As someone who has experienced the annoyance of hearing loud footsteps and creaky floors from the apartment above me, I understand the importance of a good soundproofing underlay for floors.
In this article, I will be sharing with you the 6 best floor soundproofing underlay options that are suitable for all types of floors.
Irrespective of whether you reside in an apartment, a house, or desire to decrease noise levels in your home, implementing these soundproofing options can create a serene and cozy living environment.
So, let’s dive in and explore the options available!
Why invest in floor soundproofing underlay
Reduce noise transmission
One of the primary reasons to invest in floor soundproofing underlay is to reduce the transmission of noise between floors.
Soundproofing underlay can prevent noise from travelling through floors and disturbing neighbors or other occupants of your home, regardless of whether you live in an apartment building, townhouse, or single family home with multiple levels.
Improve acoustic performance
Soundproofing underlay can also improve the acoustic performance of a room. This is especially crucial if you use the space for activities that demand high-quality sound such as music or home theatre.
Soundproofing underlay can also add an extra layer of cushioning and comfort underfoot.
Having soundproofing underlay can provide significant advantages, particularly in rooms with high foot traffic or where you frequently stand or walk.
Increase home value
installing soundproofing underlay can increase the value of your home. Living in a noisy area or planning to sell your home in the future can make it particularly beneficial to invest in floor soundproofing underlay.
Homes that already have soundproofing measures installed may be more appealing to buyers who are willing to pay an extra cost for a quieter and more peaceful living space.
Structural Noise vs Airborne Noise
Noise pollution can be categorized into two primary types: structural noise and airborne noise.
Structural noise is created by vibrations that travel through a building’s structure.
This type of noise is often caused by machinery, heavy equipment, or footsteps on a hard surface.
In multi-level buildings, structural noise can pose a significant challenge as it has the ability to travel through floors and walls.
airborne noise is generated by sound waves that propagate through the air.
This type of noise is often caused by loud music, voices, or traffic.
Airborne noise can be more easily controlled with insulation or soundproofing materials, as these materials can absorb or block sound waves.
To effectively reduce noise pollution, it is crucial to initially determine the origin of the noise.
If the noise is coming from structural vibrations, you may need to install vibration-dampening materials or relocate the source of the vibrations.
Soundproofing Capacity: STC & IIC
When it comes to soundproofing, there are two factors you consider STC and IIC.
STC stands for Sound Transmission Class and measures the ability of a material to block sound from passing through it.
The higher the STC rating, the better the material is at blocking sound.
On the other hand, IIC stands for Impact Insulation Class and measures the ability of a material to absorb impact noise, such as footsteps or furniture being moved.
Like STC, the higher the IIC rating, the better the material is at reducing impact noise.
But how do you know what STC and IIC rating you need for your specific situation?
The determining factors may vary, including the amount of noise you wish to prevent, the building’s construction type, and the regulations set forth by local building codes.
Living in an apartment complex may necessitate meeting specific STC and IIC ratings to maintain a low noise level.
Similarly, constructing a home theatre will demand investing in materials with high STC ratings to prevent sound leakage and disturbance to other parts of the house.
So, whether you’re looking to soundproof a single room or an entire building, understanding STC and IIC ratings can help you make informed decisions about which materials to use.
By using appropriate soundproofing materials, you can establish a tranquil and cozy atmosphere that is devoid of any undesired noise.
Limitations of STC/IIC
The Sound Transmission Class (STC) and the Impact Insulation Class (IIC) are the most widely used metrics for measuring sound transmission in buildings.
These metrics are essential in determining the soundproofing performance of building materials and structures.
One of the main limitations of STC/IIC is that they only measure sound transmission in a laboratory setting, which is not always reflective of real-world conditions.
Factors such as humidity, temperature, and the presence of building occupants can significantly affect sound transmission, making laboratory results unreliable.
Another limitation is that STC/IIC only measures sound transmission in a single frequency range, typically between 125 Hz and 4000 Hz.
This range is sufficient for measuring speech and most other everyday noises, but it does not account for low-frequency sounds such as bass or the rumble of heavy machinery.
As a result, STC/IIC may not accurately predict the sound transmission of materials and structures in environments with low-frequency noise sources.
Furthermore, STC/IIC do not account for the effects of flanking transmission, which occurs when sound waves travel through unintended pathways, such as walls or ceilings, that are not intended to be soundproof.
Flanking transmission can significantly reduce the soundproofing performance of building materials and structures, but it is not accounted for in STC/IIC measurements.
buying guide for floor soundproofing underlay
My sole purpose in providing this buying guide is to lead you to the place where you can get the complete information and identify the right floor soundproofing underlay that you need.
