What is the difference between sound and noise? How does this affect our lives daily? What is the importance of sound absorption and acoustics in multi-level structures? These are the questions we are going to explore and how flooring plays an instrumental role in acoustical effects on people in multi-level structures.
The difference between sound and noise is determined by the listener, and the differences are individual and circumstantial. Sound is what we hear, like a friendly voice on the other end of the phone. Noise is unwanted sound, like a whistling coming from your vents that you cannot turn off. Another example is the rock music you are enjoying may completely irritate your country music loving neighbour, especially at night when they are trying to get some rest.
Flooring and the built environment
Flooring is just one small part of contributing to the soundscape of built environments. Although small, it can make an enormous difference in how we go about our day. Noise changes how we work, how we feel, how we sleep and how we heal. It affects our ability to focus, increases irritability and stress levels, and causes a delay in recovery time.
In multi-level dwellings, like condominiums and apartment buildings, one in three people will break their lease or sell their unit due to poor sound absorption. This is also a consideration when guests look to booking a hotel for their vacation. A large contributing factor to staying at a particular hotel is the customer reviews on the noise levels, both from external noises and from room to room.
LVT and multifamily dwellings
We typically are not able to choose the materials being used to construct buildings, including the flooring in our units. However, if you are looking at a pre-construction option, you may be in luck to upgrade your flooring, which will save you later in money and sanity! A lot of the newer built, multifamily dwellings use luxury vinyl tile, or LVT, over natural hardwood. This choice is usually made due to budget, as natural hardwood can be costly. There are multiple LVT options that provide the look and feel of natural hardwood, with less cost. When choosing the right option, this will help a great deal with the acoustics from unit to unit.