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Commercial Flooring News

Insulation Can Be A Sound Investment

IN the past decade, solid flooring has become an increasingly popular choice in the residential sector. However there is a perception that it can be noisy.

Whether it be solid wood, laminate, ceramic, marble or limestone floor, a general stereotype has arisen that solid floors are noisy. Part E of the Building Regulations (‘Resistance to the Passage of Sound’) states that strict tests must be carried out to ensure there are adequate measures to reduce transfer to surrounding
properties and rooms.

Whether it be airborne sound, such as speech or that emitted from loudspeakers, or impact sound such as footsteps, regulations require buildings to abide by certain measurements to gain certification. Materials that absorb sounds are ideal for reducing reverberation. Insulation though, below the physical solid surface, offers
similar results, even increasing the durability of the flooring.

Insulation below the solid floor though is not the only measure to take. Where flooring is in contact with surrounding partition walls, measures must also be taken to cushion the joints to reduce the transfer of sound.

With different options to take, be sure to achieve the best fit to meet the regulations. If the guidelines are not met post-install, it can cause further expense and potentially require the install to be completely removed and refitted as per the requirements.

Another option for contractors is a floating floor installation. This can help ensure sound transfer is kept to aminimum. However, be ensure that no potential cavities are created that could actually increase the echo and
potentially amplify the sound further.

With new build homes or where buildings have changed purpose to become residential properties, these measures must automatically be met. However, this means that any building with solid flooring before the regulations came into force could be in breach the requirements, but may not actually be obliged to make any
changes. This could therefore be problematic and cause disagreements between those affected and those causing the nuisance. In some cases, where noise is excessive, action can be taken to prosecute those responsible.

As solid flooring, particularly wood and laminate, are both desirable and fashionable options, reservations surrounding the issue of noise needn’t be a problem anymore. By using an experienced contractor having an
array of solutions available, even the most demanding requirements of noise inmultitenanted homes can be overcome through sound reductionmethods.

Craig Pawson is Osmo’s flooring specialist

T: 01296 481220

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them online at