Many of us have had a similar experience when living in close proximity to others. From cramped apartments to thinly-walled condominiums, the acoustic invasion by neighbors can be enough to drive the most sensible occupant crazy. As experts in fabricating sound reducing underlays, we understand the desire for noise dampening assistance. To remedy the noise transmission issue, we have designed the Eco Cork Foam flooring underlayment. Across multiple industries, there are several methods used to rate sounds and their various decibel levels and transfer rates. Today, we’ll look at two vital ratings that have a huge impact on the quality of our cork flooring underlayment. These methods are critical for measuring the sound reduction qualities of your flooring underlayments. Over time, you’ll be glad that you used our cork and foam flooring underlayment!

Sound Transmission Class

This rating happens to be the most common method used in our industry for measuring a standard sound loss between 125 and 4,000 Hertz. This range is wide enough to include a large percentage of the common noises that we hear on a daily basis. Normal audibles would include cars honking, dogs barking, noisy and televisions. A standard measurement will check 16 different categories in order to provide an aggregate total for a noise transmission score. The higher your score, the better your product is at reducing sound transmission. While this can be useful for looking at acoustic qualities, it’s important to note that the final number is an average of all testing points, meaning that a product can be exceptional in one category yet completely fail in another. Our STC rating came out to 66, which is considerably higher than the average underlayment. Eco Cork Foam happened to excel in reducing the sound of voices and footsteps, which can be very fortunate for those looking to dampen the sounds at their apartment!

Impact Insulation Class

Another way of measuring sound transmission, impact insulation class (IIC) is measured in an acoustic lab to provide a consistent, reliable method of measurement. Measuring sound at the same frequency as the STC system, Impact Insulation is calculated from striking the flooring surface with a steel-faced hammer. Essentially, this class is used to check the sounds from impacts, footfalls, etc. Scientists then measure the sound and vibration that transfers through the floor to the area beneath, simulating a relatable real-world scenario. The results of each hammer hit are plotted on a graph and referenced with the device itself to determine a set rating. Our cork flooring underlayment rates at 73, beating out virtually any other sound reducing underlayment. While this system is great for determining protection from impact noises, it is not geared to accurately measure the noises from foot traffic.

While our foam flooring underlayment is not soundproof, we believe it’s as close to it as possible! Eco Cork Foam was designed to be the best underlayment for hardwood floors and laminate flooring. Next time, we’ll look at a third rating system and how that method is perfect for determining the effectiveness of your floor underlayment. If you have any questions about this innovative product, feel free to contact us today!