Flooring Feature

Maintenance & Refurbishment

Turn down the volume

Karen Wilding of Forbo Flooring Systems explains how noise can be minimised in multi-occupancy buildings by retrofitting acoustic flooring solutions.


ccording to the World Health Organisation (WHO), excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s daily activities.

In social housing, where multi-occupancy flats and house-shares have

become increasingly common, the potential for nuisance noise where tenants live above, below and adjacent to one another is understandably high, as sound can easily travel from floor to floor and room to room. If left uncontrolled, it can become a real problem, causing stress, affecting

individual’s ability to sleep, or even leading to the increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, as well as contributing to a greater likelihood of hearing loss. It is therefore clear that lower noise pollution is essential to promote the

wellbeing and comfort of tenants – but this cannot be achieved without acoustic treatment. The good news is, advances in sound insulation solutions mean that noises

coming from inside or outside of a building can now be significantly reduced. There are a number of solutions available, which can be used individually, or

together, as part of a broader acoustic scheme. However, the best way to minimise impact sound is at the source, and the choice of flooring can deliver an important contribution in reducing noise in buildings - just as effective when retrofitted into existing properties to improve living standards. Acoustic floor coverings, for example, are manufactured with high performance backing

Poor acoustics can impact the overall living environment and excessive noise can be a major nuisance. Even at lower levels, it can affect attention span, increase stress levels and cause negative effects on health and wellbeing

foam to enhance impact sound reduction, which mitigates sound transmission between floors once installed. As you can imagine, the clatter of footsteps can quickly become deafening if

measures were not previously taken to reduce impact sound. Managing impact sound is underpinned by standard EN ISO 717-2 and when evaluating potential floor coverings, social housing providers can compare acoustic performance against this standard to find the most effective solutions. Historically, acoustic vinyl offers one of the highest levels of noise reduction

performance. Perfect for areas subject to heavy foot traffic, such as communal areas or corridors, these solutions combine acoustic performance with optimal | HMM June/July 2021 | 37

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