Industry News

Sound-Engineered Floors

What are sound-engineered floors?
Sound engineered floors are also known as "soundproofed" floors, and are floors designed to limit the amount of airborne noise in a structure. Sound engineered floors can be used in conjunction with sound engineered walls and ceilings to reduce the amount of noise that travels from room to room within a structure. Sound engineered floors are often used in multi-family residential structures like apartments and townhouses where sound traveling through the floors is a problem.

How do sound engineered floors work?
Sound engineered floors reduce airborne noise by absorbing the sound waves through the addition of layers of varying density and disconnection points to the floor surface, a process called "damping." Since sound travels through vibration, the addition of layers and disconnection points to the floor surfaces limits the ability of the sound wave to vibrate to the other side of the floor and become audible sound, thereby reducing the level of airborne noise.

Adding insulation using mass-loaded vinyl
The most common way of soundproofing floors is to insulate the floor, or add a layer in between the bottom of the floor and the visible floor surface. To that end, mass-loaded vinyl is often used to soundproof floors. Mass-loaded vinyl can be installed on top of existing hard floor surfaces, such as hardwood, linoleum, or tile. Once the mass-loaded vinyl is added, a new hard floor surface is installed on top. Mass-loaded vinyl can also be used in conjunction with carpeting. In this case, the original carpeting, padding, and baseboard must be removed. Once the carpet materials have been removed, the mass-loaded vinyl should be stapled to the raw floor surface, or "sub-floor." Finally, after the mass-loaded vinyl is securely installed over the sub-floor, new padding and carpeting should be installed over the vinyl, and the baseboard should be reinstalled.

Additional Resources:
Cold Floors - Energy
Noise Barrier
Soundproofing - USCS

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Nora DePalma
Building Profits PR for Supress Products

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