Ask anyone who’s lived underneath a noisy neighbor before, and they’ll tell you how much impact a simple few footsteps can make.
The notion of using soundproofing carpets doesn’t seem like such a crazy one when you see the difference they can make, and if you’re looking to reduce sound at home, it can be a quick fix.
How do soundproofing carpets work, though?
A carpet laid on the ground might not be completely preventing sound from traveling, but it’s effective at absorbing sound through its individual fibers and underlay, and at different frequencies.
Wool carpets are considered the most effective at reducing sound because of their fibers but other types can work as well.
Carpets aren’t just for looking good and feeling soft under your feet, but they can also provide some much-needed sound relief. If you’ve been wondering what a soundproof rug or carpet can really do for reducing noise at your house, read on to see us answer all of the most pressing questions.
What Are Soundproofing Carpets?
People have known for a long time that carpets and rugs are effective at absorbing sound, which is why the soundproofing carpet product was invented. A soundproofing carpet is usually in the form of an underlay that goes beneath the carpet of a room but it could just be a standalone carpet product.
These come in varying styles, features, and sizes, so it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to find one that will work in your home.
The basic styles of soundproofing carpets are thin and better suited to deadening sounds like footsteps and other everyday traffic across the floor.
However, at the higher end of the scale, you can purchase a thicker type of underlay with included materials that don’t just keep the footsteps to a low, but also other sounds like media rooms and stereo systems.
How Do They Work?
Using carpet as a form of soundproofing is nothing new, and it’s all thanks to the unique construction and materials used in these floor coverings. Their effectiveness is due to the many individual fibers and tufts that absorb sound and are capable of targeting different resonant frequencies.
Carpet works just as well at absorbing sound and reducing vibrations from all directions, so it’s not all about keeping floor traffic noise to a minimum. The addition of a carpet to a room is an effective measure for soundproofing, and they even work just as well hung on the wall.
Soundproofing carpets were designed with noise reduction in mind, so they’re often made with a thick layer of materials like wool, and then protected with an underlay that also has soundproofing abilities.
With both of these combined, they’re effective at reducing sound and absorbing vibrations to make a big difference in your living space.
Can You Soundproof a Carpet Yourself?
Carpet is not a cheap product to purchase, so what if you already own a rug that you like or have recently laid fresh carpet down without any sound protection? There are ways you can soundproof these yourself, although you’ll need to put in some extra effort.
To soundproof a standalone rug, the easiest way is by using an underlay. These can be cut to size to suit the space you’re trying to fill and attach easily underneath the rug.
Otherwise, you can trim them down to size if you’re buying in bulk and hoping to apply the underlay to more than one rug at home.
To rip up your existing laid carpet and insert a soundproofing underlay is harder to do, but not impossible.
The best time to take this approach is if you’ve only recently laid the carpet in the last few years or don’t have the money to replace it entirely, so you can lift it and add the underlay yourself if you’ve got a few days to spare.
These carpets and underlays usually come rated in a number of categories to help determine what’s best, but not all products will have these visible.
You can look for information like an Impact Insulation Class (ITC) rating or a Sound Transmission Class rating. In both of these cases, the higher the number, the better job it does at keeping sound to a minimum.
Other Options for Soundproofing a Floor
If you’re not yet done shopping around and want to see what the other options are for soundproofing a floor, there’s plenty to choose from.
Here are some of your choices for soundproofing floor materials with various ratings that might be more effective for your noise-reducing needs.
- Mass loaded vinyl: The most effective type of soundproofing you can have for a floor and works even better underneath the carpet. This is a thin but dense material that absorbs a lot of sound if you can afford it.
- Sound deadening floor insulation: This is a layer that you can put underneath your chosen flooring, so would work especially well with carpet over the top. This insulation is placed around the floor joists and prevents the sound waves from traveling which reduces the overall noise.
- Acoustic floor tiles: These are similar to the acoustic tiles you can place on the wall, and they work by reducing echo and vibration. They’re not as attractive as carpet though, but may be cheaper if you shop around.
Sound Relief at Your Feet
The floor might not be the first place you look when trying to soundproof a room, but these carpets have proven this wrong.
Whether you choose a complete soundproofing carpet application or just additional help with a noise-canceling underlay, you’ll get a lot of relief by looking down and making some changes there.
A soundproofing carpet can work wonders in the right space, but there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye.
To help you figure out the technical side and see how they work at reducing noise, we’ve got the answers to some FAQs that can do just that.
Does Thick Carpet Reduce Noise?
The thickness of a carpet isn’t the only way to determine its soundproofing abilities but it can be helpful to look at.
Instead, choosing the right material will give better results as some are more effective at absorbing sound. In this case, a wool carpet is good for noise reduction and combined with an underlay, it’s even better.
How Do I Reduce Noise From Upstairs?
If the noise problem is coming from above and you have no control over that space, there are a few things you can try in your own home to help.
Installing soundproofing ceilings, drywall, and flooring may absorb some of the sounds, but you should also determine the source of the sound and see if you can persuade them politely to be quieter.
How Do I Reduce Noise From the Floor?
To reduce the noise that your floor makes when you walk on it, you can try a few quick fixes in addition to a soundproofing carpet.
Sealing the floor joists, inserting deck screws, and using rubber floor mats in particularly problematic areas can reduce the noise and absorb some of the sound made from walking on the floor.