Carpet and Pad

(Question from a reader in the USA)

If the unit above (with wood joist construction) was tiled without rubber or cork underlayment, what specifications for the carpet and pad are necessary to significantly reduce impact noise? My tenant lives in bottom unit and is having sleep disturbance from the noise above. I can't find this information anywhere.

Reply from Noise Help:

1. If impact noise is the only concern, the thickness of the carpet pad is the main component for your soundproofing. A half-inch carpet pad would be great, or as thick as possible while still being compatible with the carpet. You can choose the carpet according to your taste and budget, and the amount of traffic it will see. The carpet retailer should be able to advise you about pads that will be compatible with your carpet and your flooring.

Here is a website that gives good information about carpet padding:
Carpet Padding Information by FindAnyFloor
(Be sure to click on the other two tabs for information on carpet padding types and carpet padding categories.)

2. If you have airborne noise (voices, music, TV) as well as impact noise, you can use a carpet underlay that includes one or more weighted layers, like this one, for example:
Privacy Premium Carpet Underlay (Sound Isolation Company)
On the product detail page is a slide show with detailed installation diagrams, which might be useful even if you are installing regular padding.

In the UK, a similar product is Quietfloor PLUS (Sound Service).

The weighted layers are an added expense and are unnecessary if you only have impact noise to worry about. Regular carpet padding is fine if you're not worried about airborne noise.

3. For general information about choosing and installing carpeting, a good resource is the World Floor Covering Association website.

This should get you going in the right direction. Best wishes for success with your project!


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