An installer tapes down Keene Building Products’ QQ Step Soft Rubber Sound Control Mat.

The sound control products segment has become increasingly competitive. A category that previously was limited to underlayments and mats has grown to include adhesives and cushion products. With so many new products in play, contractors need to be extremely careful when choosing products for a specific project, companies in the segment say. Sound control products are not intended to be a one-size-fits-all solution.

“We realize that one product cannot solve all noise issues,” said Bill Devin, manager and director of marketing for Sound Seal’s Impacta underlayment business. “So we have probably 15 different underlayment systems. Our system for marble, for example, is completely different than our system for glue-down vinyl. And, that is completely different than our system for loose-lay vinyl.”

He also believes it’s important to work with an acoustical consultant on every job, to ensure the customer is getting the right product for the building. “Every job we do we run by an acoustical consultant,” Devin explained. “In the end, it can save people significant amounts of money down the line. Sound control shouldn’t be looked at as a temporary solution. It should last longer than the floor.”

Installed acoustical systems need to meet two building codes: IIC and STC. IIC (Impact Insulation Class) measures how well an assembly affects impact noise (for example, the sound of a woman in high heels walking on hardwood). STC, or Sound Transmission Class, measures how well an assembly reduces airborne noise, such as a loud television, radio or conversation.

However, according to Ellis Ponton, vp sales for Keene Building Products, even those relatively straightforward codes can prove confusing. “The IIC rating is the one everyone is looking at for impact reduction,” he noted. “But products do not carry an IIC rating. Only an assembly does. That’s a common mistake – general contractors and architects often ask what the sound rating or decibel rating is on a product, instead of the assembly.”

His company makes the QQ Step Soft Rubber Sound Control Mat, which is made using primarily recycled rubber. “It’s important to find ways to drive cost,” he said. “I don’t mean unit cost – I mean we have to look at the overall assembly, the cost of ownership, and the total cost of installing it. We’re trying to find ways to make the product easier to install, and are looking at ways to get better performance out of even thinner material. However, there are limitations to what you can do. You can’t go against the basic physics involved to deaden sound.”-Michael Chmielecki

Sound Control Products Guide

Company Name: Amorim Cork Composites
Address: 26112 110th St., Trevor, WI 53179
Phone: (262) 862-2311
Fax: (262) 869-2500
Product Names:  AcoustiCORK™ R60 – 6mm Sound Control Underlayment. AcoustiCORK™ PR60 – 6mm Wave Textured High Performance Sound Control Underlayment. AcoustiCORK™ S130 – 13mm Sound Control Underlayment. AcoustiCORK™ CRC950 – 9.5mm High Performance Composite Sound Control Underlayment. AcoustiCORK™ Quiet Comfort  – 2.5mm Wave Textured Sound Control Underlayment for Floating Floors.

Company Name: APC Cork
Address: 2014 West Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach, FL 33067
Phone: (866) 222-3241 Fax: (866) 222-4842
Product Names: Full line of cork underlayments available in 3mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm and 12mm. 

Company Name: Bostik, Inc.
Address: 211 Boston St., Middleton, MA 01949
Phone: (978) 750-7321
Fax: (978) 750-7212
Product Names: MVP4® Moisture Vapor Protection is a one-part, trowel applied, elastomeric, moisture cure urethane membrane designed to reduce moisture vapor transmission from the subfloor; create a noise reduction barrier over the substrate; and establish an anti-fracture membrane that can bridge cracks that can occur in the substrate prior to or after installation (up to 1/8”) of engineered and solid hardwood flooring. MVP4 may be used over all substrates for hardwood flooring installations including: concrete, plywood, particle or chip board (underlayment grade), well bonded vinyl, ceramic tile, cement backer board, cement patch/underlayments, radiant heat flooring, and terrazzo. MVP4 contains Bostik BLOCKADE™ antimicrobial protection. Hydroment Ultra-Set Advanced elastomeric waterproofing/crack/sound isolation membrane and setting adhesive – Use over properly prepared concrete; structurally-sound, exterior grade plywood (interior/dry use only); cementitious backer board; and existing, well-bonded vinyl/VCT or ceramic tile; prior to the installation of ceramic or stone tile. Ultra-Set Advanced may be used with gypsum-based underlayments in dry, above grade installations with minimum compressive strengths of 2,000 psi. Follow applicable TCNA specifications for installation of tile over poured gypsum underlayments.

