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Hardwood flooring for audio room: glue-down or "floating"

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am planning on getting hardwood flooring installed (over concrete) in my audio room. I have two choices of installation: "glue down" or "floating". Do you think the "floating" method would result in vibrations from the bass? The "floating" method is significantly cheaper than the "glue down".

Yes, I know, carpeting may be better than hardwood for audio, but I will be putting in additional treatment such as rugs, etc.

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
Probably will not make much difference. The floating floors provide a great deal of mass along with tight interconnections. You will have bigger problems with the reflections off of the floor if you don't add rugs etc.
post #3 of 12
My personal preference with hardwood on concrete is to glue down 6mm cork underlay. It's not that expensive and eliminates sound transmission of any sort to the concrete. The people under you will be thankful. I would glue down the hardwood as well, but there's really not much difference compared to letting it float. Acoustically, the glue is your better option.
post #4 of 12
of course depending on where your audio room there are other important considerations that come into play that have little to do with audio performance. for example if below grade than you'd be remiss to not go with floating (and put a thick mil of plastic down underneath the cork/sound barrier/etc.), but that's talk for a different forum i'm sure...
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyehayes3 View Post

you should definitely glue it down to decrease vibrations in hardwood flooring.

I think he already made his decision.....3yrs ago

But...welcome!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmm5 View Post

of course depending on where your audio room there are other important considerations that come into play that have little to do with audio performance. for example if below grade than you'd be remiss to not go with floating (and put a thick mil of plastic down underneath the cork/sound barrier/etc.), but that's talk for a different forum I'm sure...

Based on my experience with a floating floor we installed in a bedroom several years back, claims of non-resonance based on the mass and interconnectedness of the surface ring true. This floor was laid over an existing highly damaged oak floor with no resilient interface, so it is probably a worst case implementation.

I wouldn't put much hope in attenuation of vibration being transmitted through the floor even if a resilient interface were used. Studio floors with that feature achieve it by vastly different means.

Floating floors attenuate well, but only above their resonant frequency. Getting a floor suspended so that its resonant frequency is at a sufficiently low frequency takes a lot of mass and a very soft suspension. The foam sheeting used for this purpose with so-called floating flooring is IME way too stiff given the minimal mass that each square foot of it suspends.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Based on my experience with a floating floor we installed in a bedroom several years back, claims of non-resonance based on the mass and interconnectedness of the surface ring true. This floor was laid over an existing highly damaged oak floor with no resilient interface, so it is probably a worst case implementation.

I wouldn't put much hope in attenuation of vibration being transmitted through the floor even if a resilient interface were used. Studio floors with that feature achieve it by vastly different means.

Floating floors attenuate well, but only above their resonant frequency. Getting a floor suspended so that its resonant frequency is at a sufficiently low frequency takes a lot of mass and a very soft suspension. The foam sheeting used for this purpose with so-called floating flooring is IME way too stiff given the minimal mass that each square foot of it suspends.

Ahem...and beside this thread being 3yrs old....you usually choose the "type" of flooring based on your substrate's properties, not on your speakers . But that's a whole different subject . A floating floor is essential when movement from moisture is inevitable...and flooring in a basement is usually a situation where this is necessary.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
Floating floors attenuate well, but only above their resonant frequency. Getting a floor suspended so that its resonant frequency is at a sufficiently low frequency takes a lot of mass and a very soft suspension. The foam sheeting used for this purpose with so-called floating flooring is IME way too stiff given the minimal mass that each square foot of it suspends.
That's a very good point(s) there Arnyk. Many just leave the floor connected to the slab so as not to introduce a compressible layer and the inherent resonance that comes from that. Avoids opening a can of worms.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

That's a very good point(s) there Arnyk. Many just leave the floor connected to the slab so as not to introduce a compressible layer and the inherent resonance that comes from that. Avoids opening a can of worms.

Are you suggesting that using some sort of "quiet step" underlay between the hardwood floor and subfloor can make things worse?
post #10 of 12
Resonance is introduced when you have to mass layers with a compressible element between them. Could be a common air cavity, or a rubber layer. Either will compress and therefore have a corresponding Mass-Spring_Mass resonance introduced.

This is a helpful necessary evil with footfall noise on wood floors. Less value on a slab
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

Are you suggesting that using some sort of "quiet step" underlay between the hardwood floor and subfloor can make things worse?

Not at all.

I'm just saying that when people are serious about reducing the sound transmission by a floor, they introduce something that is very massy and compliant such as a slab that is suspended.
post #12 of 12
Forget all that, timber floors are rotten for acoustics.....unless you can add a lot of treatments to all other surfaces. I have a live living room with hard surfaces everywhere (floor, walls, open plan kitchen, light weight blinds), fixing it is going to be hard/impossible....and we've got lots of big absorptive sofas and a rug.....still doesn't remove the echo.......just something to keep in mind.
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