Wood flooring can be a beautiful addition to a home or apartment. A main drawback of this type of floor is the noise emitted from the wood panels. Unlike carpeting, wood floors do not feature a buffer between your feet and its surface, thus normal walking can produce a loud noise. This is especially problematic in multi-floor apartments as wood flooring can transfer walking noise from upper apartments to the unit below.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Box cutter
- Area rug
- Cork mat
Install an underlay between the wood floor and subfloor if you are replacing or remodelling your floors. While this option may not be available for those who are renting a home or those on a budget, if you're able to upgrade the flooring, an underlay is one of the best ways to reduce noise associated with wood flooring, according to Basingstoke and Deane. An underlay is typically made out of foam or a plastic film. Underlays are also available in combination design, which utilises foam and plastic.
Select the appropriate underlay to be placed underneath your wood flooring. Place on the subfloor and ensure you have a minimum of 3.5 inches of extra material, which will be turned up along the walls to wrap around the top of the wood flooring.
Install the wood flooring as you normally would. Lift the extra underlay material so it rests vertically against the wall. Trim the excess material with a box cutter where the wood meets the wall.
Purchase area rugs and pad if you are unable to remove the existing wood flooring to install an underlay. Area rugs are available in a wide variety of sizes. Place area rugs within high traffic areas of your home to reduce foot noise associated with wood floors.
Place a soundproof mat made out of cork on the floor where the rug will be placed. Lay the area rug on top of the cork mat. The cork mat will help reduce vibration while the area rug will soften the floor surface.
Tips and warnings
- Never remove existing wood flooring to install an underlay if you live in an apartment without the direct consent of your landlord. Doing so without permission can cause you to loose your security deposit and face other possible fines.
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