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Acoustic Underlay

Acoustic Underlay and Acoustic Flooring to help builders, contractors and architects comply with Part E of the Building Regulations. Acoustic Underlay can be used to provide impact sound reduction in concrete and timber separating floors to comply with Part E. 

See our Sound Insulation Design Advice pages to find Part E compliant wall and floor designs

Acoustic Underlay

What is Acoustic Underlay?

Acoustic underlay is specifically designed to help reduce airborne and impact sound within a floor system. It can be used within both timber and concrete floors and is great way of reducing impact sound with minimal fuss when it comes to installation. Acoustic underlay is essentially a rubber resilient layer that is traditionally installed underneath the final floor finish isolating / decoupling the flooring from the structure of the building. The resilient layer and flanking strip around the perimeter provide suspension and cushioning in the floor primarily reducing impact sound transference.

How Do Acoustic Underlays Work?

Acoustic underlays are primarily designed to reduce impact sound within a floor system. The purpose of the acoustic underlay is to minimise mechanical fixings and rigid stiff connection between the final floor finish and the structure of the building. Typically the thickness of the acoustic underlay will dictate the level of impact reduction it can provide, the thicker and more elastic the underlay the greater the impact sound reduction, as the acoustic underlay should act as a spring pushing back against footfall.

Acoustic underlays can also help reduce some airborne sound, but this will typically only be within timber floor constructions. Acoustic underlays are traditionally not used to improve airborne sound but if by installing the acoustic underlay the proportional mass of the systems is increased and the product helps in providing an air tight seal to the floor system, you can achieve a noticeable improvement.

What Types of Acoustic Underlays are Available?

Floating floors can come in multiple forms including:

  • Acoustic Underlays for Timber Floors – There are 3 types of acoustic underlay that we advice within our soundproofing floor designs they include Mutemat 2, Mutemat 3 and Mutemat OSF 750 – 10. Mutemat 2 and 3 provide superior impact sound reduction due to being high mass and multi layered, the Mutemat OSF 750 -10 provide a more cost effective alternative.
  • Acoustic Underlays for Concrete Floors – There are two product types for concrete floors of overscreed acoustic underlay and underscreed acoustic underlay. Within concrete floors you can achieve high levels of impact sound reduction with thin 3 – 5mm acoustic underlays.

All  types of acoustic underlays are used within our soundproofing floor designs to help achieve the requirements of Part E of the Building Regulations. Any acoustic floating floor will have to be installed with an appropriate acoustic ceiling solution below.

How to Achieve Part E compliance with an Acoustic Floating Floor? 

The Soundproofing Floors and Soundproofing Walls sections of our website shows multiple designs to help achieve the requirements of Part E of the building regulations. Acoustic underlays are one of our more popular products due to them typically being cheaper than acoustic floating floors and the installation costs also being lower. Dependant on your chosen floor finish some of the more elastic acoustic underlays, Mutemat 2 and Mutemat 3, may require to be overlain with a 9mm Plywood. This will be dependant on your final floor finish.

The more popular timber floor systems that use acoustic underlay are:

  • Mutemat 2 – Within this timber soundproofing floor system the Mutemat 2 is simply installed within a traditional timber joist construction with dense mineral wool between the joists and a MuteClip Acoustic Clip ceiling below.

The more popular concrete floor systems that use acoustic underlays are:

There are various other sound insulation design for floors and walls to achieve Part E compliance on the soundproofing advice section of our website.