Saturday, November 10, 2007

What's not on paper

When installing a hardwood, ahem... hard grass floor, in a multilevel dwelling, there are certain standards that must be maintained. The first would be the STC rating, which gives a numerical value to the amount of ambient or airborne sound permeating a unit, such as talking, barking, TV, stereo. An acceptable field test STC would be 45. An acceptable lab test would be 55. This seems to be standard for most underlayments I have come across. Another standard, and far more important when you own a dog, is the IIC rating, which gives a similar value to impact sounds, such as footsteps, dragging furniture, hoof beats or whatever else you are into. For our loft an underlayment with an STC and IIC of 55 would not be good enough due to the substandard flooring in our unit (warehouse converted to condos in 1984) and the lack of acoustical ceiling or sheetrocked ceiling beneath us. The lack of a finished ceiling under us means we lose ten points on an STC or IIC for the underlayment according to most lab tests. In my vast search and contacts with various manufacturers I have found an underlayment product lab tested at STC 70 and IIC 69 landing us well above the minimum of STC 45 in the field and more importantly it is an environmentally friendly product. As work begins I will list links for the products being used, ONLY IF I APPROVE of them.

Close up of our open loft ceiling above the closet to be removed.

1 comment:

Zack said...

I was going to write the same thing Brandon. :-)