The Difference Between Acoustic Underlay and Soundproofing

Floor soundproofing is an effective way to reduce noise in your home and soften the sound of your footsteps. There are two main types of sound insulation: Transit Sound, which reduces the sound of your footsteps when entering a downstairs room, and Drum Sound, which calms your steps in the room you're in. The most common way to achieve soundproofing is to use an acoustic base layer, also known as a soundproof base. This is a specific type of subfloor designed to reduce the transmission of noise between floors.

It is usually made of foam, rubber, or cork and can act as a moisture barrier and thermal insulator. For example, FloorVenue's Marvel SPC hybrid floors come with a pre-installed 6-star acoustic layer. The gold EPE foam base is 3 mm thick, offering slightly higher acoustic protection than the silver option. When it comes to vinyl floors, the acoustic underlayment must have the necessary dimensional stability to avoid crevices and the thickness to absorb sound.

Marvel hybrid floors can be installed practically anywhere, as they have the highest acoustic certification without needing an additional base. The MuTeMat 3 is the best acoustic base on its own, helping reduce both impact and airborne noise. For carpets, you need a product that is soft but does not touch the ground, like many of the acoustic base layers on the market. Acoustic subfloors (for hard surface floors) and carpet cushions (for soft surface floors) are essential to meet construction standards.

By having several layers of different thicknesses and densities, you can smooth out this drop in performance and achieve the best soundproofing with your acoustic base. This combination of acoustic base layers allows for much better results with thinner soundproofing products. You can work with your flooring contractor to choose the acoustic flooring system that best meets the specific needs of your application. It is possible to glue the base to the subfloor before gluing the ledge, rung, and riser of the ladder to the subfloor.

You can also seal against the wall by placing an acoustic base at wall height and using a washer on top of it to draw a line across the carpet by dragging it across the wall.

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