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What Are The Best Underlayments for Condos and Apartments

Dear Bob and Betsy,
I am responsible for reviewing and approving architectural modification requests for our condo association. Our documents state that our floors must have both the IIC and STC at 55 or higher. We have 6 inch solid concrete floors with no acoustical ceilings. What are the best underlayments for condos and apartments that meet our requirements? Thank you, Fred

Dear Fred,

This is a really important question! For those living in apartments or condos, and have the luxury to be able to renovate them, you will have to abide by the standards set forth by your condo/apartment association or HOA. These guidelines are put in place for you, and your neighbors, comfort and safety. One of these things that is commonly overlooked is the noise your neighbors underneath you will hear!

What Does IIC and STC Mean?

While looking at underlayment for your laminate floor, you may come across IIC-STC with a number next to them. What exactly are these and what do they mean? Put simply, these are ratings that tell you how well the underlayment will dampen sound. The higher a number is following these letters, the less noise will be transmitted. The effect of this is mostly noticeable in rooms underneath the room in which the underlayment and laminate are installed. This is why many apartment buildings, commercial offices buildings, and condo associations require a minimum rating where sound is concerned. The general ratings are as follows:

  • IIC-STC 70  Virtually Sound Proof
  • IIC-STC 60   Superior Sound Proofing
  • IIC-STC 50   International Building Code
  • IIC-STC 40  Sound Proofing below most codes

(STC) Sound Transmission Class from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E336/E413 and (IIC) Impact Isolation Class ASTM E492/E989 ratings are measured in decibels reduced for certain types of sound. The STC rating pertains to airborne noise, such as voices, radio, television, etc. The IIC rating measures impact sounds, such as footfalls, dropped objects etc. The transmission of these sounds through floor/ceiling assemblies (such as those found in multi-level homes and apartments) will be inhibited by underlayments with higher IIC and STC ratings. The International Building Code (IBC) states that all multi-family buildings must have a minimum sound insulation rating of STC 50 and IIC 50, but yours may vary. Check with your condo/apartment association to get the exact numbers, so you make your minimum requirements.

Which Underlayments Make The Cut?

Some premium underlayments will have ratings that exceed these strict IIC and STC ratings made by most condo/apartment associations. Brands such as Kronoswiss, Roberts, Quick Step, and Floor Muffler are all perfect underlayments for your condo or apartment. Let’s take a look at the wide selection available to you!

Roberts Super Felt Premium Underlayment

This underlayment is manufactured by Roberts. It is 3mm thick and comes in either 100 sq.ft. rolls, or 360 sq.ft. jumbo rolls, which are perfect for contractors looking to cover many apartments quickly. The STC Rating is 66db, and the IIC Rating is 67db. It inclused a 3″ overlap and self-adhesive strip to make installation even easier. This underlayment also has a pre-attached vapor barrier to protect floors from moisture escaping concrete subfloors. The recycled fiber construction adds extra insulation and cushioning to make both residents, and downstairs neighbors happy!

Roberts Super Felt Premium Underlayment
Roberts Super Felt Premium Underlayment

Quick-Step Combi Value Floor

This underlayment is manufactured by Quick-Step in the USA. It is 3mm thick and comes in 100 sq.ft. rolls, measured 40in x 30ft. STC Rating is 67db and the IIC Rating is 68db, well above the minimum requirement for apartments and condos!

Quick-Step Combi Value Floor underlayment 100 sq.ft. roll
Quick-Step Combi Value Floor underlayment 100 sq.ft. roll

Roberts Silent 3-in-1 Vapor Underlayment

This premium underlayment is 3mm and comes in rolls of 100 sq.ft. and 630 sq.ft. jumbo rolls, which are perfect for contractors! The Silent 3-in-1 underlayment is great for use over concrete and wood sub-flooring. It can be used underneath laminate flooring, engineered, and even solid hardwood flooring! The STC Rating is 67db and the IIC Rating is 68, perfect for condos and apartments! This unique underlayment retains 96% of it’s original thickness after 7 days, compared to only 57% by leading 3-in-1 foam products. The microbeads in the underlayment allow for maximum bounce back and circulation so no mold or mildew gets a chance to grow! A great, long-lasting underlayment.

Roberts Silent 3 in 1 Vapor Underlayment
Roberts Silent 3 in 1 Vapor Underlayment

Kronoswiss Provent Silent Vapor 3-IN-1 Underlayment

This is another 3-in-1 underlayment, but it’s manufactured by the flooring company Kronoswiss. These rolls are 3mm thick and come in rolls of 215.28 sq.ft., bigger than the average sized roll! The STC rating is 67 and the IIC Rating is 71, which gives you even better noise absorption than the leading premium underlayment! Kronoswiss’ MicroPumping System provides air circulation underneath the boards when you walk on it, inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew on your subfloor! This underlayment is also non-allergenic, so there will be no issues for residents with asthma or allergies!