Company Name: ECORE International
Address: 715 Fountain Ave., Lancaster, PA 17601
Phone: (717) 824-8203
Fax:  (717) 295-3414
Product Names: QT Sound Insulation is a line of high quality sound control underlayment manufactured in the USA. QT is made from 92% recycled rubber and has been tested in over 200 different laboratory and field test assemblies. QT has been proven to repeatedly perform as engineered to meet design requirements. The product and engineering support that is provided by QT Sound Insulation guarantees that QT will work as specified, every time. QT can assist architects and engineers by potentially contributing toward earning 5 LEED points to a project.

Company Name: Foam Products Corp.
Address: 350 Beamer Road, Calhoun, GA 30701
Phone: (800) 526-3626, (706) 629-1256 Fax: (706) 625-0855
Product Names: Silencer SR – 100% SBR synthetic rubber acoustical underlayment with moisture barrier and tape strip for all floating floors. Product has exceptional sound absorption, 70 IIC, 71 STC ratings, and Ultra-Fresh anti-microbial treatment. Silencer HD – 100% polyurethane acoustical underlayment for floating, glue- and nail down wood flooring installations; 70 IIC, 73 STC ratings; Ultra-Fresh anti-microbial treatment resists mold, mildew, and bacteria. Dynathane 175 & 250 – 100% polyurethane hospitality/commercial carpet cushion; ideal sound absorption for institutional installations, with its added anti-microbial protection. Extraordinair – 100% SBR synthetic rubber residential carpet cushion; 7/16” and 5/16” premium high quality construction for exceptional sound control, with its added anti-microbial protection.  

Company Name: Keene Building Products
Address: P. O. Box 241353, Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
Phone: (877) 514-5336
Fax: (440) 605-1120
Product Names: QQ Step Soft™ 1mm to 8mm are sound deadening products designed for use with the Quiet Qurl® system where hard surface flooring will be used. Recommended as a means to suppress cracks in tile applications while controlling impact noise, especially at the high frequencies. The recycled rubber mat can earn LEED credits; its composition is 100% recycled rubber. Quiet Qurl® 55/025 MC MT is a nominal 0.25”, random filament, corrugated, “U” Groove core sound control mat designed to limit impact noise between floors. Layers consist of a moisture control fabric, entangled net core & white polyester fabric. The point bonded, moisture resistant fabric is laminated to the surface so that gypsum concrete & other materials can be used to create a floating floor. On the bottom side is a highly compressible bonded polyester fabric. Quiet Qurl® RF is an alternative for all three versions of the standard Quiet Qurl product. It is designed for use when the gypsum concrete pour is not to standard thickness (1” with QQ 55/025, 1.5” with QQ 60/040 and always with QQ 65/075). The product combines a fiberglass fabric and a fiberglass scrim together, in combination with the standard entangled net core material. A fiberglass fabric is laminated to the surface so that gypsum concrete or concrete can be placed to create a floating floor. Quiet Qurl® Reinforcement RWT-040 is a 0.375” (9 mm), random filament, geometric patterned core crack suppression mat used to reinforce gypsum concrete & many types of concrete in thin applications. The 3/8” (8 mm) thickness product provides the added strength needed in the assembly when the gypsum concrete is less than traditional 1½” (50 mm) topping

