Understanding Create Quiet...

Floating Floors

This webpage is created to help designers choose the product needed to achieve acoustic design goals. Noise control floors are composite assemblies whose performance is based on the characteristics of every component: structural floor, isolation products, and the isolated floor build-up. Where high performance is demanded certain isolation products are selected to create airspace, another important component for noise control.

Typically, one or more of the following performance goals has been important when choosing a floating floor:

  • Airborne Noise Control (rated as STC)
  • Moderate Impact Noise Control (rated as IIC)
  • Heavy Impact or Low Frequency Noise Control (measured at frequencies below STC and IIC curves)

Grouping floor product systems into classes and offering a floor construction performance overview for all Kinetics isolated floor products supports designers’ efforts in selecting the best product type for their noise problem.

  1. Floor Classes

    • F1 - High Deflection, Low Damping Coil Spring systems

    • F2 - Medium Deflection, Medium Damping Isolation Pad systems

    • F3 - Continuous Low Profile Mat, with subfloor build-up/added Mass

    • F4 - Continuous Low Profile Mat, with Direct-Bond capability

    • See FAQ for more explanation

  2. Product Name – Click on any product name to open the product page

  3. Performance Bars – use as a basic metric for understanding the differences between our products and how they perform in your system design; longer green bars signify higher performance.

  4. Airspace – a chief component of high-performance noise control, airspace is created by all of our F1 and F2 systems. See FAQ for added explanation.

  5. Resilient – an indication of how well a given system will control noise.

  6. Mass – simple graphic of the minimum amount of mass required in a given composite. Note, if structure allows, mass can be added to improve the performance of any Class.

  7. Minimum Height – this is the minimum amount of height typically needed by our products and any necessary build-up BEFORE a finish floor is added.

  8. Your Application – a short description of the usage of the product, and/or the means and methods typical to that product.

Floor Classification FAQ

What’s up with this class system?
Kinetics Noise Control is committed to helping you understand how our products are used in composite construction for controlling unwanted sound i.e., noise. The classification system groups products by how they create quiet. This allows folks creating noise control floor/ceilings to easily differentiate between our numerous floor products.

I think I understand, so how does it work?
Our class system divides our products using the basic ingredients of noise control- Mass, Air(space) and some sort of Resilient Decoupler (we manufacture the resilient decoupler). In large part, quiet is created between occupied spaces by the proper combination of these three components. Our new system allows you to see exactly how these factors combine to give you varying levels of performance.

What makes this system so special?
Kinetics manufactures the widest variety of noise control floor products. This system allows designers to quickly compare how a change of the airspace or addition of mass can change the level of noise control. It is important to always keep in mind that it isn’t a specific product that results in quiet; it is the total composite build-up (from finish floor to ceiling below) that yields performance.

So you’re telling me this system will guarantee I get the products I spec?
We can’t always save the “value-engineer at all costs” individuals from themselves, but the system does clearly illustrate the classes of noise control. If a substitution request is made, it is easy to point out why jumping from a consultant specified F1 product to an F3 product isn’t an apples-to-apples change, whereas moving from one F2 class product to another F2 class product is probably acceptable. For example changing from a jack-up FLM System to a RIM System to save considerable labor costs is a fair swap, but throwing in a rubber mat (F4) for a spring product (F1) isn’t going to make folks below an aerobics floor too happy.

I’m sold; tell me about an F1 Class.
Our F1 flooring isolation products offer optimal noise control. Simply put, a concrete floor (equals high mass) is lifted (which creates an airspace) by springs (our best resilient decoupler for heavy impact). So you have a highly resilient material, a true air cavity, and high mass; altogether, the necessary ingredients for superior noise control.

What does your F2 Class bring to the table?
Our F2 Class products mimic most of the properties of the F1 products. These resilient products will support a mass over a true air cavity just as with F1. The difference is that the resilient decoupler is a pad isolator not a spring and the isolated mass doesn’t have to be concrete.

I’m moving down your list, so what about F3?
This is the first of the continuous underlayment class. The resilient decouplers in this class support an isolated subfloor (mass) upon which the finish floor is attached. Gone is the “true” airspace created by the F1 and F2 products. Class F3 products reduce moderate impact-created noise (raise IIC), and with the additional mass in the isolated build-up, reduce airborne noise (raise STC) as well.

Just how basic is F4 noise control?
These continuous underlayment products can allow for direct attachment of the finish floor. The airspace and mass offered by the other products are missing and the only noise control ingredient left is our resilient decoupler. F4 products are designed primarily to reduce low-to-moderate impact-generated noise by improving the IIC rating.

I’m still confused, now what?
This classification system is intended to move designers into the right product group for their application, or at a minimum, eliminate some product types from consideration. It doesn’t take into account the many variables that determine the best acoustic solution for a specific project. For this we suggest Acoustical Consultants/Engineers. Find an expert at NCAC.com, or we maintain a list of independent specialists here.

Now, back to Create Quiet...Floating Floors