are used to create a level floor finish whilst reducing impact and airborne sound at the same time. And acoustic battens are suitable for concrete, timber and steel floors, and can enhance the acoustics, but the floor must be level before they are applied.
Lastly, Cellecta Screedboard is an award-winning acoustic overlay treatment that is specifically designed for soundproofing and underfloor heating applications. This single layer treatment looks and feels like screed but is just 28mm thick – which is great if increased floor heights are an issue. Whilst Screedboard 28 offers an excellent alternative to wet screed, it is mostly used in timber frame construction.
- Type of flooring
When choosing a final floor finish, of course, you want it to look great. But certain flooring materials are better at preventing sound than others.
Let’s take a look at some of the best acoustic flooring materials:
- Carpet – well-known for mitigating impact sound, carpet is a popular choice for hotels, classrooms and offices. Higher pile carpets or thicker options are particularly good at absorbing sound and reducing transmission.
- Cork – perfect for commercial applications, cork flooring is a sustainable yet comfy flooring option that has excellent sound absorption properties. However, due to its tendency to stain and indent, it’s typically used as an underlay for acoustic insulation.
- Rubber – although rubber flooring is renowned for its sound-absorbent qualities, it’s also slip, mould and mildew resistant – meaning it’s a safe choice for hospitals, schools, gyms and kitchens.
- Vinyl tile – popular for its design versatility, durability and ease of maintenance, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), installed with an acoustic underlay, is a fantastic flooring option for minimising the transfer of unwanted sounds.
- Wood plastic composite (WPC) – not just durable, waterproof and easy to maintain, WPC flooring can reduce impact noises like footsteps. Thanks to its backing layer, it provides sound insulation and also protects your floors against mould and mildew.
Always factor in the cost of acoustic flooring systems and new flooring.
Screedboard is suitable for all types of concrete and timber floors and is one of the more luxury products supplied and installed by the experts at JCW Acoustic Flooring. It provides a higher level of airborne noise reduction, but it can be relatively expensive when compared to others.
So, be sure to set yourself a realistic budget when soundproofing your floors. And for more tips, or to employ the expertise of JCW, call 01204 548 400 today.