There are several materials used for soundproofing underlay, including rubber, cork, foam, and felt. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, consider which one would work best and best fit for floor.
The thickness of the underlay will affect its soundproofing capabilities. thick underlay gives you better soundproofing.
The density of the underlay is also essential. The denser the underlay, the better it will absorb sound and reduce noise transmission.
Ensure that the underlay you choose is compatible with your flooring type. Some underlays do not work properly with certain types of flooring, such as vinyl or laminate.
price of the underlay will depend on the material, thickness, and density. Consider your budget and value you will get from the product before making a purchase.
6 best floor soundproofing underlay for soundproofing
All these products have been reviewed and rated by all premium customers and experts, which we have listed below.
This list is kept short or so because I don’t want to confuse you. We did all this while keeping the budget in mind so that everyone can afford it. You definitely have to read the conclusions so that you will know which one is right for you.
1. Roberts Super Felt Underlayment Premium
Looking for high-quality insulating underlayment to improve the acoustics of your space?
Consider Roberts 70-190A 70-190 Super Felt Insulating Underlayment.
This product offers a thickness of 4mm, a width of 44 inches, and a length of 27-1/3 feet, providing coverage for up to 100 square feet per roll.
Super Felt is a sustainable and long-lasting choice that is created by compressing recycled fibers at high temperatures.
It provides excellent insulation, helping to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year by keeping floors warm in winter and cool in summer season.
This product is suitable for use over both concrete and wood subfloors.
What sets Super Felt apart from other underlayments is its ability to absorb noise instead of deflecting it, resulting in a deep, rich sound.
The film overlay provides additional protection for your flooring by guarding against moisture from the subfloor.
Each roll of Super Felt also comes equipped with an adhesive strip and 1-3/4” overlap for linking multiple rolls, making installation a breeze.
With an STC rating of 66 and 11C rating of 67, as well as a rating of 21 and RValue of 58, Super Felt is an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve the acoustics and comfort of their space.
- High STC and IIC ratings
- easy to install
- Can be difficult to remove
- can be bulky
- can be heavy
2. QuietWalk Plus
QuietWalk Plus is a popular choice for a floor soundproofing underlay.
This underlayment is constructed from recycled fibers and is installed between the subfloor and finished floor to minimize the transmission of noise through the floor.
The QuietWalk Plus has a high STC rating of 71, which means it is very effective at blocking sound transmission and a high IIC rating of 66, which means it is very effective at reducing impact noise such as footsteps.
QuietWalk Plus is designed to protect your floors from moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew. QuietWalk Plus is easy to install, you can do it yourself without the need for a professional.
It comes in rolls and is easy to cut and fits the size of your room. the QuietWalk Plus is an affordable option for a soundproofing underlay, it’s not the cheapest option, but it does offer great value for money.
- High STC and IIC ratings
- moisture protection
- easy to install
3. Natural Cork Underlayment
Natural cork underlayment is a type of soundproofing material made from the bark of cork oak trees.
This is a sustainable and eco-friendly option, as the bark can be harvested every 9 years without harming the tree. Cork underlayment is known for its excellent soundproofing properties.
It has a high sound transmission class (STC) rating, which measures its effectiveness at reducing sound transmission through the floor.
This means it is great at blocking out unwanted noise from neighbours, traffic or any other outside noise.
In addition to its soundproofing properties, cork underlayment also has a high Impact Insulation Class (IIC) rating.
This means that it is effective at reducing impact noise, such as footsteps or furniture moving on the floor.
It is an ideal choice for individuals seeking to establish a serene living atmosphere, particularly in multi-level households.
It is effortless to install cork underlayment, and it is compatible with various flooring types, such as hardwood, laminate, and tile.
It is also light, flexible and comfortable underfoot.
- Reduces sound transmission
- Compatible with a wide range of flooring types
- Acts as a crack isolation membrane
- Easy to install
- Thickness may not be suitable for all flooring types
4. 3in1 Silent Vapor Barrier
A 3in1 Silent Vapor Barrier is a type of underlayment used to help soundproof floors.
It is called a “3in1” product because it performs three main functions: soundproofing, moisture protection and insulation.
3in1 Silent Vapor Barrier helps to soundproof floors by creating a barrier between the subfloor and the finished floor.
This barrier helps reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted through the floor, making the room quieter and more comfortable. the vapour barrier protects the floor from moisture.
This is important because moisture can damage the floor and lead to mold or mildew.
The vapour barrier helps keep moisture out while keeping the floor in good condition. the 3in1 Silent Vapor Barrier provides insulation.
It helps keep the room warm in winter and cool in summer, making living in it more comfortable.
