Use only the best soundproof underlay when you put down new floor tiles and make sure your chosen materials adhere to the latest building regulations. Laying underlay between the ground and a layer of floor tiles is different from insulating the gap between joists and requires lower thickness values, but it can still be highly effective.
Privacy Tile and Stone
Created by the Sound Isolation Company, “privacy” underlay resists mildew, protects the underlying mortar, allows subfloor movement of up to 1/4-inch and has soundproofing properties for both airborne and impact noise, according to the company's website. Different thicknesses and weights can be ordered, depending on the project. Thick stone tiles, for example, will require thicker underlays to support them. An environmental option is also available.
Sound Guard is an indoor tile underlay that is free from toxic impurities, making it safer for residential properties. Each roll of underlay meets insulation and sound transmission regulations set by most municipalities. Sound Guard is load-bearing, allows adequate horizontal movement and comes with a 30-year warranty against cracking, according to Tile Tool.
Use 4.2-mm acoustic laminate underlay if your floor is going to be made from ceramic or vinyl tiles. Acoustic laminates look different than ordinary underlay in that they are thinner and have one side that is made from a shiny gold leaf. An example of a product that has superior sound reduction benefits, waterproofing and crack protection is the Proflex, a soundproofing membrane material specifically for tiles made from a 90-ml rubberized composite and laminated with reinforced fabric on the top and a silicone adhesive element on the base.
Quiet Floor Plus
For robust tiles that are at least 18mm thick, it may be better to use a thicker, 15mm underlay material such as the Quiet Floor Plus, a product designed and produced by Keep It Quiet Soundproofing. Quiet Floor Plus meets certain lease agreements and regulations that a thinner underlay might not. The tiles can be floated on top of the underlay and should not flex.
- Photo Credit Tiles image by Josef F Stuefer from Fotolia.com
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