How We Test Floor Sound Blockers

Floors are a big contributor to noise problems. Whether they let sound leak in from the room below or transmit the vibrations created from footsteps, floors can be a real sound problem.

Floor soundproofing products, like floor joist isolators, work by decoupling (or separating) the flooring from the structural supports.

To be able to compare the different floor sound blockers, impact insulation class (IIC) is used. This measurement tells how well a floor blocks sound, just as STC is a sound blocking measurement for walls, and CAC is for ceilings tiles.

Floors, unlike ceilings or walls, need to block impact sounds (like footfall). Sound that travels through a floor is mostly from the impact on it, and floor sound blocking products need to control that sound rather than airborne noise.

Instead of a speaker, which is used to test walls and ceilings, engineers use a tapping machine to determine IIC. The tapper hits the floor for regular intervals at 16 different frequencies while a microphone measures the sound pressure level in the lower room.

The decibel levels in the top room are compared with those in the bottom room to determine an average difference.

To learn more about how different floor sound blockers control impact sound, please call us at 1-866-949-9COW or contact us online.

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