ProVent Silent Vapor 3-in-1 Underlayment
ProVent Silent Vapor 3-in-1 Underlayment

Quick-Step UniSound Underlayment

This underlayment is manufactured by Quick-Step in the USA. It is 2mm thick and comes in 100 sq.ft. rolls, but don’t let the thickness fool you! This underlayment has an STC Rating of 71db and an IIC Rating of 73db, making it the perfect underlayment to create a quiet oasis in your condo or apartment!

Quick-Step Unisound Underlayment
Quick-Step Unisound Underlayment

Quick-Step RealSound Advanced Underlayment

Just when you thought Quick-Step couldn’t come out with even more sound-reducing underlayment! This underlayment is manufactured in the USA, is 2mm thick, and comes in 100 sq.ft. rolls. This underlayment has an STC Rating of 74db and an IIC Rating of 72db, making it an even better sound reducer than the Quick-Step UniSound underlayment. Install this underlayment if you don’t want your downstairs neighbors to hear a peep!

Quick-Step RealSound Advanced Underlayment
Quick-Step RealSound Advanced Underlayment

Floor Muffler UltraSeal Underlayment

Now, for the cream of the crop, the grand-daddy of all sound-reducing underlayments, Floor Muffler. This underlayment is STC Rated 73db and IIC Rated 74db. It will be hard for your downstairs neighbors to hear anything coming through their ceiling! This underlayment comes in 100 sq.ft. rolls and 700 sq.ft. jumbo rolls, making this a contractor’s dream! It’s suitable for cement and wood subfloors, so it can almost be installed over anything! It even comes with a self-sealing strip to make laying it out as quickly as possible. To top it all off, it’s made in the USA!

Floor Muffler 700 sq.ft. Roll and 100 sq.ft. Roll Comparison
Floor Muffler 700 sq.ft. Roll and 100 sq.ft. Roll Comparison

We hope we have given you plenty of choices of underlayment to meet your condo/apartment association IIC and STC rating requirements that fit your needs and budget. If you have any questions, please write us in the comments below or call us at 1-800-520-0961!

More Information On Underlayment:


  1. Hi Jim. It is standard sound rating testing procedure to have suspended ceilings for underlayment.

  2. Bob&Betsy, Our condo building has 6″ concrete slab, with NO suspended ceilings below. Your article of underlayment e.g. the muffler in the article has an IIC of 73. My question is was that number as well as some off the other underlayments tested with or without suspended ceilings below?

  3. Hi Fernando, With hardwood installations, I always recommend using a felt underlayment. This is going to be the most conducive sound control that you will get with hardwood installs. A close second would be the Floor Muffler Underlayment. Most of our underlayments have spec sheets attached to their page where you would be able to present that documentation to your HOA.

  4. I have Shawn hardwood floor HW 486. 7.5″ kingston Hickory color 933 coat of Arms in the entry and the kitchen. I am planing to extend it to the hall way and living room which will replaced my existing carpet. I need to prove to HOA board that: 1- i need to to proposed that with the proper insulation and sound proofing hardware i can be as quit or quiet or than the carpet. 2 What is the Best underlayment for this case? Is the underlaymentSTC Rated 73db and IIC Rated 74db my best option? i am open for your suggestions and appreciate the help

  5. We recommend contacting the manufacturer, just to ensure they will allow double padding under the floor you are installing.

  6. Is it wise to use the Floor Muffler UltraSeal with an additional layer of cork under it, in order to increase the sound proofing on top of a concrete condo flooring? On the very top, we will be using engineered wood.

  7. Yes, the combination of the flooring and underlayment should exceed that required IIC rating. I would recommend reaching out to the floor’s manufacturer just to make sure that you are able to used additional underlayment without voiding you warranty. Yes the Floor Muffler LVT does has a built in vapor barrier.

  8. Hello, Our Assoc. just changed our Declarations to allow alternate flooring requiring an IIC of 70, and no requirement of an STC. Our floors(4 floor bldg) are 6″ slabs (Cinder blocks between units), and no suspended ceilings.
    We found Nucor Performance LVT 6.5mm thick(w cork backing) spec of 65 IIC at Floor and Decor. The underlayment they recommend is Eco Ultra Quiet Prem. Acoustical Underlayment with an IIC of 73. With this combination will are installed floor meet the 70IIC? Also, the Muffler LVT Ultraseal Silent Flooring Underlayment has an IIC of 73 is an option. Does that product contain a vapor barrier as well?

  9. Hi Jeanette, If you are referring to ceramic tile, we unfortunately would not have a recommendation. If you are referring to vinyl tile, we would recommend using the following product: Floor Muffler LVT

  10. Our HOA requires a 55 IIC and STC 55 – We have have had several homeowner wanting to install tile on 6′ concrete slab but they are having a hard time locating the underlayment for it. What is the best underlayment that we can tell our homeowners they can use for tile and on a 6′ concrete slab?

