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Question:

I plan to install a hardwood 5/16" laminate pre-finished floor over an existing 3/4" plywood subfloor. I plan to screw the subfloor down. My problem is impact noise traveling from this kitchen floor to a bedroom below. I intend to install the flooring as a floating floor. Where can I obtain a soundproofing mat to put under the laminate flooring? I have found a 2mm sheeting in England but that is a problem in California. Is there a USA firm that makes a thin soundproofing mat? I can only afford about an eighth of an inch due to appliances. I would like to use two layers if possible.

Tom

Answer:



Dear Tom

You must make sure you are installing the type of engineered wood floor that can be done in a floated method. I'm not really fond of this method, as the PVA adhesive used to glue the panels fails after about a decade. And then your floor really will sound like a drum.

It would be better to glue down a cork sheet floor first using Dri-Tac 6200 adhesive. Let this cure for a weekend then install the laminated wood floor by gluing it to the cork with the same adhesive.

The other reason for gluing down the floor, is the fact that it is a water prone area. Kitchen spills will eventually find their way under the floating floor. This is where molds will form. Whereas the adhesive I speak of is waterproof, and the water cannot travel past the seam.

That said, the Dri-Tac adhesive has proven to last at least 45 years and counting, and it is still tacky. It remains sticky all it's life so if the floor moves out of place expanding during humid weather the glue will pull it back when conditions dry. This is the only glue I will use for all my glued down wood floors. You may find that a glued down floor is less noisy that the drum of the floating floors. In any case the foam pads they sell for the floating floor will degrade in about a decade.

You can buy cork sheeting at just about any home improvement store, and the Dri-Tac 6200 is found there too. But you may have to search for this good glue. Try the web site at http://www.dritac.com.

Oh, and don't expect too much sound proofing with this little bit of pad. Real soundproofing has to be done from below, but this is another matter. You should also read the first part of my floor maintenance article in the Floored News section, to get an idea on how to re-coat this type of floor. Kitchens floors take a real beating and need lots of maintenance.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.

You may also find these articles helpful:

1. Plank Floor: What Special Considerations This Type Of Floor Raises

2. Avoiding Squeaks And Pops When Nailing Down A New Strip Floor

3. Hydronic heating under your wood floors

4. Floor Types And Finishes

5. How To Take Care Of Your Health And Safety when Installing, Finishing, Repairing or Cleaning your wood floors