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Noise Reduction Laminate Underlay Ratings
-see explanation of noise reduction rating here-

Standard foam underlay has not been listed here because the manufacturers know it will not meet the building code requirements for multi level construction, thus no marketing advantage to incur the cost of testing and certification. But as a general rule, noise reduction laminate underlays typically will be twice as good in terms of noise reduction then the basic foam underlay.

  (1)
Quiet
Walk
(2)
Solid
Walk LT
(3)
Silent Step
(4)
2in1
Built-in Moisture Barrier yes,
must be taped
Yes, built in peel and stick overlap No

yes, must be taped

STC 54 54 52 >51
IIC 58 58 59 >55
over Wood no
no
yes yes*
over Concrete yes yes no* yes
R Value       .32
Density
lb/cu.ft
13.3   14
approx.
4.38
Price Range   .45-.55 .70-.80 .40-.60

1. Quiet Walk: Midwest Padding

2. Solid Walk LT: Pak Lite Inc. (Solid Sound Flooring). Have to be careful here because Pak Lite does make a floor padding with the same name (minus the "LT") that does not have the vapour barrier overlap. This product is harder to find, with not as broad distribution.

3. Silent Step: Pergo. This is the only one of the three that does not include a built in vapour barrier, thus great for installing on traditional wood floors. *For concrete it is essential to use it in combination with a polyethylene film. It has 2 times the sound absorption capabilities of its basic foam underlayment.

4. 2-in-1 Padding: Wilsonart *Although it has been recommended by some padding manufacturers not to use an underlay with a vapour barrier pre-applied on a wood subfloor, Wilsonart does recommend this product over a wood structure. They also make a commercial cushion and an acoustic cushion for industrial applications that have significantly higher densities to sustain heavier weight loads.

You'll note that almost all the higher end noise reduction underlays attain the almost the same ratings for STC and IIC. This goes back to the industry standards. All manufacturers have fabricated their products to comply with the minimum acceptable ratings needed to meet with the national building code.

There are many other options including rubber acoustic underlayment, many 3 and 6 mil cork equivalents and even other foam products constantly coming onto the market, these are just the ones that I have found in the local market.

More Information:
Noise Reduction Underlay Standards
Midwest Padding: Quiet Walk®
Pergo Soundbloc & Softseal Combo® Foam Floor Underlayment
Wilsonart 2-in-1 Floor Underlayment

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