Need Help?

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information. We are here to help!

Email us [email protected]

Call us 800-440-6008

121 High Hill Rd, Swedesboro, NJ 08085, U.S.A. View map

Underlayment for Multi-Family Housing

Flooring underlayment plays a critical role in the acoustic performance and overall comfort of your flooring. Tenants in multifamily housing buildings want a quiet, peaceful living space. HOA boards, architects and builders need to prioritize the comfort of their tenants while working on multifamily housing buildings. Investing in acoustic control measures like high performance flooring underlayment can help keep tenants happy, reduce noise complaints and comply with building codes.

Acoustic control is integral to creating a peaceful living environment in multifamily housing. Constant noise passing between floors can disrupt tenants. Without acoustically treating the floors, this becomes problematic for both building managers and residents. Acoustic treatment benefits property value and enhances residents’ satisfaction in many ways:

  • Complaint reduction: Noise-related complaints are among the most common types of complaints that HOA boards receive from tenants. You can decrease the number of noise-related complaints with effective acoustic control. A premium flooring underlayment can help reduce the transfer of impact sounds, such as footsteps, and airborne sounds, such as television noise.
  • Regulatory compliance: Many jurisdictions may also have noise regulations for these properties. Implementing measures to reduce noise transmission will ensure properties are compliant.
  • Quality of life: A peaceful and restful atmosphere, undisturbed by noise, can enhance residents’ quality of life.
  • Privacy assurance: Insulation adds sound control, creating privacy between units. 
  • Boosts property value: Buildings with acoustically managed characteristics appeal to buyers and potential lessees. So, these aspects may create higher rental or resale value.

Airborne and impact noise are the primary concerns for noise pollution in multifamily buildings. Managing these noises is crucial whether it’s the sound of your neighbor’s music or the thud of a dropped object. A high performance acoustical underlayment is an important part of a noise control solution for homeowner associations (HOAs) in multifamily housing. Some premium underlayments can prevent mold and mildew damage, increasing the floor’s lifespan. 

HOAs and multifamily housing managers traditionally used carpets as an affordable noise suppressant. These stakeholders can experience the benefits of hard surface flooring while keeping their flooring system quiet with a premium flooring underlayment

Carpets generally cover an entire floor surface and consist of cotton, synthetic or wool fibers. This material provides aesthetic variety in diverse colors and patterns to match various interior styles. Visual appeal aside, carpet offers the following benefits to multifamily housing:

  • Underfoot comfort: Carpet provides a soft, comfortable surface and adds aesthetic warmth to a room, making it more inviting for residents.
  • Insulation: The carpet acts as an insulator to provide physical warmth to the floor. 
  • Reduced noise transmission: Carpet is generally more effective in reducing the transfer of noise from one floor to another when compared to hard surface flooring systems without an acoustical underlayment. 
  • Safety: This material can enhance residents’ safety by offering decent slip resistance, especially in common areas and bedrooms.

However, carpet may not be the ultimate solution to creating a comfortable, peaceful living space for tenants. Carpet may stain easily, but we all know that carpet stains don’t necessarily come out easily. Stains, tears and pilling in carpet can make it appear outdated and unkempt in a short period of time. Also, carpet may not be the practical solution for rooms that are prone to water spills, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Whether we’re talking about a single family home, an apartment, or a condominium, there is generally some type of hard surface flooring within the living space.

Carpet prioritizes comfort, while hard surfaces like luxury vinyl, laminate, hardwood and tile offer aesthetic appeal and easy maintenance. Hard surface flooring also offers some very appealing benefits:

  • Durable: Hard surface flooring is more wear and tear-resistant, making this a durable option for high-traffic areas in multifamily housing. Solid hardwood flooring can last between 30 and 100 years with a proper maintenance plan.
  • Simple maintenance: It is easier to clean and maintain hard surface flooring. This simplicity is beneficial to multifamily housing, where it is common to see quick turnover.
  • Preferred by tenants: Hard surface flooring is preferred by many tenants since it typically does not show its age the way carpet does. Also, it is more practical and stylistically preferred to use hard surface flooring in kitchens, bathrooms and foyers. 
  • Allergen control: These surfaces typically do not trap allergens and, as a result, can provide residents with a healthier living environment.

Hotels and HOAs often have strict rules to ensure noise control compliance. These rules provide residents and guests with quiet and comfortable living experiences. Stakeholders must be aware of these requirements, both during construction and renovation projects: 

  • Noise restrictions: Individual HOAs and hotels may have noise restrictions outlined in their governing documents. This document will often specify decibel level allowance during certain hours.
  • Local building codes: Multifamily housing must comply with local building codes 
  • Meeting and event spaces: Hotels will face certain requirements for flooring and underlayment in areas with a lot of foot traffic, where sound-absorbing properties will benefit the space.

Stakeholders must consider specific acoustical standards when defining their preferences for new flooring and underlayment in construction projects:

  • Highest impact insulation class (IIC): The IIC is a rating that represents a floor/celling assembly’s resistance to the transmission of impact sound. The rating is obtained when a floor/ceiling assembly is tested in accordance with ASTM E492. A higher IIC rating indicates better impact sound insulation. The IBC (International Building Code) requires an impact sound insulation class (IIC) of not less than 50 where tested in accordance to ASTM E492. FloorMuffler underlayments enhance the flooring system to meet and exceed this requirement. 
  • Sound transmission class (STC): The STC measures a substrate’s ability to reduce airborne sound transmission. Higher STC ratings, like higher IIC ratings, indicate better airborne sound insulation.

floorMuffler® products have a reputation for success and trust among multifamily housing and hotel stakeholders. We offer excellent sound-reducing solutions for apartment buildings and condominiums. From the Marriott Hotel in Newport Beach, California, to the Trailhead Apartments in Austin, Texas, our most popular products are making their mark:

floorMuffler® Ultraseal: Our flagship underlayment boasts the highest acoustic ratings on the market. Trusted for over two decades, FloorMuffler UltraSeal is an excellent choice for Laminate, Engineered and Solid Hardwood Flooring, as it acts as a moisture barrier and an acoustic underlayment.
floorMuffler® LVT: This premium underlayment is designed for floating and gluing down Luxury Vinyl Tile and Plank Flooring installations without a Pre-Attached Pad. It provides top-tier acoustic performance and moisture protection.
floorMuffler® Encore: Encore is the right choice for Pad-Attached Flooring like WPC, SPC Rigid Core and more. This high-performance acoustic underlayment and moisture barrier helps support the locking system of your floor coverings in commercial and residential installations.

The benefits of underlayment in multifamily housing are multifaceted as they contribute to residential comfort, regulatory compliance and the building’s competitive advantage. The sound-suppressing qualities that underlayments offer help to foster a peaceful atmosphere, prioritizing residents’ privacy and quality of life.

For over 20 years, floorMuffler® has provided the finest-quality, innovative underlayment that performs to the highest standards. Our expert team is here to assist you in finding the floorMuffler® underlayment that suits your unique needs. We also help to ensure that your installation is moisture-resistant, acoustically treated and long-lasting. You can contact us online for further guidance on our product offering