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When installing new laminate, parquet, or vinyl, soundproofing underneath is indispensable. It consists of either thin folded plates or rolled-up plastic and reduces the volume over which the feet step.

Impact sound insulation dampens noise from the rooms above the apartment that occurs during normal walking and from other sources of noise: e.g. a swivel chair or jumping children. Read our guide to get the most important information about buying impact sound insulation.

  • Unlike a carpet, parquet and laminate floors do not insulate the noise caused by footsteps or chairs with casters. In this case, additional impact sound insulation is required.
  • Depending on what flooring you buy, you may need additional impact sound insulation. With some floors, such as special laminate flooring, walking sound insulation is already included.
  • When buying, also pay attention to the thermal insulation. If you have underfloor heating, the thermal insulation of the impact sound insulation should be as low as possible.

The Best Soundproofing Insulation

MP Global Products Superior Sound Reduction Protection Cover

 4,9 Rating

MP Global Products QuietWalk Laminate Flooring Underlayment

Features:

  • Use with laminate, Floating Engineered and Luxury Vinyl Plank.
  • Recycled fibers absorb sound.
  • With Moisture Protection.
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Allowing firm support for multiple types of flooring with great acoustic benefits. Built with sound reduction and moisture dissipation in mind. Recycled fibers allow installation over concrete to breathe. A dense recycled fiber structure supports the click-together mechanism and will uphold its supportive configuration under the consistent traffic of the overlying floor.

How To Soundproof Walls? – Video

Buyer’s guide for soundproofing insulation for noise reduction

Anyone who has ever lived in an apartment building knows how stressful neighbors can be who seem to practice their tap-dancing routine every night. The solution is impact sound insulation, which should also be replaced when parquet or laminate flooring is replaced.

So that the impact sound insulation can also convince in tests, a look at the insulation performance, which is also easy on your wallet. If you also have underfloor heating, you should now choose a product from our comparison table that is explicitly compatible with this form of heating.

How to find the best impact sound insulation for your flooring?

Soundproofing Insulation for Noise Reduction

All our reviews are based exclusively on expert judgments or practical experience with most of the soundproofing insulation for noise we have tested. We strive to make our guide as independent and as detailed as possible.

Soundproofing Insulation in Comparison

Roberts First Step Roll Underlayment

Roberts First Step Premium 3-in-1 Underlayment
  • Ideal in condos and multi-level dwellings.
  • Corrects minor subfloor imperfections and reduces ambient noise.
  • Constant air movement inhibits mold growth.

Compatible with underfloor heating

100 sq. ft. Roll is designed for use under floating laminate and engineered wood flooring. It is effective for sound reduction, moisture protection, comfort, and even helps level minor sub-floor corrections. The first step is ideal for use with radiant heated floors.

Owens Corning Fiberglass Board

Owens Corning Fiberglass Board
  • Resists damage and maintains structural integrity and efficiency.
  • Reduces heat transfer, lowering operating costs.
  • Efficiently reduces sound transmission.

 4,9 Rating

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Excellent acoustic performance

For most acoustical applications, such as sound studios, control rooms, and home theaters, a 2″ thickness is the best solution. The value in a 2″ thick fiberglass panel is the lower cost per inch, and better acoustical performance. 2″ 703 provides an NRC of 1.00 (Noise Reduction Coefficient) and will effectively absorb lower mid to high range frequencies.

STEICO Wood Fiber Flooring Underlayment

STEICO Wood Fiber Flooring Underlayment
  • Light and easy to handle.
  • Unique vapor open system.
  • Installation method: floating, nail down

Absorption of sounds at low frequencies

100% Natural excellent soundproof and acoustic improving, US certified after passing the strictest acoustic tests (6” concrete slab, no ceiling), delta impact isolation class 25, thermal insulation. High compression strength and “click-lock protection” ensure that the floor will not squeak, prevents the “springy” effect when walking, and prolongs the lifespan of your floors.

What is Soundproofing Insulation for Noise Reduction?

