If you're looking to improve the soundproofing of your home or office, you may be considering installing an acoustic underlay. But what if you already have existing flooring? Can you still install an acoustic underlay on top of it? The answer is yes, but there are a few things to consider before doing so. If removing the existing flooring and replacing it is not an option, you can still install sound mats over the existing finish floor. However, you will need to add another layer of flooring on top of the sound mat.
Carpet is a great option for this, as it can easily be placed directly on top of all the acoustic layers and mats. The Reverso models (SoundMat, SoundMat 3 Plus, and SoundMat 2 Plus) will require grab bars to be raised around the perimeter. In addition to the initial acoustic benefits, installing an acoustic underlay can also help your existing flooring last longer and look better. When choosing a carpet for your acoustic underlay, make sure to look for one that has sound-insulating properties.
Companies that sell carpet layers often quote a figure in dB, which indicates how much airborne noise is blocked on a concrete floor. However, this figure only represents 5% of the bottom layer of carpet. It's also important to consider what type of flooring you have - wood or concrete - and what type of final finish you want for your floor. If you choose a floating wooden floor, it is essential to install an acoustic base for the wooden floor, as this will limit the transmission of noise and impacts from one room or floor to another.
When it comes to small and fragile tiles, it's not advisable to place them on soft, padded bases (such as acoustic bases), as this increases the likelihood of them cracking and breaking. The soundproofing properties of carpets also do not undergo the same tests as those of the base and soundproof mats.