It also helps reduce energy costs by keeping the room at a uniform temperature. The 3in1 Silent Vapor Barrier is easy to install.
It comes in rolls and can be cut to fit the size of the room. It can be installed under most types of flooring including hardwood, laminate and tile.
- Moisture barrier
- Easy installation
- Limited thermal insulation
- Not suitable for all flooring types
- May not be thick enough for some applications
5. FloorMuffler UltraSeal Underlayment
Floormuffler UltraSeal underlayment is also a popular option when it comes to soundproofing your floors.
It is designed to reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted through the floor and give your home or office more comfortable and peaceful environment.
One of the great things about this underlayment is that it has a high Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of 72.
This means that it is very effective at preventing sound from passing through the floor.
It also has a high Impact Insulation Class (IIC) rating of 71, which means it is also very effective at reducing impact noise such as footsteps.
Another advantage of Floormuffler UltraSeal underlayment is that it is easy to install.
It is a roll-out product that is easily cut to fit any room size, and it can be installed over any subfloor without the need for additional adhesives.
This underlayment is also made from a unique blend of soundproofing materials, consisting of closed-cell foam and a high-density fibre core.
This makes it a durable and long-lasting product that can withstand heavy foot traffic and daily use.
In terms of cost, Floormuffler UltraSeal underlayment is considered a mid-range product.
It is more expensive than some other underlayments on the market, but it is also more effective at blocking sound and impacting noise.
- Moisture barrier
- Easy installation
- Not compatible with some flooring types
6. Floorlot 200sqft Laminate Flooring Underlayment
Introducing Floorlot Blue Flooring Underlayment with Moisture Barrier, an essential product for anyone looking to install laminate or hardwood floors.
This underlayment is 3mm thick and comes in a convenient 200 sq. ft. roll, providing ample coverage for your flooring needs.
Floorlot Blue offers standard sound absorption that helps reduce noise from foot traffic and minimizes the hollow sound associated with floating floors.
You can now enjoy a more peaceful environment in your home or office.
Installation is fast and easy with this underlayment. The attached moisture-resistant tape allows for seamless connection of the underlayment sheets.
Additionally, the built-in moisture blocking film provides essential protection for your floors from harmful subfloor moisture, eliminating the need for additional films.
Not only does Floorlot Blue offer soundproofing and moisture protection, but it also maximizes comfort.
The cushioned foam underlayment smooths out minor subfloor imperfections and irregularities while providing increased thermal and sound insulation.
This underlayment is suitable for use with laminate, engineered wood, and solid hardwood floor systems.
Make the installation process of your new floors smoother and more comfortable with Floorlot Blue Flooring Underlayment with Moisture Barrier.
- Moisture barrier
- Easy to install
- Compatible with various types of flooring
- May not provide sufficient cushioning
- Not suitable for high-traffic areas
- Thin material
- May require additional adhesive
- Some users report a chemical odor
FAQs for floor soundproofing underlay
If the questions are coming to your mind, search here, if you do not find them, comment to us, and we will definitely answer your question.
What is floor soundproofing underlay?
Floor soundproofing underlay is a layer of material that goes underneath flooring to reduce noise transmission from one room to another.
What types of flooring can I use soundproofing underlay with?
A variety of flooring types such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and carpet can benefit from the use of a soundproofing underlay.
What are the benefits of using soundproofing underlay?
Soundproofing underlay can help reduce noise pollution and provide a more peaceful environment in your home or office. In addition, it can offer padding, thermal insulation, and safeguard against moisture.
How thick should the underlay be?
Typically, most applications require a thickness of 3mm to 5mm for soundproofing underlay, although the thickness may vary depending on the product.
Can soundproofing underlay completely eliminate noise?
While soundproofing underlay can significantly reduce noise transmission, it cannot completely eliminate it. Other factors such as building structure and construction can also impact noise transmission.
Can I install soundproofing underlay myself?
Yes, many soundproofing underlay products are designed for easy installation and can be done by a DIY enthusiast.
soundproofing underlay can make a significant difference in reducing noise pollution and creating a more peaceful environment in your home or office.
However, we’ve curated a list of the six best floor soundproofing underlay for all types of floors to make the selection process more manageable.
From the Roberts Super Felt to the Acoustik Underlayment, each of these products offers superior soundproofing capabilities and is compatible with a wide range of flooring types.
With various thicknesses, densities, and materials, there is an underlay that can cater to your specific requirements.
Remember to consider factors such as material, thickness, density, compatibility, and price before making a purchase.
By selecting the appropriate soundproofing underlay, you can create a more comfortable living or working environment, leading to an overall improvement in your well-being.