Methods of Sound Proofing Wooden Floorboards
A lot of people think that wooden flooring is very noisy and cold. The cold is thought of when remembering the original wood flooring in the house where the cold breeze from the cellar or basement void would come through. Before central heating this flooring could make the house very cold.
New floorboards are neither cold or noisy.
The flooring sold now comes tongue and grooved on all 4 sides which means the boards slot firmly together without leaving large gaps for the breeze to come through. This immediately eliminates any drafts from below the subfloor.
Even when the wooden flooring is laid directly onto joists, the insulation is very good and no cold can be felt coming through the joints.
The noise of wooden flooring is also minimal when fitted properly. When laminate floor had just come out this was often fitted without any or adequate underlay. This made the flooring very noisy as there was a hollow void between the existing sub floor and the new laminate floor. Due to laminate flooring also being made of hdf (high density fibreboard) rather than real wood, the noise was louder than that of real wood. It would often sound very hard and noisy with the taps of steps heard constantly.
Wooden flooring has more natural sound insulation and when installed properly the sound is minimal.
When using an engineered board the most common method is to float the floor by gluing the tongue and groove. As this creates a gap between the two floors it needs something in between to soak up the noise. This is where the underlay is used. The underlays range from a basic 2mm foam which can soak up the majority of the sound to the high density underlays which have been proven to have high acoustic properties and keep the noise to a minimum. Generally the price dictates the quality of the underlay but be careful to choose a wood floor underlay rather than a carpet underlay as these are not suitable for wood flooring.
With solid wood floors, the boards are installed by either gluing down directly or by nailing down to the existing sub floor. Due to this, the boards do not have the void between and are therefore not noisy.
Written by Ruth Shann - for professional advice on wood floors contact Real Oak Floors.
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