Most people have been into a room that has a badly installed floor – as you walk around the floor creaks and groans

Most people have been into a room that has a badly installed floor – as you walk around the floor creaks and groans, and the sound of your footsteps reverberates around the room, bouncing off the walls and ceiling. If the room is empty of furniture such as a gymnasium, the sounds are amplified even more.

Any noise that is produced when you walk around on a laminate floor is amplified by the substrate. So how do we baffle this noise? The secret lies in the substrate, and in choosing a substrate that is made of a material designed to muffle the sounds that have originated in the flooring. The best materials to use are cork, foam rubber and rubber.

Expanded polystyrene would also be an excellent material were it not for the fact that it loses its shape easily when under pressure. In most cases the substrate is laid down before the laminated flooring, although some laminate floors actually have a thin layer of cork bonded to their lower surface.