Acoustical Flooring Tiles
Acoustical flooring Tiles with appropriate insulating materials, underlays, sealants and adhesives help sound absorption. When some hard objects like furniture, dropped objects, hard-soled shoes etc., impact the floor laid with stone or tile, sound transmission takes place. Even a small sound can get amplified and cause distraction unless proper acoustical controls are present. If the room is very large having high ceilings, and with floors are hard and highly polished, even foot falls can become a disturbing noise. As is clear, the source of the noise or sound is the floor and naturally needs to be acoustically treated with acoustical flooring tiles.
Sound Ratings
There are different standards for rating sound transmission. Floor coverings like acoustical soundproofing tiles are rated for sound absorption using two scales.
IIC (impact insulation class) IIC 50, IIC 60, and IIC 65 signify the sound absorption quality of a flooring tile or other material, and give a measure of how well the vibrations generated by sound penetrate the floor and travel to the space below.
IIC 50 class soundproofing materials have minimum sound absorption quality, and can be used for ground floor and not for higher levels. Most of the acoustical tiles and soundproofing stones belong to this class.
IIC 60 covers acoustical materials of medium quality sound absorption rating, and is recommended for wooden floors, some vinyls and laminates.
IIC 65 covers soundproofing materials with high quality sound absorption rating level, Cork and carpet fall in this category.
IIC ratings of acoustical materials can be improved by adding acoustical insulation, underlays or even by floating. The floors laid directly with non acoustical tiles or stones over concrete create maximum sound. The IIC scale however does not cover joint noises like rattling and squeaking
NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) indicates the proportion of noise getting absorbed by the flooring tiles or material to that not reflected. A room fitted with acoustical flooring tiles and material having high NRC rating figures will remove echoes and background noise to help speech clarity. Theaters, for instance, must be built with high NRC rated tile materials for flooring and other surfaces. Carpet, having NRC rating of .40 - .50 is the best absorptive material. Vinyl, rubber, and cork, have a reasonably high NRC rating, while, stone, non acoustical tile, hardwood, and bamboo have minimum rating.
Flooring Underlays and Sound Insulation Materials
Apart from top layer, other factors like underlays, adhesives, and sealants used and sub-floor, also affect acoustical flooring methods and sound transmission. Sound insulation also is important in case of multi-story buildings for higher floors. The floor and ceiling of a room must both be treated acoustically for deadening a sound. Installation materials like flexible acoustic adhesives can be added as an extra layer to improve the floor dampening. Flexible sealants help to seal gaps at the joint of wall and floor tiles or around ducts and doors so that sound cannot leak through when applied along the edges. When you consider flooring the idea is to muffle the sound as much as you can. This is especially true in the cases of apartments, multi-story buildings, condominium, or houses. Luckily we have several choices of flooring systems with good sound dampening properties. Acoustical flooring tile systems aim at effective muffling of sound originating from the floor.