Is Underlay Good For Soundproofing?

Everybody yearns to have some peace and quietness in the house. That is why it is often preferred to lessen impact sound, especially when the noise of feet from upper rooms is disturbing your home environment.

Lowering your impact sound may also be a good idea if you reside in a first- or second-floor apartment because it can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals who live below you.

Choosing a high-quality underlay is a simple way to lessen the impact sound. The right underlay can significantly change the appearance of your flooring, whether they are hardwood or carpet. Underlay can aid to lessen impact sound when it comes to your carpets for two reasons. The first is how spongy the underlay is. The second aspect is the underlay’s thickness. Your underlay’s ability to muffle footfall noises will increase with its sponginess and thickness.

With soundproof underlay, you can keep your volumes to a minimum while still thermally insulating your home efficiently.

Is Underlay Good For Soundproofing?

Underlays are great at creating sound insulation between floors. Let’s look at a few factors why underlays are preferred for soundproofing.

  1. Simplicity

By simply adding acoustic underlay, you can not only enhance the appearance and feel of your carpets but also raise the market value of your home.

  1. Installation Is Simple

You need not be concerned about the effectiveness of laminate flooring when using an acoustic underlay. The sound insulation between floors can be installed quickly and simply with little to no downtime.

  1. Great Performance

If you live in a busy household, your acoustic underlay will serve as a shock absorber. Your carpets will be subject to significant foot traffic, which is why you will require soundproof underlay!

  1. Drafts Are Excluded

Your home will be far more comfortable and will offer greater support and stability if you install an underlay under your flooring.

  1. Improving Impact And Airborne Sound

If you want to eliminate unpleasant impact and airborne noise in your home, carpet underlay is the best option. Do you need to lessen the sound of moving furniture or the sound of footfall? Impact noise is what it’s called, and acoustic flooring works well to reduce it!

If you want to keep your volume levels low, soundproof underlay is ideal. Airborne noise can include everything from the sound of your TV to conversations on a different floor of the house.

How to choose an underlayment for soundproofing?

  • Airborne Noise & STC Rating

The term “airborne noise” refers to sounds that use air to travel. Sound needs a physical substance, like air, to move through since it is a mechanical wave. Thus, there is no sound without air. Airborne sounds include those from TVs, conversations, grinders, etc.

STC or Sound Transmission Class rating is a laboratory-determined standard measurement. It evaluates a material’s ability to decrease airborne noise. It entails calculating the deciBel decrease in sound intensity between two rooms. The material’s ability to reduce noise improves with increasing loss intensity, which results in a higher STC rating.

stc chart
stc rating chart
  • Impact Noise & IIC Rating

The sound vibration induced by an impact on the floor structure, such as the sound of footsteps, is known as impact noise. Impact noise can be an issue in both residential and commercial structures, particularly in structures with separating levels, such as flats and apartments, and it can get worse if the flooring is not soundproof.

IIC is an abbreviation for Impact Insulation Class (IIC). Simply said, it is the same as STC, but for impact sounds. In labs, it is decided by using a tapping machine in one room. The sound levels produced by the machine are measured in the receiving room and converted into an IIC rating. Greater IIC value means that the material is better at absorbing impact sounds.

Types Of Soundproof Underlays

The type of underlay that you will install depends on what type of sound you wish to reduce. Let’s explain this point.

  1. Use solid underlayment for airborne noise

Thick and heavy are the key factors that will cause your floor to prevent airborne noises. Oriented strand board (OSB), medium-density fiberboard (MDF), mass-loaded vinyl (MLV), or cement board are effective sound-dampening materials.

It is suggested to apply a dampening material to reduce low-frequency noises. A good job is done by the Green glue as a damping compound. It must be used between two layers of the floor to work. The sound wave will be absorbed by the adhesive and transformed into heat each time a sound excites the two layers.

2. Use robust underlayment to reduce impact noise

The majority of floor underlays are made of resilient materials, which makes them the best against impact noises. High and mid-frequency sound waves will be absorbed and reduced by the material.

Resilient materials aren’t particularly thick or dense. However, they bring about a decoupling effect that will aid in reducing the sound energy that travels through the walls or floor of your house. Rubber, foam, fibers, and cork are a few examples of robust materials.

How thick should soundproof underlayment be?

Standard floor underlays are around 3mm thick, these are the regular underlays which are used at homes and sometimes you’ll get these underlays preinstalled with your floor. Soundproof underlays are around 4mm to 5mm thick.

Can I double up underlayment?

No! You shouldn’t double the underlay for the sake of increasing the thickness. It is advised to use single underlayment layer to maintain the floor balance.

5 Best Soundproof Underlayment

1. ROBERTS Cushion underlayment roll

To be used with Wood and Laminate Flooring, it also includes adhesive strips and overlap film for joining multiple rolls.

soundproof underlay, source: amazon
  • Thickness: 4mm
  • STC: 66
  • IIC: 67
  • Size:360 sq. ft. roll (60in. x 72ft.)
  • Weight: 45.5 Pounds

Note: It can be used with Hardwood Floors

2. Foot-Step Roll Underlay

This underlay is meant to be used on concrete slabs and wood subfloors. Also, includes adhesive strip and 4in. overlap film for joining multiple rolls.

premium underlay from amazon
3-in-1 premium unnderlay
  • 3-in-1 Premium Underlay
  • STC: 67
  • IIC: 68
  • Size: 40 in. x 189 ft., 100 sq. ft.Roll
  • Weight: 0.16 Ounces

3. MP Global/Quiet Walk Laminate Flooring underlayment

Uses click-together mechanism which helps in sound absorption and prevents it from travelling from one room to another. Its vapour barrier helps in moisture protection.

Quiet Walk underlay
source: Amazon Customer Review

Weight: 13 pounds
Size: 3′ x 33’4″
Coverage: 100 Sq Ft
STC Rating: 66
IIIC Rating: 71

4. Floor Muffler Ultra Seal Underlay

To be used under laminate, engineered and solid hardwood. Provides complete acoustic protection and moisture control.

acoustic underlay of floor muffler brand
Source: Amazon

Weight: 5.04 Pounds
Thickness: 2mm
Size: ‎W39″ x L92.3′ x 2mm
STC: 73
IIC: 74

5. 3-in-1 Flooring Underlayment

This underlay comes with vapour barrier, overlap and pre-attached tape. So, the installation process is very easy. It should be used for wood and cement subfloors.

3 in one underlayment
source: amazon

Thickness: 2mm
10 Rolls, 100 square feet each.

To Wrap Up

Underlays are good as long as you wish to reduce sound from passing between floors. However, they aren’t effective at making the home completely quiet.