Can Padding Be Installed Under a Hardwood Floor?

Solid hardwood is one of the greatest flooring materials available. Solid hardwood is a traditional floor covering that can only aspire to equal in terms of beauty and usefulness since it is made from 100 percent renewable resources and can be refinished several times.

However, there are several disadvantages to using solid hardwood. One significant disadvantage is that it transmits sound vibration. Although hardwood is thick, it is not always dense enough to absorb all of the vibration present in a normal house. It is typical to hear the tread of individuals walking above on hardwood floors in a multi-story home, particularly when those persons are wearing heels. (Softwoods may be preferable for upper-level residences.) Under a hardwood floor, it may be able to put soft, thick padding or another sort of intervening layer to reduce sound transmission and increase overall performance.

Under Hardwood Flooring Padding and Layers
One layer of soft, cushioned foam similar to that used beneath laminate flooring is put between the subflooring and solid hardwood flooring. Engineered wood flooring, on the other hand, provides significantly more alternatives for adding padding-style underlayment. If sound reduction is a problem and you are still searching for flooring, engineered wood flooring may be a better option. However, there are various intermediary layers that are occasionally laid directly between subflooring and solid hardwood flooring, such as:

Builder’s Felt or Red Rosin Paper
Traditionally, two layers are put between hardwood flooring and the subfloor: paper and felt. These materials aid in reducing squeaking between the bottom of the floorboards and the top of the subfloor. Paper and felt, on the other hand, do not absorb sound in any significant sense and do not make the surface any softer to walk on.

Underlayment Solid
Instead of soft underlayment, a solid underlayment specifically built for sound absorption might be used. Impacta’s Soundeater is one form of solid underlayment that may be laid under solid hardwood flooring. The company describes Soundeater as a “free-floating underlayment developed for nail-down hardwood flooring.” The underlayment does not need to be fastened to the subfloor in this situation, but the hardwood planks will be nailed to the underlayment.

Membrane Rubberized
Rubberized membrane is a thin (90 mil) laminated product that may be put under anything from solid hardwood to thinset-based ceramic and porcelain tile flooring systems. Proflex90, a peel-and-stick rubberized fabric sheet product that may be utilised beneath polished hardwood floors, is one example. When used with hardwood floors, this membrane is watertight and provides a limited amount of sound reduction. It is put over the plywood underlayment immediately before to the installation of the hardwood flooring.

Thick Underlayment with Plywood Intervening
While soft, thick underlayment should not be laid immediately under solid hardwood flooring, it is permissible to do so if an intervening layer of plywood is present. A dimpled underlayment, such as DMX 1-Step, is installed on top of the subfloor in this application. Above it is a layer of 5/8-inch plywood or OSB, followed by the solid hardwood flooring.

How to Make Hardwood Floors Quieter
There are additional possibilities depending on whether you are replacing flooring or attempting to find a solution for existing floors. Consider these options to placing cushioning beneath hardwood floors for sound management.

Select Denser Hardwoods
Some woods are very effective at absorbing sound. Quieter wood floors, sometimes known as hardwoods, are really softwoods such as pine, spruce, cedar, and fir. Choose oak or walnut for a quieter hardwood, and denser hardwoods like mahogany or Brazilian cherry for even greater sound absorption.

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