New underlays can reduce noise levels in commercial buildings

The trend for hard floor surfaces in commercial buildings has created the unintended consequence of an increase in noise. Business owners are feeling pressure to reduce noise, and already in 2019, a number of manufacturers have produced acoustic underlays to tackle this issue.

Noisy environments can be stressful and distracting, reducing worker productivity. Open plan offices with hard floors, glass walls and windows cause sound to bounce around the area. Restaurants appear to have got noisier. Noisy school buildings are not conducive to focused learning. Hard floors such as laminates and LVT on upper floors can transmit noise to the floor below. There have been studies that have found a link between high sound levels in hospitals and patient low wellbeing.

Many organisations have recognised the noise issue and have taken steps to reduce sound levels. Acoustical ceilings and textured walls can lessen noise levels. Thick carpets reduce noise, but if a business still wants hard floors, there are a number of new acoustic underlays and pads available. Even the adhesives used in floor installations can have acoustic properties that help dampen noise.

Technology has also been developed to tackle the noise issue, with speakers emitting sound-masking noise resembling soft rushing air.

Businesses installing commercial flooring in North Wales should talk to their flooring contractor about the best type of flooring and acoustic underlays to reduce noise. If you want a quiet working environment, start with looking how the floors can lessen noise.