Acoustic performance of raised access flooring

If you are considering raised access flooring there are no doubt all sorts of questions on your mind about its performance and whether it is the right option for your business or home. If your business has specific requirements, such as acoustic performance, this should not exclude raised flooring as an option for you. On the contrary, it is not an unusual request or requirement, particularly in today’s busy office buildings – just one example of the type of environment where it can make a marked difference. This month we take a look at how acoustic performance can work hand in hand with raised flooring to give you exactly what you need without any compromises.

Who could benefit from improved acoustic performance?

The list is long and could include some places you have not considered. The first that spring to mind are libraries and churches, but others such as shopping centres, retail outlets, offices, residential buildings, even prisons and oil refineries require some level of acoustic improvement as part of their day-to-day business.

What is a noise barrier?

If your business is noise sensitive, then a noise barrier can be the answer for you. This will reduce the transmission of noise through the air from one area to another. In traditional flooring or between rooms, materials that dampen noise and reduce its transmission will do the job. When it comes to raised floors, their standard design can be adapted to introduce an acoustic barrier to meet your required specifications.

How is this done?

The first step will be to determine the amount of noise that is transmitted through a standard raised floor design. This will be tested under laboratory conditions, with a view to identifying how much noise is transferred from one room to another through the raised floor. Noise will move through joints and partitions, so once the level is identified a barrier can be added below the partition lines. Tests are run again to determine the reduction this can achieve. If carpet tiles are to be used, the tests can include those as well to check for the level of reduction they can achieve on top of your noise barrier.

What is the best material to use?

While there are specific products on the market that are acoustic barriers, these are normally only required in very high-sensitivity areas, such as laboratories or studios. For many other situations, timber acts as an excellent material to reduce the transmission of air-borne noise. Using stud walls or partitioning to raise the floor, for example, will improve its acoustic performance and should additional dampening be required this can be added in the form of barriers below partition lines. Other products include cork and rubber, which also offer excellent acoustic reduction properties.

If you have any questions regarding the acoustic performance of raised floors or need some advice on what is achievable for your business or home, talk to our in-house experts at Fieldmans Raised Floors. Simply give us a call on 020 8462 7100 and we will be happy to help or to offer a quote for a new flooring installation.