Impact noise insulation is sometimes – and depends on the type of insulation – also called insulation reinforcement, insulation backing, or laminate backing. It’s important that the insulation has the right properties and thickness to suit your individual needs.

What Are The Types of Soundproofing Insulation for Noise Reduction?

Neighborhood footsteps can be just as disruptive, shrill, and, above all, incessant – the so-called footstep noise.

No apartment is perfectly soundproofed, but with flooring without built-in soundproofing, the touch of soles can also be heard in the room below – not the neighbors’ fault, of course. The solution is soundproofing from footsteps, which are laid under laminate, parquet, or vinyl.

Laminate flooring with impact noise insulation is pleasant for the ears and peace of mind in the neighborhood.

There are several types of  soundproofing insulation:

  • Foam plastic/foaming film

This plastic is resistant to moisture and temperature, but above all, it is cheap. If the repair should not affect your wallet too much, you can choose foam plastic. On the other hand, it can’t absorb as much sound as other materials.

Most of the products that have passed various tests for impact noise insulation are plastics like these.

Foam plastic is a particularly inexpensive insulation material

  • Corrugated cardboard

The cardboard does not insulate heat well at all. Therefore, it is especially recommended for rooms with underfloor heating. Like polyethylene film, it is cheap to buy.

  • Cork

Cork is a natural raw material that is extracted from the bark of the cork oak tree. Due to its elasticity and strength, cork is suitable for soundproofing from footsteps. It practically does not rot.

Cork can be used as insulation against impact noise, but most often the raw material acts as an independent floor covering.

Cork is recyclable and therefore environmentally friendly. Even old wine bottle corks can be taken to collection points, where they are shredded and turned into insulation.

soundproofing materials

What should you look for when buying soundproofing insulation?

Different impact sound insulation differs mainly in terms of step sound reduction/impact noise reduction, thickness, pressure stability, and material.

When buying should pay attention to the following:

  • Thickness

The strength of the insulation material affects how well it blocks sound and insulates heat. However, even more, important is the type of material. Therefore, you should not primarily focus on thickness, but rather on information about thermal resistance and noise reduction.

  • Pressure stability

Not all insulation materials are equally stable. Some withstand higher weights better than others. However, even inexpensive impact noise insulation is sufficient for the needs of the average tenant – they can withstand several tons per square foot.

  • Impact Noise Reduction

This value indicates how much the impact sound penetrating the floor is reduced. The physical unit of measurement for loudness is a Bell, a tenth of which is a decibel (dB).

Most of the impact sound insulation reduces the noise level by about 20 dB. This already makes a distinctly audible difference.

  • Soundproofing board or roll

There is no general answer to the question of which of these soundproofing materials is better. First, choose the material – the type of building material is usually already there. The choice here is possible only in some cases, for example, with cork.

Panels are easier to wipe down when installed, but the material that comes in a roll is easy to roll away.

  • Vapor barrier

Wooden floors should be protected from water not only from above but also from below so as not to damage the wood. So-called vapor barriers reduce water penetration.

The term “vapor barrier” is often used synonymously, but actually describes a perfectly protective material, a kind of “perfect vapor barrier”.

  • Length, width, and total area

When you install impact sound insulation, you need to be able to estimate the required amount. On the one hand, manufacturers specify the area for which one package of their insulation is enough, on the other hand, the width and length are also specified.

Depending on how the corresponding room is cut, width and length measurements give a better indication of the number of packages required. The width of most impact sound insulation is between 100 and 125 cm. The length varies between 8.5 and 10 m. But products with 25 or 50 m are also available.

Soundproofing & Acoustic Solutions

Do the best impact sound insulation also protect against moisture damage?

Products that excel in tests not only insulate impact sound particularly well but also have other advantages. For example, they additionally protect your wooden floor from damage caused by moisture. Insulation with a vapor barrier ensures that the floor can not come into contact with moisture from the underside.

