Best Flooring For Soundproofing

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

If you live in a high-story building, it is very likely that your apartment has noise insulation issues. And while you can’t do anything about thin walls or the background sounds coming from noisy neighbors below, you can change the characteristics of your floor by sound proofing them and therefore minimizing noise pollution.

Below, you can find out more on setting up soundproof underlay, what’s the best soundproof underlayment, as well as some additional advice, so let’s get into it!

ways to sound proof a floor

What To Look For In Soundproof Flooring Materials

  • Sound Transmission Class – or STC, is a number that indicates how good the flooring materials are at airborne noise reduction. Ideally, you would want the STC level of your flooring material to be as high as possible.
  • Impact Insulation Class – or IIC, is the number that tells you how good the flooring material is at reducing impact sounds. If you want to reduce the impact noise level, the Impact Insulation Class IIC should be as high as possible.
  • Thickness and Density – flooring materials with higher density structure and thickness are usually more expensive wood floors. However, they are much better at impact noise reduction.

Soundproofing Flooring

More than one flooring material is good at sound absorption, so let’s see which one will work best for you and choose the best sound-absorbing flooring.

1. Acoustic Underlayment

Acoustic underlayment is a great choice to go for, as acoustic flooring is very easy to apply and very good at sound insulation of both airborne noise such as in a studio and impactive noise from weights hitting the floor from a home exercise room. All you need to do is apply the acoustic underlay over your floors, and that cushion will definitely help with sound reduction.

2. Mass Loaded Vinyl Flooring

Mass-loaded vinyl is heavy, but it is quite thin and just as good when used as sound-absorbing floor insulation. This type of floor materials is very easy to install onto your floors, as you can customize it by cutting it however you need it to provide acoustic insulation and sound control. It also won’t add much depth to your existing flooring due to its thickness, so you’ll have great soundproofing floors without much change to your surroundings.

3. Sound Absorbing Floor Insulation

Sound absorbing floor insulation is something that you can put around the floor joists. The main use of this is to make sure that sound waves don’t reverberate throughout your space. This is a great choice, especially if you are just starting with your flooring project, and it has great acoustic characteristics.

This type of sound-absorbing flooring is great for bass traps, recording studios, as well as home theaters.

4. Sound Absorbing Carpet Padding

Carpet pads and carpet tiles are a great way to have a thick and dense surface on your floors without much additional effort. Carpet padding will be great for absorbing sounds, no matter if the ambient sounds are from airborne sound sources or impact sounds. Such an area where this application can be used successfully is on stairwell flooring to prevent creaking and minimise sound transmission.

The carpet will absorb sound greatly just by itself, but if you need something more, you can always add a sound-insulating underlay before you place the carpet down.

5. Acoustic Floor Tiles

This type of acoustic flooring is made specifically to insulate sound and reduce echo and reverberation. This is usually meant for spaces that have hardwood floors or hard flooring materials in general. All you need to do with these is lay them on top of your flooring, and it will help with all kinds of noise, whether it’s foot traffic or airborne sounds.

Frequently Asked Questions
✓ What is the cheapest way to soundproof a floor?

The cheapest and also most straightforward way to deal with airborne sounds and poor sound quality in your home is to add rug pads or some type of thick pad carpeting. Carpets are great at absorbing sound, so if you have laminate floors or any kind of wood flooring, like hardwood floors, this is great if you need something to absorb sound.

✓ Does vinyl plank flooring absorb sound?

Yes, vinyl flooring is great to use as a sound-insulating underlay or as the floor by itself if you don’t already work with an existing floor. Some pros about using vinyl, especially if you can afford luxury vinyl tile, are the ease of customization and application, as well as the fact that the vinyl won’t add any significant depth to the floor, so you will have something to absorb sounds and improve the acoustic performance without much change to the space.

✓ Is laminate flooring good for soundproofing?

Laminate flooring is very common; however, it’s very acoustic flooring, so it won’t absorb sound that well. If you have the choice, it would be a better option to go for something like carpet, vinyl, or rubber flooring. If you don’t have the choice and you have to work with something that’s already there, it’s best to add rugs and carpets over it.