A guide to the best soundproof acoustic bases for wood and concrete floors. Performance against airborne and impact and final noise. The process involves selecting the right type of material for each application and installing it correctly to achieve optimal results. Professional installation is recommended for large-scale projects, while smaller projects can be done by DIYers with some basic knowledge about sound insulation.
Therefore, when installing a new laminate floor on your property, it is essential to invest in a suitable subfloor. And ideally, you'll want to look for one that can reduce sound by 20 to 30 dB or more. Soundproofing is a specialty that revolves around the effective control of unwanted noise, with several soundproofing materials used to mitigate the effects of noise. From people who want a quieter home and peace of mind, from noisy neighbors next door to businesses that need to reduce the impact of the noise they produce in surrounding areas, soundproofing comes with a long list of causes and solutions.
In fact, there are a myriad of soundproofing materials you can choose from to apply them to different uses. Some are more suitable or effective than others, which depends largely on the type of noise created, the source of the noise, the structure of the building, the construction of the wall, and several other key factors. To understand soundproofing materials and their performance, it's important to mention that sound is a form of energy. Soundproofing materials work to reduce the sound pressure created from the source to the receiver.
In this in-depth article, we'll explore the 30 best-known soundproofing materials in more detail, how they work, and where they're best used. Before exploring soundproofing materials, it is recommended to first understand the key differences between sound absorption and soundproofing. It's a common misconception that sound absorption is the same as soundproofing. First, as part of a soundproofing system, as a material that is invariably added within a structure, such as between the gaps created in a wall of uprights, which can reverberate sound, adding sound absorption can prevent this.
Soundproofing is sound insulation, that is, the prevention of sound waves from passing or leaving a room. All solid materials, which have a thick consistency and are dense or somewhat heavy, can help block sound. Increasing the mass and density of a wall construction can be achieved with concrete, for example, or with dense finishing boards, such as plasterboard, drywall or plasterboard. Decoupling is best done during the construction phase of a building.
Constrained layer damping is a principle of using specific materials in particular proportions to reduce the natural resonant frequencies of the structure, thus reducing the resulting flanking transmissions from one side of the structure to the other. These essential soundproofing principles described above work independently, but they can also complement each other. There is an extensive list of soundproofing materials you can choose from for various applications. Each of these materials has different best-use scenarios and works by one or more of the soundproofing principles described above.
It is considerably lighter and allows a greater thermal conversion of energy from acoustic energy to less problematic heat energy and its transfer through itself. By doing so, they will effectively crowd the airspace normally found in these areas and, therefore, the transmission of sounds is hampered or considerably reduced by their presence. Specialized types of soundproof windows use the principle of decoupling to reduce sound entering or leaving the room where they are installed. These windows usually have thick glass panels and a layer of trapped air between each layer.
This is another type of architectural soundproofing solution. Like soundproof windows, soundproof doors are designed to use the principle of greater depth and mass, as well as decoupling to reduce sound transmission. They should make a notable difference in internal acoustics and audible values, but if you're looking for a sound-blocking solution, there are much better materials you should consider. Soundproofing materials come in all shapes and types, as we have already described.
Needless to say, it's also important to consider the quality of the particular soundproofing material you intend to use to achieve the best possible results. This soundproofing material is very effective in reducing noise entering or leaving a room, and it also improves internal acoustics. Elastic sound channels are strips of metal or wood that are installed on walls so that the soundproof insulation inside the walls is held securely in place, while providing a platform on which all finishing systems can be fixed. This comes in different thicknesses and promotes a higher class of sound transmission than the other common types of drywall used in everyday construction, due to its greater density and mass.
Soundproof drywall usually combines several layers of plasterboard, along with steel, with the main purpose of increasing its density and mass to effectively block sound. That said, any type of drywall can work well for soundproofing as long as decoupling is taken into account. To achieve good results in terms of soundproofing, it is important to choose thick drywall together with other soundproofing methods, such as the Acoustiblok 3 mm insulating membrane, sealants, tapes and sealants, for example. As an alternative, plywood can be used, as the construction is similar with multiple layers of oppositely oriented wood fibers, creating stiffness and strength with an increase in mass and density.
