Paul Absolon, CMS Acoustic Solutions
1. Confirm compatibility with other building materials. Otherwise, expensive remedial works may be required post-installation. For example, rubber/cork acoustic underlays are incompatible with floor finishes such as vinyl.
2. Longevity of performance should be balanced with product capital cost. Lower-priced acoustic flooring materials will offer sound insulation in the short term, but risk failure in the long term. Always request independent verification of long-term performance.
3. Select robust systems. Sites frequently fail to meet minimum sound standards due to poor workmanship. For example, under-screed materials that can simply be turned up at the edges are more robust than systems requiring separate perimeter strips.
4. Consider the environmental impact. Acoustic flooring should be made from recycled materials, be completely recyclable and during manufacturing the most sustainable products will have zero global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential.
5. Check the manufacturer’s credentials. They should be able to provide independent test reports on the acoustic performance of a system. But test conditions should be identical for a direct comparison of performance.