Soundproofing Floor: Tips for Deciding Which Material is Best for Your Project Soundproofing Floor: Tips for Deciding Which Material is Best for Your Project

If you have ever lived in a downstairs apartment then you know how important soundproofing floors can be. There two ways that this kind of noise is described, airborne and impact. Examples of airborne noises are talking and traffic. Impact sounds are things like footsteps or a slammed door. There are several solutions to this kind of sound transfer. Familiarizing yourself with the kinds of materials that are available is the first step in deciding what is right for your situation.


Putting down carpet with padding is an easy way to minimize sound transfer. The padding under the carpet adds to this insulating effect. The higher the pile of the carpet and the thicker the pad the more it will help. To make it even more effective, install an acoustical barrier or regular insulation under the padding. If you can’t take up the floor and you need some kind of sound insulation try laying down a heavy area rug.

Mass-loaded Vinyl Barrier

MLV was developed as a replacement for lead sheeting. This non-toxic barrier can be laid under the carpet or hard-surface floors such as tile and hardwood. It comes with or without a foam backing. Also, it is important to seal all edges of the MLV to ensure that it provides the maximum amount of sound deafening. 

Cork Underlayment

This natural material is designed to be placed under hardwood, ceramic tile, or stone floors. Because it has millions of air-filled cells it provides excellent insulation. It comes in rolls or sheets. Cork offers environmental benefits as well because it is a renewable resource. It comes from bark stripped from trees. This actually helps to increase the lifespan of the trees.  

Laminate Floor with Foam Backing

The foam does insulate the floor from noise but it also serves as a moisture barrier. Normally you would apply a foam underlayment separately when laying laminate floors. This product makes for a one-step process. This backing can also be made of plastic or cork.

Floating Floor

The best floor soundproofing is achieved by building a floating floor. It is also the most expensive and most labor-intensive solution. A floating floor is separate floor is built over the sub-floor but not attached to it. This floor type is often made of particle board and rests on rubber spacers. Then a new floor is laid on top of this layer. This type of structure can significantly reduce sound transfer.

Now that you are aware of the material options you have it’s time to consider other factors. Price can be a deal-breaker. When calculating the price be sure to include tools needed and the installation costs. Determine what parts of the project you are able and willing to complete and decide if you can do this yourself or if you will need a professional for the installation. Each process will also require a certain amount of time and inconvenience, be sure you establish a sufficient amount of time to deal with the installation process.

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