There are different types of subfloor for soundproof floors, but felt subfloor is one of the most popular options for floors of various types, including laminate flooring, hardwood, and engineered wood. Anti-vibration soundproof mats help eliminate annoying buzzing and vibration. These types of mats are effective at reducing noise and, because they eliminate vibrations, are also ideal for installation under and inside machinery and appliances, as well as for soundproofing cars. It is mainly used in the construction of walls that require soundproofing, since it can be applied directly between layers of different materials, Acoustiblok insulating membrane, drywall or plasterboard.
Basically, it is a form of sealant that significantly reduces leaks and can be used to counteract the heads of mechanical fasteners. Spraying will naturally produce a thicker layer, making it generally the recommended application method for soundproof paint. That said, soundproof painting is not the most effective soundproofing method and will not produce significant results. Due to its lack of mass once applied, the resulting soundproofing effects can mix.
Mass is one of the main principles of soundproofing, so it is difficult to have a thickness considered adequate using only wallpaper. Soundproof wallpaper is usually made of closed-cell polyethylene foam. It has very good sound-absorbing properties, so soundproof wallpaper can and should act as an acoustically absorbing layer, but because it's so thin, the effects are minimal at best, but again the saying “every little counts” could be applied. Since soundproof wallpaper comes in a variety of designs, it's obviously more aesthetically pleasing than acoustic foam and is much easier and less invasive to install.
Because these windows are built to include several layers of glass, each of which is quite thick, the amount of sound entering or leaving a room is minimal. Soundproof windows are effective and can even be installed just above existing windows as needed. Soundproof doors are thicker, ruggedly constructed, designed to effectively block sound entering or leaving a room. In these doors you won't find openings, such as mesh flaps or pet doors, as the emphasis on soundproofing cannot be minimized leaving room for any type of opening.
Fire doors are a good example of soundproof doors. In fact, soundproof blankets are probably the most practical option for someone on a tight budget who wants a temporary, mobile solution. Some fencing solutions will be as expected, built with thick and dense materials to work mainly in mass and density to block the line of sight. These types of fences are excellent when a new structure must be built, although they are time consuming and expensive due to the amount of material and labor involved in assembling them.
Installing soundproof fences is quite quick, easy and effortless. We have also explained which products work best in different scenarios, in accordance with one or more basic principles of soundproofing. If you're currently considering soundproofing your home, business premises, or perhaps a particular room, such as a recording studio, home theater system, or workshop, hopefully you can now make a well-informed decision about the best soundproofing method and the best materials to use. This creates an attractive finish thanks to the vinyl and a reduction in the sound of the acoustic base that changes the room.
However, with modern soundproofing solutions, such as decorative acoustic panels and curtains, you can improve the look of your space while reducing noise levels. The gold EPE foam base is 3 mm thick and offers slightly higher acoustic protection than the general silver option. The sound insulation of the ceiling can be carried out using acoustic partitions, placing some insulating blocks between the beams, or using soundproof tiles to absorb noise. The acoustic base layer with LVT creates a soundproofing barrier above the floor that reduces impact sound and increases sound absorption.
A good example is the use of acoustic brackets, acoustic hangers or elastic channels, which will help to disengage the drywall from the rest of the building structure. Acoustic panels are considered a decorative alternative to acoustic foam and come in a range of colors, shapes, and designs. If you choose a floating wooden floor, it is essential to install an acoustic base for the wooden floor, as it will limit the transmission of noise and impacts from one room or floor to another. One of the elements of the system is the use of acoustic mineral wool (as mentioned above), which acts as an acoustic insulator.
We have discussed the importance of knowing if the floor to which the acoustic base is going to be added is a wooden or concrete floor and the importance of the final floor finishes. For example, FloorVenue has Marvel SPC Hybrid floors, which have a pre-installed 6-star acoustic base. Always be sure to purchase soundproof bases that have a product data sheet to prove that they have been tested by acoustic technicians. Acoustic mineral wool offers a high level of sound absorption and sound insulation within dividing cavities.