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Why You Should Support Hard Surface Flooring

Increased Comfort of Flooring

Everyone knows the uncomfortable feeling of walking on a solid concrete floor. You feel the impacts sharply in your feet and body. This is because the concrete does not disperse the impact energy. Hard surface flooring laid over concrete will also be uncomfortable because it does not have anything underneath to disperse energy and properly support the joints of the planks. This can be easily resolved with the right underlayment.

MP Global Products, makes its underlayment’s a little differently with different materials. Our patented process takes recycled fibers and thermally bonds them together. The result is high-quality, dense fiber underlayments that disperse unwanted impact energy. This pays off huge when considering the comfort of your flooring and reducing unwanted noise from traveling to other rooms. Once your feet come into contact with the flooring, the underlayment underneath will absorb the impact energy instead of the hard concrete directing the energy back up into your feet and help dampen sound.

QuietBoard is thicker and denser than most underlayments, which means it does an exceptional job of absorbing impact energy. This golf ball demonstration shows the amount of impact energy absorbed compared to different flooring materials.

Flooring Longevity and Uncrushing support

Many hard surface flooring materials use click-and-lock systems to hold the planks together. With heavy traffic and use, these systems can wear out over time. Resulting in flooring planks that shift and tend to come apart and decouple. Having a dense and compression-resistant underlayment underneath can help support click-lock flooring systems and increase the lifespan of your floors.

Sound Control

With better support, comes better sound control. The recycled fibers do a great job of dampening a wide range of noise from impact noises like footsteps and dropped items, to ambient noises like music or a movie being played in another room. Not all underlayments perform the same when it comes to sound dampening. To better understand how well a particular underlayment dampens sound, it is best to know what each sound rating means for the flooring.

STC – Sound Transmission Class – is a lab testing score used to determine airborne sound transmission loss for typical noises such as televisions, stereos, voices, etc. The higher the STC rating, the greater the effectiveness of a material or floor-to-ceiling assembly construction to reduce the transmission of airborne sound. In essence, the objective is to achieve noise reduction, by using underlayments with a high STC rating to block some of the sound energy.

IIC – Impact Isolation Class – is a lab testing score used to determine the amount of impact noise isolation. Same as with STC ratings we just discussed, the higher the rating, the more effective the floor or ceiling assembly is at isolating vibrations and absorbing impact sound, such as footsteps from someone walking on the floor above or other objects that collide with the floor covering.

Delta IIC rating – Now, much like the IIC rating, Delta IIC shows what the underlayment adds to the assembly in terms of impact sound isolation. It is the difference between the total IIC achieved once the construction is acoustically treated and the IIC the material has prior to being acoustically treated. For example, If the floor construction has an IIC of 40 and once an impact sound underlayment is added the construction achieved an IIC of 70, then the Delta (change) IIC is 30. This rating isn’t used very often; reason being is that most companies use IIC to demonstrate a higher reduction rating.

QuietBoard Underlayment Sound Ratings

  • IIC: 72
  • STC: 64
  • DELTA IIC: 25

Moisture Protection

Most hard surface flooring materials are vulnerable to moisture damage when the moisture is coming from underneath the flooring. Luxury vinyl planks, for example, claim waterproof from spills and moisture coming from the top down but fail to mention how moisture affects the planks coming from the bottom up. If you’re installing flooring over a concrete subfloor, the floors could be at risk for water damage. Since concrete is porous, moisture can be emitted over time and build up underneath the flooring.

A moisture barrier is an easy way to alleviate all moisture concerns. QuietBoard underlayment comes with a pre-attached moisture barrier. QuietBoard’s fiber construction has Eco-Wick Technology, which allows the moisture to be absorbed by the fibers while the moisture barrier on top keeps the flooring completely protected. The moisture is then allowed to disperse over time without being trapped which would result in the formation of water droplets. This allows the flooring to “Breathe.”

Using QuietBoard to Raise Floors

We designed QuietBoard to be a simple, safe, and wallet-friendly way of raising your flooring. Not only does it raise your flooring like traditional plywood, but it also provides the benefits of a high-quality underlayment like sound reduction, moisture protection, and compression support for your flooring. Saving the time and cost of installing an extra underlayment on top of already more expensive plywood.

Another factor to consider is the ability to revert to the old flooring height. If carpet is replaced with QuietBoard and luxury vinyl planks, simply pull up the planks and QuietBoard and you’re back to the original floor height. When Floor Leveling Compound and or Deck Mud or other rubber or wood type products are used reverting to the original height of the subfloor can be a much more extensive and costly process.


QuietBoard Under Luxury Vinyl Planks Testimonial

Connor Ebbinghouse recently installed 600 square feet of QuietBoard in a short-term rental that was over a garage. He used it to reduce sound transmission from both directions and to make his luxury vinyl plank flooring line up perfectly with the tile floor that had 1/4″ jet board installed. He also installed two layers of 5/8″ drywall with green glue and Rockwool sound deadening insulation.

Why QuietBoard?  

“The price per square foot just made sense when being used with luxury vinyl plank flooring. Plus, it was made of 100% recycled materials.” said Ebbinghouse. “The flooring underlayment also needed to be 1/4″ thick so that it would make my luxury vinyl planks line up perfectly with the tile floor.”

Installation Process

When asked about the installation process, Ebbinghouse said, “Installation was easy, was easy to cut but dulled blades quite quickly with multiple cuts – passing over a single cut to get cut-through was somewhat physically intensive. full sheets install quite quickly. When I cut the stair pieces, I ran them through my table saw to accelerate the process despite it being a bit messier.”

“Installation was clean and straightforward, there was some variance in the width of the pieces (I think maybe 5/8″ variance) so had to do some additional sorting/reshuffling. I used a PL adhesive on the stairs and then mechanically attached it with 1/2″ staples.”

Post Install Results

After Ebbinghouse went on to say that he was impressed with how easy it was to install the product himself. He added: “I could tell immediately upon walking across my newly laid floors that they were much quieter than before. The floors feel solid, and you can tell they’re supported by the underlayment.”


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