By Charlie Reaves, Trimaco
If you’ve ever lived on the bottom floor of an apartment building, you know firsthand how sound carries. And when sounds are unrelenting—and unwanted—the result is noise that’s hard to escape.
Soundproofing is in demand for all kinds of projects—from residential spaces to hospitals and offices. Truly reducing sound waves involves using a combination of materials and strategies. Sound barrier flooring underlayment should not be overlooked.
Trimaco recently teamed up with United Plastics Corporation to offer a line of sound absorbing materials for floors, walls and ceilings. This includes two dB4 Acoustic Floor Underlayments—the first line of defense for projects that require quiet. Both options are easy to install, puncture-resistant, environmentally safe and have a high IIC rating, indicating dependable impact sound control. They are impermeable, so the underlayment also serves as a moisture barrier. Both are designed to be installed under finished flooring, including hardwoods, carpet and laminate.
Ideal for hotels, apartment buildings and conference rooms, this underlayment is designed with a POE barrier layer attached to a layer of polyester fiber isolation layer. Two solid layers. This heavier alternative not only blocks airborne sounds, it also reduces structural vibrations. Use the dB4 Max under hardwoods, laminate, carpets and LVT of 5mm or greater.
The lighter option is a great performer for residential and commercial projects—bedrooms, home theaters, multi-family living units and office space. The dB4 Lite features impact-insulation-class materials and includes a 7-layer polyethylene film attached to a polyester fiber isolation layer. The result is a significant reduction for impact vibrations and sound travel.
You’re the pro. Bring up the importance of sound barrier flooring underlayment for your projects; your clients rely on your advice. After the project is complete, it’s too late. Soundproofing after the fact with rugs is like wet band-aids compared to the real thing. When you soundproof at the ground-level, it’s a difference you can hear—or, even better, one you can’t.