6 floor types: where to install them and how to soundproof them

Julie Leduc

Monday, 26 November 2018

There are several types of floor coverings on the market and understanding the distinction between each of them will definitely help when selecting. You must be sure to be well accompanied in this process and choose quality products that will last over time. Here are the most frequently floor coverings encountered, where in your house you can install them and associated sound insulation solutions for each. 3 in 1!

Hardwood flooring

Hardwood flooring, warm and classic, is a solid product made of 100% hardwood. It is generally installed on the substrate of a residence or on the floor by a facility nailed or stapled to the subfloor. Being made entirely of hardwood, this floor is more responsive to temperature and humidity variations. That's why most manufacturers of hardwood flooring strongly advise against it in bathrooms or basements.

  • Recommended rooms: living room, dining room and bedrooms.
  • Recommended AcoustiTECH membranes: TECH 7000, 5000, 3500 and LEAD 6, 4.5, 3.3

* The membrane is installed on the substrate, then one or two plywoods are installed over it, as recommended by the floor manufacturer and the NWFA. The floor is therefore nailed to the plywood making sure nails do not get through the membrane.

Engineered flooring

Engineered flooring is made of real wood strips glued to a substrate of different nature (plywood, HDF, softwood or other). The volume of real hardwood is less important, the reaction to temperature and humidity is also less. Contrary to certain beliefs, the quality of hardwood layer (wear layer) is not diminished and is just as durable. This floor covering can be installed glued, nailed, or floated. Long and wide planks are trendy.

  • Recommended rooms: living room, dining room and bedrooms.
  • Recommended AcoustiTECH membranes (glued and nailed down installation): TECH 7000, 5000, 3500 and LEAD 6, 4.5, 3.3
  • Recommended AcoustiTECH membranes (floated installation): VP and Premium

Laminate flooring

Laminate floor is a floor covering that looks like real wood but has a heart made of wood fiber. Resistant to scratches and more economical, the surface finish is like a laminated "photo" whose visual is similar to hardwood. It is also often wrongly called "floating floor". Floating is a type of installation and not a type of flooring. Indeed, laminate flooring is always installed floated. The diversity of laminate flooring has greatly improved and there has been a clear shift in the quality of materials.

  • Recommended rooms: living room, dining room, basement and bedrooms.
  • Recommended AcoustiTECH membranes: VP and Premium

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is a choice that has been growing in popularity recently. It has many benefits like its resistance to water. Vinyl is a generally more affordable option than natural materials, which can be found in fairly convincing reproductions of planks or tiles. But do not be fooled; Vinyl flooring also responds to changes in temperature and humidity, such as hardwood. It is therefore important to follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Vinyl can be glued or floated with a "click" installation system.

  • Recommended rooms: kitchen, bathroom, play room, dining room, basement and bedrooms.
  • Recommended AcoustiTECH membrane: LV


Ceramic tiles, marble, porcelain and natural stone

In addition to being durable and having a long service life, this type of materials requires very little maintenance. It can also be found in all kinds of shapes and appearance; we could even give it a "look" of wood flooring! Ceramic, on the other hand, is a dense and hard material that accentuates the transmission of impact noises in a building.

  • Recommended rooms: entrance hall, kitchen and bathroom.
  • Recommended AcoustiTECH membranes: Ceramic and Comfortima kit


Cork flooring

Cork exists in the form of tiles and floated floors. It is a very comfortable material that absorbs shocks and is antimicrobial. Made of hollow cells and composed of 50% air, this material is flexible and softer than wood or ceramic. Some will think that cork flooring is effective for soundproofing. It is true that cork is sometimes used for acoustics. However, in order for cork to be used as a flooring and to give it sufficient resistance to scratches and wear, it must be transformed; which makes it lose its soundproofing properties.

  • Recommended rooms: kitchen, living room, family room, dining room and basement.
  • Recommended AcoustiTECH membrane: VP


Can we install the same acoustical membrane under all types of floor coverings?

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