Timber flooring can be a blessing if you have kids running around your home. Unlike carpets, timber floors make it easy to clean up kid messes, spills, dirt and accidents without leaving residual stains or marks. However, you may be concerned that timber floors, lovely as they might be to clean, may make your house noisier than it already is.
Like most kids, your children probably run everywhere rather than walk and could outstomp an elephant in a competition. To keep noise levels down to a dull roar, it may be worth combining your timber floors with underlay. What difference will this make?
Underlay Dulls Noise
A layer of underlay under timber flooring reduces some of the noise you get when someone walks — or runs — on the floor. The underlay basically damps down echoes that may come from the gap between the floor and its sub-floor.
While underlay is often used as a noise reduction solution for people who live in apartments and who don't want their wooden floor noise to bother the neighbours, it can also be a good way to keep noise down in a house. For example, if you use underlay in a child's upstairs bedroom, then you won't have to sit downstairs with your teeth on edge listening to them jumping off their bed and running around. Even rooms on the ground floor can benefit from underlay — you may still be able to hear your kids, but the noise levels may be significantly reduced.
Tip: As well as shutting out some noise, underlay can also be a useful way to protect your timber flooring from some kinds of damage. For example, a layer of underlay might help protect wooden floors from moisture or mildew if these problems develop under the flooring.
What Kind of Underlay to Use?
Even regular timber flooring underlay will reduce some noise for you. If you're looking for a higher-level solution, then using underlay that has acoustic properties might be a good idea. Acoustic underlay is designed to give as much soundproofing to a floor as possible.
If you've decided to give underlay a go, ask your timber-floor installer for advice on which product will give you the best noise-reduction results. Not all underlays suit all types of wooden flooring, so getting expert help from an experienced professional who can identify the best solution for you will be useful.