Laminate floor covering is an effective way to reduce noise in your home. When installing a new laminate floor, it is essential to invest in a suitable underfloor that can reduce sound by 20 to 30 dB or more. Our recommendation is the Royale Professional Sonic Gold Underlay of 7 mm. The Reverso SoundMat can be used in most final finishes of hardwood floors without the need to add an additional layer.
If you use SoundMat 3 Plus or SoundMat 2 Plus as an acoustic floor solution, any engineered wood floor 18 mm or thicker can be applied directly to the top. For any thinner hard finish, we recommend using a 6 mm plate to provide a flat, stable base. Once again, any of our soundproof floor mats can be used as a base for soundproof tiles. In this case, you would need to place a layer of 12 mm hardwood on the soundproofing base before placing the floor tiles. Because of how small and fragile floor tiles can be, you should not place them on soft, padded bases (such as acoustic layers), as this increases the chance of them cracking and breaking.
By using hardwood, you get a stable and firm floor on which to place the tiles. Two of our base layers provide isolation from drum noise: the 19 dB Quickstep Unisound Combiflor and the 17 dB Quickstep Silent Walk. They can be used with laminate or engineered floors and are ideal for sneaking out to eat something at midnight. Our QuietWalk luxury vinyl is our best acoustic base for laminate flooring (and the flooring industry). What makes QuietWalk Luxury Vinyl the leading product in soundproofing coatings? In general, the expected value of the Delta IIC is 21 for an elastic material such as foam, fiber or cork.
To address low-frequency sounds, such as the sounds of bass music, I would recommend adding a damping compound. The Green Glue damping compound does a good job. To be effective, it must be applied between two rigid layers (such as 2 OSB plates, for example). Each time the two layers are excited by sound, the wave will be absorbed by the glue and converted to heat. Because of its build quality, excellent IIC rating, and quality-price ratio, I would definitely recommend QuietWalk Plus.
This soundproofed base is very standard. Roberts Super Felt Premium has the sound-absorbing properties you would expect from an acoustic base (Delta IIC 2). I would recommend this product if price is the main criterion for your floor project. The price per square foot is about 20% cheaper than most competitors. This natural cork underlayment is a very good material to work with.
It is twice as thick as other materials reviewed above. So, take some time to consider if 6 mm could be a problem in your flooring project. The advantage of being thicker is that it absorbs ground irregularities more effectively. As a soundproof underlayment, natural cork does a good job of damping out impact sounds. You get a Delta IIC of 22, which I consider to be a good grade.
The FloorMuffler UltraSeal is the uncompromising soundproofed underfloor. Although it is thinner (2 mm) than its competitors, it has better sound-absorbing properties. For example, its entire rating exceeds that of the competition with a Delta IIC of 25. It also includes a vapor barrier with no real drawbacks. The last soundproof underlayment in our review is an economical option. This material has almost all the 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.
Personally, I prefer to use Silent Vapor Barrier 3-in-1 for rooms with less traffic such as guest rooms, storage rooms or dressing rooms. However, for more heavily trafficked areas like living rooms, kitchens or children's rooms, I would not hesitate to spend a few more dollars on FloorMuffler UltraSeal. Beware of companies that sell carpet layers with soundproofing qualities citing a figure in dB; this only shows how much airborne noise is blocked on a concrete floor, of which the base of the carpet accounts for only 5%. We have talked about the importance of knowing if the floor to which the acoustic layer is going to be added is made of wood or concrete and the importance of final finishes of the floor. The acoustically insulated floor layer options available from specialist manufacturers represent an important advance over standard products. We always recommend placing a minimum layer of 6 mm hardwood on the soundproofed base before placing laminate or vinyl to obtain a flat base and stable. You can place an engineered wood floor directly on top of an acoustic felt specifically designed by our product team for vinyl floors; it's thinner and less dense than other materials so it relieves much of the “bounce” you'd experience when using vinyl. If you are wondering what is the best base for laminate or wood floors, fiberboard is a great choice; it helps smooth uneven floors, reduces noise and acts as an excellent thermal insulator - not to mention it's also the best base choice for laminate and wood floors.