Acoustics & sound proofing

Soundproofing works both ways. Most people understand you'll primarily reduce the amount of noise coming out of your apartment but you'll also reduce the amount of noise that's coming into it. So it's a win-win situation for you and your neighbours. Apart from being courteous to your neighbours, you may also legally require a certain level of sound insulation.
Flooring noise reduction is becoming more and more necessary due to the ever increasing demand for hard floor surfaces, particularly in apartments and town-houses.


Acoustic underlay will be required for hard floor coverings in apartments and recommended for upper floors in houses. In our experience, acoustic underlays for ground floor houses do not make a noticeable difference to the human ear and are not needed. Different acoustic systems are available for any floor type. It is important to carefully investigate which acoustic system will meet the sound requirements while being suitable for the floor type. In apartments, you will usually need to satisfy the sound rating outlined in your by-laws. Some councils and local laws may also have acoustic requirements. If there is no specific rating given (usually an LnTw, FIIC or star system), then the rating will often default to the maximum outlined by the national construction code (62 LnTw). Remember to never install a floor in an apartment without written approval from your strata manager.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to know exactly how quiet an underlay will be on a certain floor without performing tests. This is because there are so many factors that are unique to each building (floor type, subfloor construction and thickness, celling construction, wall positioning and construction). This is why you will find that good underlay manufacturers don’t put ratings on their products, they understand that it will be dependent on the circumstances. Conversely, we are disappointed by some manufacturers who misleadingly advertise ratings for their products. Because of this variability, it is also not possible to say which underlay is 'best' or if one underlay will outperform another. Product A might perform better then product B in your building but if you try it in another building, Product B might be quieter.

We can help guide you through the perils of acoustic requirements. The process, usually begins by talking to your strata management and gathering the information about your building (subfloor construction and thickness, celling information, by-law ratings, previous tests etc.). We then take this information to the acoustic divisions of our manufacturers and find a system that should meet your requirements. Sometimes, previous tests will give enough of an indication that the rating will be met (for example, if there is a test with 5mm rubber in a building with similar factors to yours, then a similar result could be expected for your floor). If no previous test exists, then we might need to employ the services of an acoustic engineer to find a suitable system.