Laminate flooring is commonly used in sitting rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and most areas of homes. It is a synthetic type of flooring, that consists of four layers: the wear or outer layer, the image, inner, and back layer.
The outer layer is the protective layer. It is transparent and is often referred to as the wear layer. This layer is backed up by aluminium oxide, which increases its resistance to stains and wears.
The image layer is the layer immediately after the outer layer, and true to its name, it does have an image on it, usually of wood, or tiles. This image is sealed to it, with the help of the outer layer, and its aluminium oxide reinforcement.
The inner layer is sometimes referred to as the core layer. It is made up of a very dense, compressed wood fibre.
The back layer is the last layer, and it provides stability to laminate flooring. It also serves as a barrier to moisture, because it is water-resistant.
Is Laminate Flooring Noisy to Walk On?
As earlier stated, laminate flooring is very common in most homes. Laminate floors can be noisy, and can even disturb next-door neighbours if not properly installed.
This can often be due to a number of different reasons.
Causes Of Noise In Laminate Flooring And Its Solutions
Here are some causes of noise in laminate flooring in homes and possible solutions
The subfloor acts as a sort of foundation for flooring. All layers of floorings rest on the subfloor. If the subfloor is uneven, it can cause creaks in the laminate flooring and additional noise.
To fix this, the laminate flooring will have to be removed, or lifted, so that the subfloor can be properly examined. A professional will be able to straighten out the subfloor.
When installing laminate flooring, the type of subfloor should also be taken into consideration. Plywood is usually a common option, but whatever subfloor is chosen, ensure that it has an even surface.
Due to changes in temperature and humidity, all floorings expand. Though laminate flooring does not expand as much as some other types of flooring, its tendency to expand should not be neglected. This is due to a little attribute called linear expansibility.
The ability of materials – most especially metals – to expand, and contract due to changes in temperature.
This attribute causes the noise heard on roofs during the day (especially if the roofing material is made of aluminium). When installing laminate flooring, space should be left for the flooring to expand.
If you don’t leave room for expansion when installing the laminate flooring, the flooring will expand past the space allocated to it over time, causing it to swell. Hence, when someone walks over it, the flooring will shift, causing noises and creaks.
To fix this, ensure the room is left for expansion when installing laminate flooring. If the laminate flooring has already been installed, and the room wasn’t made for expansion, then you’ll have to make room.
You could get a professional, or do the job yourself. If you decide to do it yourself, you’ll need a hammer, and a chisel, to create space in the walls, or to reduce the board length.
It might be a little difficult to raise the flooring since It might be lodged tightly against the walls. This job might be a little tricky, and if you’re not very experienced, it’s best you call a professional to handle it.
The moisture content of laminate flooring can also cause noise. If its moisture content is very low, it will make squeaky sounds occasionally. If its moisture content is very high, it will swell and expand, and cause noise.
Although the back layer of laminate flooring is water-resistant, it can’t be consistently exposed to constant streams of water. Apart from noise, excess water in laminate flooring will cause it to start warping at its ends.
To prevent this, install laminate flooring in rooms that are not always exposed to water. Do not install laminate flooring in toilets and bathrooms. Also, if the humidity levels in your home aren’t within thirty-five to fifty-five per cent, or if they fluctuate frequently, you could do with a humidifier, or a dehumidifier, depending on the need.
If the humidity levels in your home, are usually above fifty-five per cent, then you’ll need a dehumidifier. If the humidity levels are usually below thirty-five per cent, then you’ll need a humidifier.
These tips should help, especially if the noise from the flooring seems heightened. However, there are ways to muffle and reduce the noises, especially if you don’t live in a detached home.
When installing laminate flooring, it would be best if you installed underlayment padding below the flooring. It will help muffle noise, especially thumping sounds. Apart from muffling noise, paddings also help insulate floorings.
Installing flooring underlays will help insulate the laminate flooring, and reduce the incidence of expansion. If you have machines that hum, or make sounds when in use, place rubber floor mats beneath them, to absorb these sounds.
- CosWick [Link]