Best underlayment for sound?


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Old 11-08-17, 11:28 PM
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Best underlayment for sound?

I'm about to install 1/2" locking solid stranded bamboo throughout my 1st floor and Ill be floating it over a wood subfloor. I want an underlayment that will make the floor both sound and feel like the real thing...as much as realistically possible, at least. I'm not concerned about noise transmission to the finished basement below, and I'm in a dry climate so I don't think that I'm concerned about having something that also acts as a vapor barrier (?).

I'm leaning towards either a high end foam (Floor Muffler, or similar) or cork. Some parts of the internet say that cork is the best, in terms of "sound dampening"....but I don't know if that means that it doesn't transmit sound to the rooms below or if it means that the floors will sound more "solid" (not hollow or clicky).

But I've also heard people say that the upper end foam underlayments are now better than cork, and cheaper. So, what does everybody think?

Thanks,
Eric
 
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Old 11-09-17, 04:54 AM
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Cork came to mind just from reading the title of your post. You might want to get an opinion from an independent stereo shop. I don't mean someone in Best Buy.
 
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Old 11-09-17, 07:20 AM
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I'm not sure I'm reading this right but it sounds like foam or cork would do the opposite of what you want by creating a less solid-feeling floor.
 
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Old 11-09-17, 07:47 AM
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stickshift, if you mean to say that I'd get a better sound and feel by gluing down the floors, I totally agree. But "we've" decided to float the floors so I have to choose something as an underlayment. I'm just looking for the best something that gives me the most authentic sound and feel when walked on....i.e. the best of my available options.
 
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Old 11-09-17, 10:21 AM
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Right, but it sounds like you're looking at soft underlayments, which are not going to give the sound and feel it seems like you want. I would think something like rosin paper would be a better choice.

Have you looked for a recommendation from the manufacturer?
 
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Old 11-09-17, 02:16 PM
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No, you put rosin paper or felt paper under nail down flooring. Floating uses a cushioned underlayment. I put down flooring with cork backing as well as lots with 3 in 1 foam underlayments. I can't tell the difference. The only time you get a clacky sound is if you drop something on it. You can go basic, you don't need one that is designed as a moisture barrier (although most provide some level of this). Roll it out and use duct tape to seam the pieces together to keep it flat and not bunched up. Only roll one 3 foot section of underlayment at a time, not the whole floor. Walking on it can cause stretching and bulging.
 
 

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