Can You Put Mass Loaded Vinyl Under a Carpet?

One of the most popular types of vinyl flooring is mass-loaded vinyl (MLV). This type of vinyl provides the same benefits as standard vinyl floors but can it also be used for floor soundproofing?

You can put mass-loaded vinyl under a carpet. Vinyl is a popular material for flooring because it is durable, affordable, and easy to clean. MLV in particular has a textured finish that looks like wood flooring. 

Put Mass Loaded Vinyl Under a Carpet

However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you install MLV under your carpet. This article will discuss the various benefits of using mass-loaded vinyl and provide a detailed guide to installing MLV under a carpet.

The article will also provide alternatives for people who don’t want to soundproof their floor with MLV. 

Is It Possible To Put Mass Loaded Vinyl Under a Carpet?

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It is possible to put mass-loaded vinyl under a carpet. However, it will not be as durable as using a traditional flooring installation. Vinyl is not as thick as wood and can easily become damaged if stepped on or scratched. 

Additionally, if the carpet becomes wet, the vinyl will likely become wet and slippery, making it difficult to walk on.

Mass-loaded vinyl has ballast powder mixed into it before being extruded into sheets of flooring. The heavy mix gives it more weight than standard sheet vinyl, making it more flexible. 

One drawback of MLV over standard vinyl is that it’s more difficult to install. Installing MLV often requires cutting it into pieces and using seams.

How Does MLV Work?

MLV is designed to be used with carpet installations where sound reduction is important. It provides an added cushion between your floorboards and carpet. You can use it between your floors and carpet to serve as an effective sound absorber.

While there are some concerns about its durability, most experts believe that MLV is an effective way to reduce noise and improve soundproofing in buildings. MLV is definitely worth the investment if you want better sound and noise reduction. 

Benefits of MLV

Effective Soundproofing Material

Mass-loaded vinyl is one of the most effective soundproofing options available. This type of vinyl uses pressurized air to evenly distribute the weight of the material, which makes it more effective at blocking sound than traditional vinyl sheets.

MLV’s soundproofing properties make it an excellent choice for noise-sensitive areas such as bedrooms and offices. 

Flexibility

MLV is also one of the most versatile flooring options you can find. Not only does it look great, but you can also install it in more ways than one.

In addition, MLV is a highly durable option, so you can be sure your floor will last for years to come and you won’t have to spend too much on replacement costs.

Thin Yet Dense Material

MLV is designed to be as thin as possible while still providing mass, so you can use it to reduce noise and vibration in a room while taking up little floor space. In contrast, materials like foam cover a smaller area and are often thicker, making them inferior to MLV. 

How To Install MLV Under a Carpet

  1. Remove the floor transitions. Remove any transition pieces and baseboard molding covering your sub-floor so you don’t have to worry about bumping into them while working on your project. Measure twice when removing these pieces so they fit back into place nicely after installation.
  2. Detach the carpet from the tack strip. Once you’ve removed all the transition pieces and baseboard molding, go ahead and remove your carpet. The easiest way to do so is by using a pry bar. You can also use an electric staple remover if you have one. 
  3. Remove carpet padding. Once you’ve removed your carpet, your next step is to remove any existing padding. If there’s none, go straight to step 4. Otherwise, remove the padding by prying up one corner with your pry bar. Then, pull it back towards yourself and use your hands to rip it away from underneath the tack strip. Be sure not to tear any of it when doing so.
  4. Lay down the MLV on the subfloor. Once you’ve removed all your padding, you can lay down your MLV. If you’re using a double layer of MLV, be sure to overlap each piece by at least 1/2 inch (1.27 cm). Ensure that your seams line up with one another and that there’s no space between them. Also, be sure there’s no extra material hanging over any edges or exposed areas where it can get damaged during installation.
  5. Reattach the carpet back to the tack strip. Once you’ve laid down your MLV, reattach your carpet back to your tack strip. Be sure that it’s lined up nicely and that there are no gaps between it and your MLV. 

MLV Alternatives

Floor Underlayment

Floor underlayment is a great alternative to MLV. It’s much more durable and comes in various colors and patterns to suit your needs. You can also use it for flooring in general, and it’s also easy to clean.

For example, if you have 100 square feet (9.29 square meters) of laminate and engineered hardwood flooring, you can use the Roberts Serenity Foam Wood & Laminate Underlayment (available on Amazon.com), which also works well for radiant heated floors. 

Roberts Serenity Foam Wood & Laminate Underlayment, 100 sq. ft. Roll

Polyethylene Foam

Polyethylene foam can be used as a replacement for mass-loaded vinyl, and it’s often less expensive. Polyethylene foam is also faster to install than mass-loaded vinyl, so you can get your flooring protection in place more quickly.

Acoustic Foam

Acoustic foam is a material used to reduce sound transmission in buildings and vehicles. It’s made of small bubbles that help absorb sound. These bubbles are randomly distributed throughout the foam, helping to reduce noise levels.

Conclusion

Putting mass-loaded vinyl under a carpet can be a great way to reduce noise and vibration. However, this type of installation does have its risks.

Ensure you consult with an experienced flooring contractor before proceeding with the installation, as certain techniques must be used to ensure the longevity of the vinyl and avoid any damage to your flooring.

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