Choosing your flooring: Considerations for sound absorption in multi-level structures

Choosing your flooring

How can flooring play an instrumental role in acoustical effects in multi-level structures? There are a few things to consider when sourcing your finishes with the design and sales centres for your unit.

First, check the overall thickness of the standard flooring product going in. There are some thinner luxury vinyl tile options that will not provide you with the noise cancelling you would want in your unit, but a level or two up will provide you with that. If the overall thickness is around 2.5mm, this will not help minimize the noise. Look for something that is closer to 5.5mm to 8mm and up, as these thicker options will have an upgraded “middle.”

There are some with a COREtec construction, which are important to look at since they are superior to aiding in minimizing acoustics, or noise, from unit to unit. This COREtec construction is also waterproof from top down moisture, provides stability and prevents expansion and contraction. If you do it right the first time, you will save yourself time, money, and frustration.

Consider carpet

Another way to help minimize the noise is carpet. Nowadays, we barely see wall to wall carpets going in condo or apartment units, but they really do help warm up a room, and of course act as a buffer of noise in a space. More commonly you will see wall to wall carpet in bedrooms only, but if this is not what you are interested in, choosing the right area rug is just as sufficient!

Another way to help minimize the noise is carpetCarpet in general acts as a sound absorber and improves the overall acoustics of a space. It also reduces impact noise when objects fall or are dropped, so it buffers what your neighbour’s downstairs will be exposed to. When choosing your rug, look for options that have a higher pile height. In comparison to lower pile heights, the higher pile will enhance the sound absorption of your space.

Vertical applications

Lastly, there are a few vertical applications that will help minimize the noise in your space. Plants, window coverings, bookshelves, and some wall décor will help intensify the quiet. Without over-cluttering your vertical real estate, try introducing plants in hanging baskets, paintings or even a beautiful macramé piece, if it suits your aesthetic of course. Most soft surfaces help absorb the noise, including your couch and other furniture, whereas with hard surfaces, the noise bounces off.

Considerations for sound absorption in multi-level structures So fill those bookshelves!