Underlayment for Hardwood Floor - Planned to Use Cork But Now Not Sure

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Old 04-03-18, 11:40 AM
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Underlayment for Hardwood Floor - Planned to Use Cork But Now Not Sure

I got approval from my HOA to install hardwood flooring on my 2nd floor condo. I told them that I would install an underlayment to reduce noise. It's a 1/2" engineered floor, and I would like to do a floating installation. The subfloor is gypcrete, so I cannot nail it. I was originally planning to use cork, because I've heard it has good acoustic properties. I had intended to buy 1/8", but it appears that I really shouldn't get anything less than 1/4". The 1/4" cork is pretty expensive, and it looks like the specs aren't as good as competing options. For half the price, I can get MP Global QuietWalk with an IIC of 66 and an STC of 71. The 1/4" cork has an IIC of 51 and an STC of 54. Am I understanding the numbers correctly? Is there something that I'm missing? I would like to go as ecofriendly as possible, so if it all possible, I'd like an underlayment with no formaldehyde, etc. That's what originally drew me to the cork.
 
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Old 04-03-18, 06:11 PM
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The gypcrete is your sound deadener. Also, you don't want to go too thick on your underlayment for a floating click lock floor. The possibility of too much flex can stress the joints. A simple 3in1 underlayment is all you need. Also important to go with what the floor manufacturer recommends or it will void any warranty for the flooring.
 
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Old 04-04-18, 01:02 PM
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Thanks for your advice. All I keep reading is about how the thicker the better. Are these people totally wrong? Some say that certain condos require 12mm cork which seems ridiculous. I was going to use 1/8", but I've read to go no smaller than 1/4". For my hardwood, I can use cork or a 3-in-1. I'm so confused and don't know what to choose. I keep reading how cork has great acoustic properties, but it looks like the other underlayments perform better. My floor is actually tongue and groove, but it's allowed to be floated.
 
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Old 04-04-18, 05:48 PM
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Your 3 in 1 is perfect for your application. Thicker is NOT better when it comes to click lock flooring. The extra flex will stress the joints of your click locks system. Floating flooring has an inherent clack sound when something is dropped on it, but it is quiet under regular use. So, don't sweat the little stuff, instead choose the floor that you love and move on. Your question really doesn't apply IMO.
 
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