HTs and wood (or laminate wood) flooring, how the sound?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by todbnla, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. todbnla

    todbnla Screenwriter

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    Looks like I want carpet in our HT but of course the little misses wants the more attractive wood flooring or some type of laminate wood look a like flooring. So, for those that have this, how does the sound of the room change from carpet to this type of flooring?


    Pros and Cons?


    Pics...?
     
  2. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Todd,

    IF, and I do mean IF you can avoid putting hardwood down in your theatre I would recommend it. You want to try and avoid any hard reflective surfaces, however, you can always put down a really, really big area rug [​IMG] Personally, I didn't want it in my theatre and that's why I put carpet down with a good under-pad. As well, in the winter ( apparently it gets cold in Toronto [​IMG] ) it keeps my floor nice and warm in the basement.

    Is you theatre a dedicated viewing room or is it a multi-purpose venue? That might help in your decision.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
  3. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Exactly what Andrew said. At a minimum you're going to want a heavy area rug in front of you to absorb some of the bounce. Obviously if it's too big than you defeat the purpose of the wood floor. So assuming a manageable size try locating it at the point of first reflection from the LCR speakers. You'll still get a lot of slap however. And all the wall and ceiling treatments in the world won't help as your floor will remain very "live". It's really less than an ideal environment for audio performance (video, too, as it will likely be shiny and reflective).

    If this is a multi-purpose room then compromises are a given. But if a dedicated space you should consider some different approaches with your wife to sell her on a more friendly surface. Have you considered a cork floor? It's much softer than wood (used in many a wine cellar and kitchen for this reason) and will have better acoustic qualities. It's naturally dull in appearance so complemented by a satin finish will keep reflections down. And it looks amazing, just make sure it's dark. It will definitely turn heads as so few people consider using this material.
     
  4. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Check out the links on this site for cork flooring ideas. Think how cool THIS would look in your theater.

    Note this quote from CorkFloor.com:

     
  5. Andrew Stoakley

    Andrew Stoakley Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Jay,

    Cork is a great flooring option for any type of room that contains sound. In my year of school a loooong time ago, my final project was to build our first totally digital studio (circa 1993). Since our schools' floors were floating for running cable, etc, the floors were quite lively. So I put cork down in both the studio and recording booth with great success. Back then they didn't have all the fancy patterns they have now, but the product is pretty much the same.

    Great suggestion.
    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
  6. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    If your walls and ceiling are properly treated, then the wood floors will be fine.
    It is far more important to put up sound absorbers on the ceiling and walls, because your brain is used to hearing reflections off the floor which is always the same distance away.
    I personally hate carpet, everything about it, and IMHO there is no benefit to having it.
     

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