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Wooden floor vs laminate

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Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby Guitarking » Sat May 01, 2021 7:16 am

Hi everyone,
Is a wooden floor (significantly) better for the sound in a room than laminate?
What are aspect to take into consideration?
I am building a second living room and have to chose what floor. I plan on recording there as well.
I might also consider changing my cheap laminate floor in my home studio for a wooden floor. The studio is quite small though (4mx2,20mx3m) so im not sure whether this is worth the hassle.
Thanks!
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Re: Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby RichardT » Sat May 01, 2021 8:54 am

I’m far from being an expert in studio floors - but I would have thought the difference between them wouldn’t be that great. It’s normal for studio floors to be reflective, so I would guess that both would be ok.

Depending on what room treatment you already have in your studio, there may be more effective ways to improve your sound.
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Re: Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat May 01, 2021 11:29 am

If you mean a wooden T&G boarded floor on joists as opposed to a laminate floor laid on top of an existing floor the boarded floor will have troublesome resonances. A laminate floor is usually laid on a foam underlay which will help damp an resonances. If you are thinking of an engineered timber floor compared to a melamine laminate I don't think it wall make any significant difference (but it will look much nicer).
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Re: Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby Folderol » Sat May 01, 2021 11:37 am

Speaking from the depth of my ignorance :tongue: I would have thought the laminate one would be more reflective at higher frequencies.
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Re: Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby Watchmaker » Sat May 01, 2021 12:30 pm

The entire floor construction is relevant, not just the top. I wouldn't necessarily mess with the existing, but if your truly serious about the acoustic properties of a new floor, get a properly experienced acoustician and structural engineer in to answer your questions. If you're simply doing home recordings then don't over think it.
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Re: Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby ConMan6 » Sun May 02, 2021 1:34 am

Doesn't matter. Vinyl or harwood, the waves bounce off everything, yet, windows, doorways. Foam door, egg crate around the studio, heavy curtains and a rug that acts as a soft floor for equipment and it muffles the refraction, but if you're gonna do the entire room over... I would go with vinyl with the subfloor insulation under the boards. I always loved the wood reverb, but, i'm fixing up my house right now, I have a similar problem, the office/music space is 16 x 18ft with 12ft ceilings that're wood, along with the hardwood flooring. It's 1901 quality wood. So, if you get any good info, lemme know.
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Re: Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby Mixedup » Sun May 02, 2021 6:54 am

What Watchmaker said. But for me, a reflecive floor isn't a problem. We've evolved hearing first floor reflections... Rather, it's the ceiling and walls that usually make things sound off. So maybe, other than figuring out the construction to avoid unwanted resonances, look up first, rather than down?!

Also, bear in mind that studio floors tend to need to be hardwearing, in terms of casters rolling grit in, scratches from dragged items, and impacts from dropped items. That would be a factor higher up my own list. Some cheap laminates are poor for that. So too can wood be. High quality laminates can be good. Or not, depending on your choice. Hardwood eg parquet flooring is a good bet but not cheap. As an out there option on a budget... tiles cut from hardwood ply.

FWIW, I went for a laminate (Swiss Krono) for my home/garage studio, onto a concrete floor.
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Re: Wooden floor vs laminate

Postby RichardT » Sun May 02, 2021 8:21 am

Very good points!

I too have a concrete floor, with embedded pebbles to make it more attractive, and I cover some of it with a thin rug. It’s very solid, non-resonant, and quite reflective.

Here’s an article I found that explains some of the options...

https://rangeofsounds.com/blog/best-flo ... g-studios/
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