Company Name: LATICRETE
Address: 1 LATICRETE Park North, Bethany, CT 06524
Phone: (203) 393-0010/(800) 243-4788
Fax: (203) 393-1684
Product Names: LATICRETE® 125 Sound & Crack Adhesive, comprised of 30% post-consumer recycled content, is a lightweight superior crack suppression mortar tested by the TCNA to meet the ANSI A118.12 high performance standard for anti-fracture membranes. LATICRETE 125 also provides for exceptional sound deadening performance with a Delta IIC of 15. GreenGuard certified and backed by a 25 Year System Warranty, LATICRETE® 125 Sound & Crack Adhesive offers crack suppression, sound deadening and an adhesive. LATICRETE® 170 Sound & Crack Isolation Mat, comprised of 89% post consumer recycled content, is a high performance 1/8” (3mm) thick underlayment membrane that provides sound reduction while providing anti-fracture protection for tile or stone installations. LATICRETE 170 Sound & Crack Isolation Mat offers a IIC of 20 – Independently tested per ASTM E2179.

Company Name: MAPEI Corporation
Address: 1144 E. Newport Center Dr., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Phone: (954) 246-8799
Fax: (954) 246-8801
Product Names: MAPEI is introducing an exciting new crack isolation and sound reduction membrane, Mapeguard 2.

Company Name: Mer-Krete Systems
Address: 4125 E. La Palma Ave., #250, Anaheim, CA 92807
Phone: (800) 851-6303
Fax: (310) 320-4938
Product Names: Mer-Krete Sound Shield PNS 40 (40 mil Peel & Stick Sheet Membrane) Mer-Krere Sound Sheild PNS 90 (90 mil Peel & Stick Sheet Membrane) Mer-Krete Sound Shield 7000 (Heavy Duty Sound Control Sheets) LEED Contributor Mer-Krete 801 Self Curing Thin Set (Designed to work over sheet membranes)

Company Name: MP Global Products LLC
Address: P.O. Box 2283, Norfolk, NE 68702
Phone: (888) 379-9695
Fax: (402) 379-9737
Product Names: QuietWalk – Underlayment for floating wood and laminate flooring deadens the transfer of sound between rooms and improves the ambient sound within the room. Made of recycled materials for a truly green building product. QuietWarmth – All the acoustical benefits of QuietWalk with the added feature of radiant heat for laminate, wood and tile flooring. Insulayment – Acoustical underlayment similar to QuietWalk but designed for glue-down or nail-down wood; can also be used beneath ceramic tile for sound abatement and crack suppression. AbsorbaSound – A lightweight cross-link polyethylene foam acoustical underlayment. NoiseBlock – A dense cross-link polyethylene foam acoustical underlayment. SoundStep – A frothed rubber acoustical underlayment.

Company Name: Sound Seal/Impacta Flooring Div.
Address: P.O. Box 545, 50 H.P. Almgren Dr., Agawam, MA 01001
Phone: (800) 569-1294, (413) 789-1770
Fax: (413) 789-2248
Product Names: Jumpax® underlay for glue down vinyl, LVT & linoleum flooring; CeraZorb® underlayment for ceramic tile & stone flooring; Redupax® underlayment for floated hardwood & laminate flooring; Superfloor® underlayment for carpet & carpet tile; Sound Shark® recycled rubber underlay for hardwood flooring; and Soundeater® underlayment for nail down solid hardwood flooring.

Company Name: Starline Associates Inc.
Address: 3901 SW 47th Ave., Suite 410, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
Phone: (954) 792-1965; (866) 752-6548
Fax: (954) 792-8587
Product Names: Silent Blue underlayment is designed for use under laminate floors. The 3 mm thick product comes in 200 sq. ft. rolls and has an IIC rating of 72 and a STC rating of 73 and used under floating and solid nail down wood floors. Silent Blue with Blue Foil – prevents tears and rips during installation.

Editor’s Note:The listings included in the Sound Control Products Guide are all sponsored listings. Please contact publisher, Jeff Golden at (818) 224-8035 x2218 or your representative to be part of this feature online.