Does Rubber Help With Soundproofing? (We Find Out)

Does rubber help with soundproofing? The rubber usually has a high mass, so many people wonder if they can use it to soundproof their hard floor. But does it really help with soundproofing floors?

Rubber works well in blocking sound as it adds mass to surfaces. It stops sound waves from exiting walls and ceilings. If you add a layer of rubber under the hardwood floor, it effectively isolates impact sound.

Does Rubber Help With Soundproofing

There is no denying that rubber is an excellent soundproof flooring material. For this reason, it is also essential to know how you can utilize it to soundproof your home. 

Also, check out my guide on Reducing Impact Noise From the Floor Above

How Does Rubber Help With Soundproofing?

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Soundproofing is a way of controlling unwanted noise effectively using different noise-mitigating materials. There is an array of soundproofing materials that you can choose from to block or absorb unwanted noises.

But if blocking sound waves is your goal, rubber is one of the best materials to use. 

So how does rubber help with soundproofing?

Suppose you are sitting somewhere in your home and you can hear the noise coming from outside. This noise travels in a room through the outside air that hits the windows and walls of your home.

If you have a hardwood floor, footfall noise can also add to the unwanted noises you hear.

Once the sound waves traveling through the air hit a wall, it causes the air on the other side to vibrate as well. To prevent such from happening, you need something to prevent that noise from traveling. 

Sound can also distract people through impact. A hard surface, such as a floor, produces a loud noise when it receives an impact.

For this reason, you need a soft material to prevent impact from making too much noise. Rubber is an excellent solution for such a problem. 

For a better understanding, here are how rubber helps with soundproofing:

Adds Mass To Surfaces

Rubber is high mass and dense. Therefore, it can easily block sound waves from passing through surfaces. Adding mass to walls will decrease sound vibration. Meaning if you add a layer of rubber to your wall, less noise will pass through it.

However, it is essential to note that rubber will not wholly stop sound from getting into your home. Instead, it will only reduce the noise to a level that is no longer bothersome to the ears. 

Sealing Gaps

Does rubber help with soundproofing? If your windows and doors have gaps, rubber is the perfect material to seal them.

Using rubber for sealing noise passages covers these gaps completely, leaving no space for the sound waves to pass through. Such is the reason why rubber is one of the most popular materials for door sweeps. 

Decouple Impact Sound

Impact sound is a noise that is a little challenging to deal with, especially in homes with hardwood flooring. Rubber can be an excellent solution for such an issue.

Rubber underlayment provides fantastic sound absorption. The reason is that it absorbs impact noise caused by footfall or any other impacts, as it prevents sound waves from vibrating. 

Rubber soaks up sound energy during sound absorption, so fewer sound waves are transmitted into the room. This way, you will not have to deal with impact sound while walking in your home.

So, does rubber help with soundproofing? The simple answer is yes. 

How To Use Rubber For Soundproofing

Sound waves bounce off of wooden, tiled, and concrete surfaces like floors in the form of airborne and impact noises. To combat such noises, you need something to prevent these sound waves from bouncing from one surface to another. 

Some of the most popular soundproofing materials are soundproofing foam, mass-loaded vinyl, and acoustic window inserts. Rubber is less popular, but it also helps to make a room less noisy. 

But how does rubber help with soundproofing? 

Rubber is widely used in many establishments where people use loud machines. For instance, gyms use rubber mats underneath their floors to reduce the noise of loud exercise equipment, such as treadmills. 

The softness and denseness of rubber can simultaneously absorb and dampen both impact and airborne noises. 

Furthermore, here are some forms of soundproofing rubber and how you can use them:

  • foam rubber weather stripping
  • floor underlay
  • rubber rug pad

1. Foam Rubber Weather Stripping

Interior doors do not usually have weatherstripping. So, the gaps between the door, door frame, and floor serve as perfect spots for unwanted noises to pass through.

Foam rubber weather stripping can help muffle the unwanted noises that infiltrate your room. 

This soundproofing material blocks some of the sound waves to make an area quieter. Most rubber weatherstrippings that you will find in the market are self-adhesive, so you will not have difficulty using them. 

If weatherstripping is not enough to cover the gap under your door, you can also use a door sweep.

2. Floor Underlay

How does rubber help with soundproofing the floor? The floor is one of the surfaces in your house or an establishment that receives the most impact. So, it would be best if you had something to reduce the sound of that impact. 

If you have tile, wood, or ceramic flooring, rubber underlayment is necessary to achieve effective soundproofing. As mentioned, rubber underlayment cushions the floor to prevent impact noise from distracting people. 

Rubber underlayment consists of commercial-grade rubber, so it can effectively make your house or any establishment quieter.

3. Rubber Rug Pad

Suppose you do not have floor underlayment and do not have a budget to install one. In that case, another effective solution is rubber rug pads. 

Rubber rug pads prevent carpets from slipping. But since they are also dense and soft, they work well in stopping the vibration of impact noises. 

You can even use rubber rugs under furniture, such as your bed, sofa, and table. This way, the furniture will not make too much noise when you need to move them.

Sources

  1. Jaime Pfretzschner and Rosa Maria Rodriguez, Acoustic Properties Of Rubber Crumbs, https://asa.scitation.org/doi/10.1121/1.2932706, accessed October 10, 2021. 
  2. Joseph Truini, How To Soundproof A Room, https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/how-to/g2470/soundproofing-a-room/ accessed October 11, 2021.
  3. Tom Scalisi, The Best Soundproofing Materials for Muffling Noise, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-soundproofing-material/, accessed October 11, 2021.

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