Unless you are a professional musician, audio engineer, or another person with a vested interest in understanding the nature of acoustics, chances are you won’t be certain about what type of flooring is suitable for enjoying audio in your home.
Are you planning to convert one of the rooms in your home into a media room, or are you building a new home and you know that you want to include a home theater? The selection of flooring will have an effect on the audio quality you get out of your surround sound system as you enjoy movies, TV shows, and concerts with your family.
How about enjoying live performances of music in your home? Perhaps your children are practicing music and need a good room to play their instruments? Before buying a piano, it would be a good idea to put the new flooring in first, after all. And if your family enjoys singing, whether gathering for karaoke in the living room or practicing for a recital, it’s in your best interest to outfit a room where you can hear everything as clearly as possible.
There’s nothing like coming home from a hard day of work or school and settling down with the family in a comfy home theater. In fact, many families invest in their home theater so they can save on going out to the cinema (ticket prices, gas and maybe a babysitter all add up). It only makes sense to set up the media room or home theater so everyone can clearly hear the audio.
You’ll enjoy TV shows, movies, concerts, and live sporting events much more when the acoustics are controlled through the flooring. Carpeting is the best option for a home theater because it will give you better acoustics than hard flooring, such as wood or tile. The harder the surface, the more it will reflect sound, and as this reflected sound bounces around the room, it becomes muddy and harder to distinguish sounds from one another. While vacuuming and steam cleaning the carpet may represent a bit more work in terms of keeping the room clear as compared to sweeping a floor, the improved acoustics you’ll get with carpeting should make it worth your while.
Add some cork or rubber underlayment to your flooring to further dampen sound. Professional musicians often add cork to the flooring (and on the walls) to cut down on background noise.
Foam backed vinyl flooring is another option for absorbing noise and has the advantage of being cushioned as well as durable and easy to clean.
Does anyone in your family sing or play a musical instrument? Or is someone getting ready to dive into music and needs a good place to practice and play every day?
At the very least, even if no one in your family has their hearts set on developing a musical career, you may still enjoy more casual singing get-togethers, such as assembling to sing songs with a Karaoke machine.
You can set up your machine in the music rehearsal room next to the piano or other instruments, so even the people who cannot play anything can have fun singing. Avoiding excessive reverberations involves covering a floor with carpet or at the very least adding some area rugs to dampen the reflected sounds.
Another aspect of sound in the home that families sometimes forget about until it’s too late is keeping the noise down. To keep the peace and avoid ruining the sleep of family members, you can install soundproofing materials.
Consult with your flooring installation professionals about your options for insulation such as cork or rubber. Putting extra insulation between the ceiling of the ground floor and the floor of the second story will keep sounds from leaking into someone’s bedroom.
As an added bonus, putting in audio insulation materials between floors can also help keep the heat or cold in when you run your furnace or air conditioning equipment, which in turn lowers your utility bills as well as your family’s carbon footprint.
Whether you simply want to enjoy your media room and take full advantage of its surround sound system or begin some serious music practice sessions in the comfort of your own home, the flooring choices you make will have an impact. Give the experts at Floor Coverings International East Bay a call today to talk about setting up the ideal sound environment in your home before you make a commitment about which materials to install.
Photo Credit: Pics721