Soundproof Your Home with Acoustic Underlay: A Comprehensive Guide

Noise can be a major issue in any home, especially if you live in a multi-level house. To reduce the impact of sound, it's important to consider soundproofing your home. One of the best ways to do this is by installing acoustic underlay. This type of underlay is designed to absorb sound and reduce noise transmission between floors.

Also known as bituminous or tar mats, acoustic underlay is a great way to reduce impact noise from the upper levels of a home. It's easy to install and can be used with a variety of flooring materials, including carpet, vinyl, wood, and tile. In this article, we'll discuss what acoustic underlay is, how to install it, and the different types available. We'll also look at how to insulate ceilings for additional soundproofing benefits.

Read on to learn more about soundproofing your home with acoustic underlay.

What is Acoustic Underlay?

Acoustic underlay is a type of material that is designed to absorb sound and reduce noise transmission between floors. It is usually made from polyurethane foam, felt, or rubber and is installed between the subfloor and the flooring material. This creates an extra layer of insulation that helps reduce noise transmission.

How to Install Acoustic Underlay

Installing acoustic underlay is relatively easy. First, measure the space and use a utility knife to cut the base to size.

Then, apply the acoustic subfloor to the subfloor and then apply the vinyl floor on top. Products like Impact Barrier QT are easily put into place. If you're installing carpet, you can also use acoustic underlay. Place thick carpets in the area where impact noises are generated for a less expensive option. Or, if you want more soundproofing, replace the carpet and install a thicker pad underneath.

Types of Acoustic Underlay

There are several types of acoustic underlay available on the market.

Polyurethane foam subfloor is the least expensive option and offers some insulation under a new floor. It's also a good choice for creating a level floor surface. Felt subfloor is another option that provides additional soundproofing when replacing the floor. The felt base, which is often used on engineered wood or laminate floors, is relatively dense, meaning it effectively absorbs impact noise. There are also a variety of felt bases designed specifically for soundproofing, including some that have a moisture barrier and antimicrobial treatments. Acoustic subfloor systems are also available and are specifically designed for soundproofing.

These systems are usually installed slightly elevated above the subfloor.

Insulating Ceilings

In addition to installing acoustic underlay on your floors, you can also insulate your ceilings for additional soundproofing benefits. To do this, existing ceiling drywall is removed and an insulating layer of fiberglass or rock wool is added to the joist space. It's best to have it done by a professional, especially when you need to work near electrical or HVAC systems. Then, the ceiling drywall is replaced and finished. In addition to the initial acoustic benefits, your vinyl floor can last longer and look better if it has a quality undercoat.

Ralph Walsh
Ralph Walsh

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