If you are sick and tired of footfall noise and other sounds emanating from the floor above, you will have to use ways and means to deaden it.
The best of floor soundproofing materials are expensive and would cost a minimum of $3 to 5 per square foot. But, I would not like to recommend something which I would hesitate to buy because of the price. The most cost-effective solution is a sound deadening underlayment. The underlay that I recommend is the Roberts 70-193 Super Felt Underlayment at only $0.32 per square foot at Amazon. This underlayment is thick and I found it quite effective for my floors.
Why I Chose the Roberts Super Felt Underlayment
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In the decision stage, I felt that the Roberts underlayment would give me the best of two worlds. It would be inexpensive as well as effective enough to muffle the sound of my kids playing upstairs. Read my article on soundproofing floors.
I had looked at the better options such as Acoustik mat and Mass Loaded Vinyls. The Acoustik mat is heavy and very effective. But at about $3 to 5 per square foot, the whole project would become too expensive.
For a 300 square foot room, Acoustik mat would cost up to $1500 whereas the Roberts Super Felt Underlayment costs just a little over $100 for a roll that covers 360 square feet.
So, I ordered one roll of the super felt underlayment for my upstairs bedroom. The installation itself was not much of a problem. The material has some decent weight and it was easy to roll out. But, it was definitely hard to cut. So, industry grade scissors were required.
After getting it installed, I could feel the difference immediately in my downstairs living room and home theater room. The deafening footfall noise had reduced quite a bit and I was very happy with the overall result. Moreover, walking on the floor gives a nice soft feel under the feet.
This underlayment is not perfect though. It does make a lot of difference but does not block sound completely. This is something I expected at this price. If you have a home theater room upstairs, then this underlayment will not be very effective especially for muffing out the bass.
Some Questions Answered About the Roberts Super Felt Underlayment
The very expensive ones were struck off my list immediately. After narrowing down to the Roberts Super Felt Underlayment, there were a few questions I had before purchasing and here is what I learned.
What type of floors can this be used?
This can be used for hardwood, laminate, bamboo, concrete, etc. In fact, you can use it for any kind of flooring as long as it is not glued directly down to subfloor (vinyl flooring for example). It also cannot be used for nail down applications.
Is it moisture resistant?
As it is made of felt, it will be a bit susceptible to moisture. It has a plastic film but this should not be used as a vapor barrier as it is thin. If using on concrete floors, a plastic protective layer is recommended. For other types of floors, there should be no problem.
What is the STC rating for this?
The manufacturer claims an STC of 66. In my experience, this is an exaggerated claim. Nonetheless, it does a decent job.
Can this be used for walls?
The answer is no. First of all, this is an underlayment which has not been tested for other applications. Secondly, there are a lot of better options for walls like adding extra mass, decoupling, etc. For floors, these options are not practical and an underlayment is generally the most sensible way to go.
If I were to summarize the performance of the Roberts 70-193 Super Felt Underlayment, the pros would be as follows:-
- Effective at deadening sound.
- Highly cost effective.
- Superior to foam underlays.
- Fairly thick at 4 mm for increased effectiveness.
- Cushions sound yet does not flex so much that it creates a squeaky sound.
- Very easy to roll out and lay.
- Made of fibers and not plastic, so no crinkling sounds when walking over it.
- Good features for the price.
- Not easy to cut.
- Not as effective as products costing above $1000.
If you are like me and looking for a decent amount of soundproofing for your floor, look no further. The Roberts 70-193 Super Felt Underlayment is definitely a great choice. Click here to check the prices on Amazon.