Understanding Your Acoustic Underlayment Material Options

If you are remodeling your manufacturing facility and want to reduce the overall noise produced from foot traffic, machinery, as well as loaders and moving carts, then it is a good idea to have acoustic underlayment installed underneath your flooring materials. This underlayment can be made out of a few different materials. Keep reading to learn about your options and about the benefits of them.

Felt Underlayment

Felt is a common underlayment material, and it is made from recycled materials. The recycled fiber material is pressed into a tight fabric material using a high heat process. This helps to keep the felt smooth and thin. The thin material is ideal underneath laminate flooring and other materials where you do not want to add a lot of bulk. Typically, the felt is only a few millimeters thick.

Unlike other types of underlayment, felt has the advantage of absorbing sound, instead of forcing it to reflect back into your manufacturing facility. This reduces the overall noise in your plant. 

If you are installing the subfloor and the underlayment yourself, then you can also add the felt fairly easily as well. The acoustic material comes in large rolls and can easily be rolled along the floor. Many of the felt materials come with adhesive strips as well so you can adhere one end of the roll to another. This helps to create seams easily. 

One of the only major drawbacks to using the felt material is that it is a bit more expensive than some other options. 

Foam Composite Underlayment

Foam composite underlayment materials are cheaper than felt. In fact, they are the least expensive of all the underlayment materials and are often secured under carpeting and floating wood floors. 

Foams will cause noise to bounce back and the materials are not environmentally friendly. However, it is antimicrobial and water resistant. If your facility is warm and wet, this can greatly reduce the chances of mold, mildew, and bacteria colonies growing underneath your floor.

Foam is typically a bit thicker than felt, but you can purchase some thin varieties depending on your needs. Also, you should know that the foam will give the floor a bit of a bounce back. This can be advantageous to reduce stress and wear along the floor. It is easy to install as well, just like felt.

Cork, rubber, and other materials are often used to create acoustic underlay materials too. Speak with your flooring expert about the pros and cons of each one.