Flooring solutions for better acoustics
Designing commercial spaces with acoustics in mind is more important than it ever has been. We have an extensive range of carpet, LVT and Cork products that feature Acoustic Backing systems.
Noise is becoming an ever greater concern for designers and architects. And rightly so: Excessive noise disturbance can negatively affect our quality of life, with prolonged exposure even triggering stress responses in our bodies. For employees working full-time in a noisy office, this can have a profound impact on their focus, productivity, and overall well being.
Noisy open-plan office spaces
It doesn’t help that modern offices are characterised by open spaces. Great for workers to interact and communicate, not so great for those sensitive to sound or struggling to concentrate. These spaces often have poor acoustics, exacerbating – not mitigating – the problem. And disruptive sounds are everywhere, from calls, conversations, printers, elevators, and slamming doors to impact sound generated by footsteps.
Studies show that noisy open-plan offices can reduce productivity by up to 66%. That’s because two of the most vital attributes of a functioning office worker, reading comprehension and memory, are those most sensitive to environmental noise. But that’s not all. Excessive noise can also affect an individual’s wellbeing, even causing anxiety and depression.
By introducing sound-absorbing surfaces, designers and architects can provide an environment that creates maximum comfort, boosting both productivity and employee wellness. Quadrant’s Acoustic Backings, available across a range of products, is a big step in the right direction.
Carpets with added noise-reduction
Carpet considerably reduces footsteps and other impact sounds. It also provides a great sound barrier for airborne noise. Our standard tile backings reduce impact sound by between 20dB and 27dB, depending on the carpet’s pile weight and density, with airborne noise reduced by αw 0.15-αw 0.20.
Even more effective are the carpet products in our Tussah Collection, comprising Glow, Radiance and Shimmer, which feature our unique feltBAC-L backing system which reduces impact sound by 28dB-32dB and airborne noise by αw 0.20-αw 0.25. All our acoustic backing solutions represent a major step towards enhancing the wellbeing of everyone in the workplace. Acoustic backed tiles reduce impact noise by an incredible 32dB-36dB and airborne noise reduction of αw 0.25-αw 0.30. They’re made from a dense polyester felt that incorporates 80% recycled content.
You can specify attached acoustic backing on all our Broadloom products including our brand new Flat Weave Collection due for launch in June 2020.
The natural acoustic properties of Cork
Beyond carpet, several other products from our commercial flooring collection can significantly reduce sound transmission in open-plan spaces.
Cork flooring is porous, with a honeycomb-like cell structure that makes it extremely efficient at absorbing sound. These natural sound-absorbing properties mean that cork reduces walking sound by up to 53% over conventional flooring like timber and laminate – making it ideal for spaces where you want the practicality of hard flooring and acoustics are a priority. That’s why it’s been picked by designers and architects for libraries, schools, open-plan offices, calling booths and even the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s church in Barcelona. Corkrete, Corkform, Corkwood and Cortex all boast excellent sound absorption properties.
Salto Loose-Lay LVT with acoustic backing
Another Quadrant flooring option for a quieter offer space is LVT. A number of our Salto Loose-Lay LVT products are available from stock on an acoustic backing. That includes Salto 55 Light Stone and Dark Stone, two shades that realistically mimic stone surfaces – and provide far greater acoustics than the real thing. Three colourways from the Salto 55 Wood range are also available on the acoustic backing: Canyon, Downy and Emory . More Salto shades with acoustic backing are coming in 2020!
Noise is a grossly underestimated problem. Excessive and unnecessary sounds have a proven impact on productivity, happiness and general wellness. And with open-plan office spaces becoming standard, designers and architects are increasingly looking for acoustically beneficial solutions. More and more interior products are being designed with noise reduction in mind, including flooring products from across our range.