Which Underlay is Best for Soundproofing? A Comprehensive Guide

What is the best soundproof base for impact noise? To reduce impact noise, the best base for carpets is the MuTeMat 2, which combines a high-mass vinyl layer with a closed-cell absorbent foam layer. The foam will compress slightly under pressure to absorb impact noise. When choosing new types of flooring, whether they are laminate floors, vinyl floors, carpets or any other type of floor, it is probably not the first thing we consider making sure that the chosen floor finish does not cause noise in the house or adjacent properties. When choosing a base for soundproofing, it is important to consider the type of floor with which you are going to use it.

Some materials are more compatible with certain types of floors than others, so it's important to select a base. You may not have noticed that there are a lot of subfloor products for sound-insulated floors available. When buying new floor coverings, especially from one of the major national retailers, subfloor options are likely to be determined by factors other than their soundproofing capacity. The thickness of the base layer is also an important factor to consider.

Thicker lower layers will provide better soundproofing than thinner ones. However, they can also be more expensive and difficult to install. When advertising a carpet base, major retailers usually offer a range of products based primarily on different levels of comfort: the more you pay, the more luxurious the rug will be. Acoustic insulation is often mentioned in higher-quality types of carpet floors, but it's not usually the key factor.

In the case of floor coverings, such as laminate or artificial wood, soundproofing is likely to be a more important factor when choosing the base, largely due to the possibility of transmitting impact sound, such as footsteps on hard floors. However, the standard options offered by retailers and many flooring suppliers are unlikely to offer sound insulation levels far beyond the relatively basic ones. However, it is not only these types of floors that can benefit from an improved acoustic base. The impact sound usually occurs when someone is walking on the floor surface, especially on hard surfaces such as tiles, laminates and wood, but it also occurs when furniture is moved or objects are dropped or objects thrown on the floor.

The result is that sound waves are transmitted through the material on the floor surface, the subfloor (whether concrete or wooden boards) and the ceiling, until they reach the room lower. The best base for vinyl flooring is an acoustic felt, such as the one our product team has purposely designed. This type of material is perfect for vinyl, as it is thinner and less dense, so it largely recovers the “bounce” you would experience with other materials when using vinyl. This is a very important question: can a base coat be used for tiling? Luxury vinyl tiles require a thin undercoat because of the way the tiles are connected and the material from which they are made.

Problems can arise when the soil being worked on is not properly prepared, and even using a thick base can be a problem because the LVT expands and contracts. If the surface on which you are going to perform the installation is properly leveled and prepared, you can use a thin layer of acoustic felt to facilitate sound transmission. In fact, most manufacturers of acoustic products design complete soundproofing solutions called systems. These are specific materials that, when combined, can provide a better result with test data showing that they meet construction standards.

For engineered wood floors, we recommend Super Gold. This will provide excellent impact noise reduction and the engineered hardwood floors are heavy enough to hold the base in place. The FloorMuffler UltraSeal is the soundproofed underfloor without compromise. Although it is thinner (2 mm) than its competitors, it has better sound absorption properties.

For example, its entire rating exceeds that of its competitor with a Delta IIC of 25 which is magnificent. It also includes a vapor barrier. There are no real drawbacks with this material. The last soundproof underfloor in our review is an economic option which has almost all qualities of its competitor with an IIC of 64 (no IIC delta viewpoint is indicated even after asking the manufacturer) and is easy to cut and install.

Two of our base layers provide isolation from drum noise: 19 dB Quickstep Unisound Combiflor and 17 dB Quickstep Silent Walk which can be used with laminate or engineered floors and are ideal for sneaking out to eat something at midnight. Although you should have a base in every room of your house, you don't need a soundproof base in every room. Nor are the soundproofing properties of lower layers for carpets tested in same way as soundproofing mats and bases do. It is recommended to use each of following layers of acoustic carpet as they are at least 8 mm thick and reduce noise by minimum 40 decibels (dB).

In underlying layer market you'll find that many companies claim that their sublayer products completely block airborne sounds which together with MuTeMat range provides highest performing acoustical base combination and at same time keeps build-up as thin as possible. You could be forgiven for not realizing that there are many sound-insulated floor layer products available. The best acoustic base on its own is MuTeMat 3 which helps reduce both impact and airborne noise.

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