How to Sound Proof Tile Floors

Written by kevin mcdermott
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How to Sound Proof Tile Floors
Cork can help sound proof tile floors. (cork image by Edsweb from

One big disadvantage to tile flooring is it tends to easily transfer sound above and below the floor. This is because the tiles and the associated materials (mortar, grout and subfloor) are all rigid and hard. The usual underlayment for tiles is either plywood or cement board, but another modern option is cork underlayment. This isn't the soft, flimsy stuff it sounds like (it has to be more rigid to hold the tiles), but it does have the sound-absorbing qualities you want.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cork underlayment
  • Utility knife
  • Underlayment adhesive
  • Notched trowel
  • Floor roller

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  1. 1

    Clean the floor and let it dry completely. Lay down the first course of cork underlayment at the edge of the floor, spanning the length. Use a utility knife to cut it to size.

  2. 2

    Raise one side of the cork underlayment piece so you can get to the floor underneath. Use a notched trowel to lay down a layer of underlayment adhesive under the cork, over the entire area where it lies.

  3. 3

    Press the side of the cork piece back down, into the glue. Lift the other side of the cork piece, and spread the adhesive under it in the same manner. Set the cork down into it.

  4. 4

    Repeat for each piece of cork, setting them in adjacent rows across the floor. Cut the final row along its length as necessary to fit against the far wall.

  5. 5

    Use a floor roller to press down the whole cork surface, rolling it perpendicular to the direction of the cork pieces and pressing down every part of the surface.

  6. 6

    Let the cork set overnight. Lay your tile directly over the cork as you would over any other underlayment.

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