rooms acoustics: carpet vs. hard wood floors

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin T, Nov 17, 2001.

  1. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    i'm considering replacing the carpet in my living room with pergo or pergo-type laminate flooring. i'll more than likely have a large area (8x5-ish) rug placed in front of and between the mains. what kind of effect can i expect this change in flooring to have on my rooms acoustics? the room is 17x14x10. the speakers are placed along the longer 17' wall with the listening/viewing position on the other side of the room. obviously, i want to minimize any harsh reflections i may incur but how pronounced with this reflections be? also, the laminate flooring requires some form of foam/padded underlayment. i've seen the "quiet" or noise-deadening pads at lowes and home depot. would using these have any effect? i know it's a lot of questions but this is a dramatic change in the room environment and i don't know what to expect. my equipment is:
    sony db930 receiver
    mirage frx-7 speakers
    mirage frx-c center
    mirage frx-r rears
    mirage frx-s8 sub (one day i vow to have a svs 25-31pc!)
    kevin t
     
  2. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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  3. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    There is a room, designed by that dood from THX (lol, sorry forgot his name), at my local AV shop with a huge screen, giant Runco with $95,000 lens, hidden speakers in the faux walls, etc, etc.
    The wooden, suspended, floor is completely covered by carpet and is only used to increase vibrations from the 2 subwoofers [​IMG]
    ------------------
    [​IMG] "Charlie don't surf."
    [Edited last by Henry Carmona on November 17, 2001 at 08:16 PM]
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    You'll have to make the decision on the floor based on asthetics and audio acoustics. I wouldn't panic too much about the floor if you did go ahead with the flooring. Just make sure to put a nice big fat rug there to do some absorbing. You will be stuck with that floor once you put it in. Hopefully someone here has done the same as what you are proposing to do and they can comment on what the results were like for them in terms of sound.
    My understanding of room acoustics is the best you can do is not have a room that is 100% carpet, 100% hardwood floors or 100% diffuse bookshelfs. Most people tend to think that a good split between reflective and absorbing materials, and diffusing materials are the best. A mix of all types. Its hard to acheive in every room, but I'd experiment.
     
  5. Marc S Kessler

    Marc S Kessler Stunt Coordinator

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    We just had our floors done with Pergo which replaced carpet. The best thing you should consider is upgrade to their "Silent Step" foam instead of the standard foam they use under the flooring. Our room is large (20'x24') and the floor is the concrete foundation. There are a few area rugs but sound doesn't bounce around like a regular wood floor. Check it out. The little extra money is really worth it and I think you would be very pleased.
     
  6. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    marc:
    i appreciate the input. i was fishing for someone who had replaced carpet with laminate flooring. i was particular interested in the noise deadening pads they sell. i just didn't wanna fork out the extra cash if there was going to be no appreciable difference. i'm more than likely gonna go with armstrong swiftlock flooring. they offer a noise deadening foam with the vapour barrier built in. i have a concrete subfloor as well so you're experience is definitely what i was looking for. can i ask what difference did you notice in the sound? do you experience any type of echoing? thanks for you insight.
    kevin t
     
  7. Marc S Kessler

    Marc S Kessler Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll do the best that I can. Not only is my room large it has a vaulted ceiling (20'high) and is oddly shaped. The area rug is a very thick flokati aprox. 6'x8' in size. That along with the furniture seems to keep the echo in check, or at least as much as possible. I believe that if I had gone with the standard foam I would have been disappointed and looking to cover the floor anywhere I could. Another benifet is the floor "gives" a little bit and is comfortable to walk on without shoes. IMO the durability of these laminate floors make wall to wall carpeting almost obsolete.
    Good luck.
    Marc
     
  8. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    I don't know anything about how well special padding is supposed to work, but from what I've read, the most important reflections to tame are the direct ones. Thus, an area rug positioned between the mains and the listening position should help for the floor, assuming the other solutions are not adequate.
    Doug
    ------------------
    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
     
  9. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    thanks guys! i really appreciate the input...this was the kind of information i wanted to hear. i would have hated it if the flooring had totally destroyed the listening environment but from what i gather, this isn't going to be a problem. thanks again.
    kevin t
     
  10. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    I've been preparing to replace my wall-to-wall carpet with Pergo for the last 6 months (DIY) but haven't yet done it.

    I will take before and after frequency and echo measurements with my acoustic room tuning software (ETF5) and post when I am finished, but probably not till spring 2002.

    With an 8x5, 6x8, or 8x11 rug between the speakers and your listening position, I don't think you will have any problems. Big coffee tables right in front of your listening position could cause problems though.

    BruceD
     
  11. LarrySkelly

    LarrySkelly Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 25' x 27' room, 12' ceiling, extremely hard cherry floor, floor to ceiling glass on 40% of perimeter, drywall on the rest. I have a 12' x 15' area rug directly in front of electrostatics, and a couple of large couches. I don't think the sound is too bright. The glass is far more of an issue than the floor I think.
     
  12. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    larry:

    i have a metal and glass coffee table in front of the mains but i don't notice any pronounced brightness from the speakers. definitely nothing that i would call bothersome. what kind of electrostatics do you own? i'm probably going to drive to new orleans this weekend to listen to a pair of martin logans. i've always wondered about electrostatic speakers and the logans seem like a good choice since i listen to a wide variety of music from ambient and trance to female vocals to pounding, gut-wrenching heavy metal. i'm interested in how well they'll perform for the heavy metal as i have no doubt about their performance on the former two styles. thanks for the insight.

    kevin t
     
  13. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Kevin,

    The coffee table doesn't necessarily cause brightness, but instead causes a blurring of the soundstage. It acts like the first reflection point on a side wall and causes the first reflection bounced off the table to arrive at your ears too soon after the direct sound.

    BruceD
     

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