Different materials for sound insulation

An impact sound insulation can be made of PVC, EPS foam, cardboard, natural rubber, or cork, among others. While natural products such as cork are somewhat more expensive, the purchase of foam foils is cheaper. However, a foam foil insulates less sound than a cork impact sound insulation. In combination with underfloor heating, on the other hand, insulation made of corrugated board is ideal.

What are the tips for laying the impact sound insulation?

  • Whether parquet or click vinyl, impact sound insulation: in order to develop its effect optimally, the insulation must be laid correctly. How to do this, we explain at this point.
  • Make sure that the subfloor is as even as possible. Minor unevenness can be compensated for by most insulation, but you can still play it safe with a smooth substrate.
  • Refer to the instructions for how to spread the insulation. Note that the insulation is not glued to the floor. However, so that it does not slip, you can fix it in a few places with some tape. Once the impact sound insulation is completely installed, you can start laying the flooring on top of it.
  • If the insulation is laid on screed, it should be sufficiently dry.

Note: A conventional impact sound insulation can only be laid on the screed, not under it. If you want to lay impact sound insulation under the screed, a special insulation is required.

Impact sound insulation and underfloor heating – conditionally compatible

The sequence: laminate, impact sound insulation, screed basically remains the same when underfloor heating is installed. However, in this case, you must make sure that the insulation is designed for use under such a heating system. As a rule, manufacturers provide information on this. In addition, the information can be found in the table at the beginning of the guide.

This depends on how high the thermal resistance of the impact sound insulation is, which can be quite different for test winners and cheap products. In short: the higher, the worse for the underfloor heating. The generated heat can hardly rise up and warm your living room. Some insulation is still compatible in principle, but still reduces the performance of this particular heater by only. So, in the end, you are just wasting energy. So keep an eye out for the impact sound insulation comparison for impact sound insulation with low resistance and, if necessary, also think about buying a rather thin laminate.

Soundproofing Insulation for Noise Price:

Under $100

  • Acoustimac Acoustic Insulation ECO CELLULOSE
  • Owens Corning Fiberglass Board

Under $200

  • First Step Roll Underlayment
  • MP Global Products Superior Sound Reduction Protection Cover

Conclusions

Noise is not only annoying, but it can also cause nausea. But it is just as uncomfortable when the source of the noise comes from your own home. Almost everyone knows the problem of loud neighbors who play music at night or hammer nails into the walls on Sunday morning.

Some floor coverings already have sound insulation built-in, for example in the form of a special adhesive. Others require additional soundproofing. This insulation is laid under laminate, vinyl, or parquet.

Users of underfloor heating should also make sure that the impact sound insulation effect is not too strong – otherwise, the heat from the heating pipes will no longer penetrate upwards.

How To Soundproof An Apartment - Video

FAQs- Soundproofing Insulation for Noise Reduction

✅ What is impact sound insulation Styrofoam?

Although it insulates heat, it transmits noise relatively well. By the way, Styrofoam can no longer be recycled. Styrofoam contains the toxic flammable HBCD, and it is no longer allowed to be disposed of with other construction debris, but instead is incinerated separately. However, many incineration plants have not yet received the special permits required for this.

✅ Can I put soundproofing under the laminate myself?

Laminate insulation is easier to install than the laminate itself. The material is usually easier to cut, and sloped walls or difficult corners are not a headache.

First, level the floor as much as possible and remove any dirt that otherwise causes unevenness. Then, spread soundproofing panels or roll-up insulation material on the backing. Then lay the laminate flooring on top of the insulation and the floor is finished.

✅ Can you provide a warm floor with impact noise insulation?

In principle yes. It is important that you buy a product specifically designed for this purpose. Insulators that strongly insulate heat are not suitable here.

✅ How can I install soundproofing against impact noise?

First, make sure the surface is as smooth as possible. Lay the soundproofing on the floor according to the instructions. It is not glued firmly but rather taped to the floor.

Finally, you can lay laminate or parquet on top of the soundproofing. To be able to lay soundproofing on the screed, it must be dry enough.

If the impact sound insulation is to be installed under the screed (not over it), you will need another insulation material that doesn’t move.

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