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Frequently Asked Questions: Installation Supplies - Products

Frequently asked questions about installation supplies

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The adhesives that we sell are moisture-cured urethane adhesives.  These types of adhesives cure (dry) faster when the humidity levels are higher. This is why adhesives usually come with a tack time and a cure time in relation to temperature and humidity. Thus, the same pail opened in Florida may dry in 12 hours where it may take 16 hours in Colorado. We recommend allowing the adhesive to cure at least 12-15 hours before walking on it, and 24 hours before moving heavy furniture back into place.

Yes, we sell several different products that provide sound insulation - underlayment and adhesive.  To see these products visit our Installation Supplies page and check out our underlayments and adhesives.  Many condominiums have sound insulation requirements for flooring.  There are two sound tests that are the industry standard for sound insulation: IIC and STC.  We have ratings as high as 83 STC and 85 IIC for underlayments and as high as STC 70 and IIC 66 for adhesives. The biggest benefit to using our high STC/IIC underlayments and adhesives is that you do not need to buy cork or other soundproofing and then pay someone additional to install it. Just float the flooring over the underlayment or glue the floor down using the sound reduction adhesive and you can substantially reduce sound transmission between levels in your home as well as muffling sounds from footsteps.

FLOATING FLOORS.  In order to choose the right underlayment you have to ask yourself two questions: Do I need moisture protection, and how much am I willing to pay for sound reduction. When installing over concrete or over a crawl space, an underlayment with a moisture barrier (usually a thin layer of plastic or foil) is a must-have. This protects your wood floor from moisture rising up and damaging your floor from beneath. These are called 3 in 1 underlayment.

What are the 3 features of a 3 in 1 underlayment?

1) Moisture/vapor barrier
2) Impact absorption and sound transfer reduction
3) Cushioning for comfort

Remember that you will still need your sub-floor to be very flat before you begin the installation, as the underlayment only accounts for minor sub-floor imperfections. The second question having to do with how much sound reduction you want is simple - all underlayments have STC and IIC ratings that tell you how much sound they block. The lower the rating, the higher the echo or knocking sound when you walk on the floor. Underlayment with a 70+ STC and IIC rating will muffle noise much better than an underlayment with a 50 STC rating. As you may have guessed, underlayments with higher STC and IIC ratings are more expensive due to the quality of the materials or thickness of their construction.

 

STC and IIC sound ratings indicate the ability of a material to muffle footfall noise and reduce sound transmissions between levels. An underlayment or adhesive with a high STC and IIC rating will not only reduce sound transmission between levels more effectively, but it will also reduce footfall noise within the room more effectively.  Materials with higher STC and IIC sound ratings tend to be more expensive, and sometimes thicker, than underlayments with low sound ratings.

The IIC and STC ratings represent how much sound blockage there is.  For example a rating of 70 is a measurement of the total sound blockage for the whole system (floor + glue) when  installed on a 6" suspended slab with a ceiling system beneath. The Delta IIC is the difference in sound AFTER the barrier is put in. I.e. the Delta IIC reflects the change in impact insulation as a result of the floor and glue system. A Delta IIC of 20 is very good.  

If you'd like to know more we recommend reading this page: https://isostore.com/research/explaining-sound-ratings

 

 

We have a couple of 3 in 1 underlayments, and the best way to see what each one is comprised of is to visit our bamboo flooring installation and accessories page and read the product details for each product. 

Our Super Silencer and Sound Defender have some of the highest STC/IIC sound absorption ratings in the market, are great for condominiums and for muffling foot-fall noise, and are necessary to install floating floors.  The Super Silencer is made from cross-linked closed-cell polyethylene foam (also called IXPE foam). The Sound Defender is a 3 mm thick gold-foil-backed rubber underlayment. Both have advanced moisture protection, shock absorption, and include an adhesive strip with overlap film for ease of installation.

 

Our adhesives do not have any ingredients that are defined as volatile organic compounds “VOC’s”  as part of the formulas.  VOC is a regulatory description for “solvent” which evaporates into the air and is considered an air pollutant.  These formulas contain little to none, so we refer to them as zero VOC. We can calculate "potential" trace VOC values based on the vapor pressure of the individual raw materials used in the formula. Anything with a vapor pressure greater than 2 mmHG at 25C is considered a VOC for these calculations.   You can download the MSDS and other technical documents for our adhesives on their product detail pages.

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