How Do You Reduce Noisy Laminate Flooring?

How Do You Reduce Noisy Laminate Flooring?

We will tell you why laminate flooring makes noise, how to improve sound insulation and choose the right floor covering without noise. The durable and rigid surface of the laminate responds to the touch of heels and falling objects with a rather loud response. How to make it less voiced?

Why does laminate flooring make a lot of noise?

Decking technology plays a significant role in increasing impact noise when moving along the laminate . An air gap remains between the floating planks and the base. If the laminate is laid directly on a concrete screed or, even worse, on an insufficiently aligned one, then with each step the planks will come into contact with it and make characteristic clattering sounds. Moreover, the air gap will strengthen them, producing a drum effect. Not only the residents themselves suffer from this, but also the neighbors below.

2 ways to reduce noise

There are several options for improving the situation.

1. Place underlayment pad

For example, between the laminate and the base can be placed a substrate of expanded polyethylene, extruded polystyrene foam, cork, wood fibers. It will act as a shock absorber and effectively dampen impact noise. The optimum thickness of sound-absorbing materials is 2-3 mm.

Along with absorbing noise, substrates level out the smallest irregularities in the substrate
Along with absorbing noise, substrates level out the smallest irregularities in the substrate

5 rules for laying laminate on a substrate

  1. Substrate irregularities of more than 2 mm over a length of 2 m must be leveled.
  2. Before laying the substrate, a waterproofing film with a thickness of at least 0.2 mm is laid on the base, the overlap lines are fixed with adhesive tape.
  3. For the most effective leveling of impact noise, specialized sound-absorbing substrates are used.
  4. The density of the substrate should be more than 30 kg / m³, the optimal thickness is 2 mm on a wooden base and 3 mm on a concrete or cement-sand base.
  5. The backing sheets are laid end-to-end.

2. Choose a laminate with a built-in sound-absorbing layer

To avoid wasting time laying the underlayment, you can purchase a laminate with a built-in sound-absorbing layer, in this case, between the base and the laminate, it is sufficient to lay only a polyethylene film of 200 microns for waterproofing.

The structure of the laminate with a built-in soundproofing base: 1 - top layer (protective + decorative + double kraft layer); 2 - base from HDF board; 3 - aluminum lock; 4 - stabilizing layer; 5 - noise-absorbing substrate
The structure of the laminate with a built-in soundproofing base: 1 – top layer (protective + decorative + double kraft layer); 2 – base from HDF board; 3 – aluminum lock; 4 – stabilizing layer; 5 – noise-absorbing substrate

Interior cork floors has two stopper layer (upper and lower bases of HDFplity). Thanks to their elasticity, walking on such a floor is very comfortable, and it turns out it is almost silent. And the neighbors below will not be disturbed by dancing, games and, possibly, various objects falling on the floor.

How to check the quietness of a laminate when buying?

When visiting a specialty store, take a regular laminate plank and a laminate plank with a sound absorbing layer and tap on them. The difference should be noticeable, as well as the cost of conventional and “quiet” coverage.

At the same time, it should be understood that a laminate with a sound-absorbing layer of a small thickness of 1–2 mm, fixed on a strip, cannot significantly affect the sound insulation of airborne noise. And the loud music coming from an apartment with such a floor will certainly be heard by the neighbors below. But such a substrate will noticeably weaken the vibration of the coating and, accordingly, the impact noise.

But buying both a backing and a laminate with a built-in backing is unnecessary. This can adversely affect the operation of the locking system. In addition, a 2 mm thick sound-absorbing layer guarantees a sufficient level of comfort.

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