How to Soundproof Hardwood Floors

Noisy hardwood floors can spoil the mood in your home. While hardwood is beloved for its rich shine and warm appearance, the truth is that hardwood flooring can drive homeowners mad when it comes to creaking! Is there anything that can be done about noisy floors? Several soundproofing techniques can muffle sounds that disrupt your household. While some solutions simply require some “surface” updates, others may require some knowledge about floor installation. Take a look at quick tips to soundproof hardwood floors to enjoy the sounds of silence and go along with your beautiful floors! First, let’s cover why you hear so much noise in your home just because you have hardwood floors by exploring the two types of noise produced in houses.

Why Is My House Noisy Just Because I Have Hardwood Floors?

It’s the question that’s asked thousands of times a day by people who can’t seem to find peace at home! You’ve probably wondered this same thing while cringing at the latest creaking, scratching, or banging noises filtering through your home. Homes with hardwood floors experience two types of noise. The first is called impact noise. Here’s why you’re getting it:

  • Falling objects.
  • Pet claws.
  • Stomping and walking.
  • Someone playing with toys on the floor.
  • Someone exercising or dancing.
  • Someone running through the house.

Impact noises are exacerbated with hardwood flooring because there’s no “give.” That means you’re getting a louder reaction because the object coming into contact with your floor hits a hard, flat surface with no mechanism for absorbing sound.

The second type of noise is called airborne noise. These noises can often be the most intrusive noises because they are persistent. They can also be disorienting because you can’t quite tell where they are coming from, even though it feels like you can hear them all around you. Common sources of airborne noises include:

  • Televisions.
  • Alarm clocks.
  • Rotating ceiling fans.
  • Radios.
  • People talking.
  • Heaters, ducts, and pipes.

The good news is that most soundproofing techniques for houses with hardwood flooring will work beautifully for both types of noise! Let’s take a look at how to start muffling sounds that are disrupting your household from the bottom up.

Option #1: Put Down Some Rugs or Carpeting

This is the easiest way to “cheat” when soundproofing your floors. A simple area rug covering a large portion of a room can create a decent sound barrier. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to soundproof your wood flooring because creaking and echoes are heard from people on the floor below every time you walk across a room on an upper level. Keep in mind that thicker rugs have stronger noise-reduction qualities. If you’re concerned about noise levels, it’s also worth considering putting wall-to-wall carpeting down over wood floors. The big benefit of this is that you’ll get the comfort and noise reduction of carpeting while you live in your house while preserving the resale value of your home by keeping your hardwood floors in place.

Options #3: Use Rubber Mats Strategically

What if you just don’t get the desired results after throwing down a few area rugs all over your house? It may be time to pivot to a slightly different strategy. The next phase involves thick rubber mats.

While they may not be beautiful, rubber mats effectively insulate your house against sound and vibrations. The rubber-mat method is a top pick if you have a house full of kids or pets that tend to go “bump in the night.” Rubber mats absorb the impact caused by jumping, bumping, and walking. The good news is that rubber mats have come a long way in style. You’ll likely find “pretty” mats in all kinds of patterns and styles that will look stylish in your home. Some may look like high-end rugs instead of rubber mats. The best part is that rubber mats are so easy to clean! You won’t have to worry about staining, fraying, or dust collecting the way you would with a normal fabric rug.

Option #3: Utilize the Right Adhesives

Are you able to remove or reinstall your flooring easily? It might be time to consider glue. You’re really in luck if you’re looking for soundproofing methods before installing a new floor because you can very easily work glue into your plan. The three options for putting down hardwood floors are gluing, nailing, and floating. Glue is the top pick if your main concern is soundproofing.

Glue is very effective for absorbing sounds. When you glue down floors, a strong adhesive locks your floor against the room’s subfloor, the fact that the floor is solidly glued in place is often enough to prevent sounds. However, the tight fit of the flooring and subfloor helps to enhance sound reduction by stopping sounds from passing through any space. The tight fit created by gluing a wood floor to the subfloor also helps cut down on vibration-based sounds that are especially disruptive because they can reverberate through the whole house.

Option #4: Bring in an Underlayment

The disclaimer with this option is that it may be too late if you’ve already installed wood floors that are giving you noise troubles. However, it’s very important to know about underlayment for muffling sounds. A flooring underlayment is a “cushioning” that goes down over plywood or concrete surfaces to act as a buffer. Underlayment products are usually made from materials like foam or cork.

Sound reduction isn’t the only benefit of putting down an underlayment. First, putting down an underlayment can make your hardwood floors feel softer under your feet! This can be a true life enhancer if you’re putting down wood floors in a room where you’ll be standing for a good amount of time. Think about how hard a floor can feel under your feet when you’re standing at the sink doing the dishes every night! The second benefit of putting down an underlayment is that it can provide insulation that keeps the room warmer. In addition to making you feel cozier, this will also help consistently reduce your energy bills.

Get Started With Soundproofing Your Harwood Floors

A beautiful floor should also sound like beautiful music to your ears! Don’t settle for noisy floors just because you live with the luxury and beauty of hardwood flooring in your home. You’re at a big advantage if you haven’t yet selected hardwood flooring for your home because you can do things right by using an installation technique that uses glue and underlayment to beautifully soundproof your home against impact and airborne noises. Atlas Floors is here to help you make a choice you’ll love living with for years to come! Come talk to us about choosing your new floors!


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