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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Using cork as an underlayment

    Greetings -

    We are finishing our attic in a ~3 year old house (full walk up to about 550 square feet of usable space), and I'm really concerned about noise coming back through to the bedrooms.

    It currently has just 1/2" plywood subfloor, so we're going to put another 1/2" on top of it, followed by a good pad and carpet.

    But, in wondering what more I could do, I found a few places that recommended using a cork layer in there somewhere and that it was very effective at deadening both impact noise (footsteps) and other noise (voices, music, etc).

    So, anyone have any opinions on this?

    I could either put it between the two layers of subfloor, or on top of the second layer, or I could use something else, or skip it altogether.

    thanks in advance!
    -- robert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Using cork as an underlayment

    Not sure about how the cork will work but it probably would help somewhat. If it is really a concern there are a couple of other things you can do but it would require you to take the ceiling down. There is an insulation called rock wool which is very good at deadening sounds and it is also fire proof. This could go in-between all the joists. Then there is a drywall called quiet rock which would go on the ceiling which from what I have heard pretty much eliminates all sound. It however is not cheap. But again if getting rid of sound is really important it could be worth the price.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Using cork as an underlayment

    Yeah, I was actually hoping to go for the sub-$1000 solution first and see how it did, and if I wasn't satisfied, go for the next step which is along the lines of what you mention. But, honestly, I'll be hard-pressed to put up with the demo on the house that'd take.

    It may be that simple carpet and pad suffice, but I figure while I've got easy access to the subfloor, I ought to hedge my bets and put something down whether it is cork or something else. Anyone used Silent Step?

    thanks,
    -- robert

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Using cork as an underlayment

    Well, I talked to a couple local flooring stores without too much success, but there seemed to be general consensus that cork would work well, and I should put it on top of all of the subfloor to eliminate any nails running through it.

    The subfloor just got installed this morning, so once I have free access to the space I'll get it installed and report back.

    -- robert

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Using cork as an underlayment

    Well, carpet got installed yesterday, and we're very happy with the results. Probably overpaid for an upgrade to the best pad they had (8lb/waterproof - we have pets and young kids) and got a nice carpet.

    The floor feels great, and while I haven't taken music up there to see what the threshold is where you can hear it, you can no longer hear normal footsteps or voices at all back on the bedroom level.

    Couple notes:

    I used only liquid nails for paneling as my adhesive - no mechanical fasteners. We went through lots more than I expected - perhaps 40 of the small caulk-sized tubes over ~550 square feet. I'd at least buy the big tubes next time, or go with a bucket and a trowel.

    The carpet guys had never installed over cork before, so they got a little nervous, but got over it. They just used slightly longer nails in their tack strips and they added some extra nails through the cork into the subfloor around the edges. Can't say if it was all necessary, but it all held up to the power stretcher just fine.

    All in all, I'd definitely do it again. $330 for cork - 600 square feet @ 1/4", $100 for shipping, and $100 or so in adhesive.

    Oh, and perhaps 15 completely inexperienced man hours :-)

    -- robert

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