  11. Hi Gary, In most cases when it says “up to 74db” it is dependent on subfloor and ceiling. To help easy your HOA’s mind, let him know that in most cases, laminate and vinyls with attached padding also have a sound rating. The combination of the vinyl’s sound rating and the floor muffler will help meet your sound requirement of 73.

  12. Hi,
    My HOA is quit strict and requires a IIC 73 rating or better to replace carpet+pad with LVP or SPC vinyl flooring. I want to use the Floor Muffler product recommended, but when I download the specifications, it says “up to 74db IIC rating. This is making the HOA nervous about the “up to” non-definitive comment. I assume this has something do to with the subfloor being wood or concrete. Can you help me understand this, and how best I go back to the HOA with some proof of the Floor Muffler 74 IIC rating? Much appreciated – Gary

  13. Hi Vicki! From my knowledge, all of the manufacturers that we work with only do testing with a drop ceiling. I would recommend calling manufacturers that you know have a high IIC rating when testing with the drop ceiling and see if they can convert those stats for you.

  14. Our condo association requires an IIC rating of 60 or more based on testing on 6” concrete floors with no dropped ceiling. We see lots of flies snd underlayments that are rated much higher than this, at first glance. When we dig further, we find that testing is based on 6”concrete with a dropped ceiling. We have had to call each manufacturer directly to see if they’ve tested it on our application. Most have, abc the IIC drops to 50. Do you know how we can find one that meets min 60 IIc when tested on a 6” slab with no dropped ceiling? Also, does the 3/4” engineered wood add any soundproofing?

  15. Hi there

    Thanks for this really helpful comment i just read

    I have a problem with noise from above in a wood framed condo where the owner above has installed vinyl plank flooring

    is it possible to arrange a call to discuss

  16. Hi John, thanks for the question. Are you sure 120 is your standard? We don’t have anything close to that. Most STC ratings are in the 70’s.

  17. Hi, my highrise condo HOA has strict noise requirements for new laminate flooring, which are either and underlayment of 1/2 inch compressed cork, OR a combination of a) Microban Titanium Laminate Cushion,and b) Bostick MVP4 (moisture vapor protection); installed together with laminate they provide lIC (Impact InsulationClass) and STC (Sound Transmission Class) ratings of 120 and 113, respectively .
    This is o a concrete floor.
    I see the highest IIC rating is 72, how do I find an underlayment that will give a rating of 120?

  18. Hi Sandra, we are not familiar with particular state building codes. I would ask your HOA for the information they received on this.

  19. My Condominium HOA has removed the installation of floor sound proofing requirement from our by-laws stating that Florida Code specifies sound proofing requirements so the HOA does not need to. At least that is how they sold it to homeowners for a vote. I have done an internet search and cannot seem to find any such thing. I have also called a couple of Tile shops for their knowledge and they do not know, saying the is the homeowner or installers responsibility to know. Are there Florida or City Codes for Condo flooring sound proofing and if so where would I find them.

  20. Hi Jeff, thanks for the question. If there is very little difference in the grout lines, then you should be fine adding just the underlayment over it. If you go with a thicker or rigid core LVT, these will also limit any issues from the small imperfections.

  21. I live on a third floor of a condo wear noise easily travels. I just bought this condo and all the hard surface flooring Is Ceramic Tile which is a nuisance to my downstairs neighbors . The grout lines are almost level with the tile. Would I be able to put “Floor Muffler UltraSeal Underlayment” over the tile and LVP on top of that?

  22. Hi Maria, are you thinking about the Rhino roofing underlayment? You will need to use an LVT specific underlayment for your vinyl installation. You can shop our options here:

  23. Can I use Rhino 72 under luxury vinyl or this underlayment is just foe laminate

  24. Hi Justine, thanks for the question. You would have to ask your HOA on that one. It could be a generic code that is building wide, no matter the floor.

  25. Hi I have a question, I get that there are certain requirements for underlay for noice in condos but if I am on the ground level would I still have to abide by those requirements? Since no one is below me ?

  26. Great question! I think most of the underlayments are made with recyclable materials. You would need to look at the manufacturer product information for each one, as they are all different. If you’re looking for a natural line, FloorMuffler does carry a Naturaline that is made of 95% recyclable materials. You can learn more here:

  27. Is any of the Sound Reduction Membrances with an HC of at least 70 Eco Friendly?

  28. Hi Carole, thanks for your inquiry. One of the best is Floor Muffler, at IIC74/STC73. It is acceptable for hardwood and laminate. You can check it out here: We also carry several others with above 55 STC/ICC Ratings which are:; and

  29. Hi, I am a condo board and I am require to provide owner with underlayment approved by the board for hardwood/laminate floor as owner wants to remove underpad/carpet. What would be the best underlayment for 3/4 plywood subfloor, insulation, furring strip and drywall ceiling assembly. The Corporation require a STC/ICC of 55+. Thank you

  30. Hi Jose, thanks for the question. I would look into the Floor Muffler brand underlayment. This is one of the best rated for sound proofing. You can find it here:

  31. Hi Sherry I have Big question I’m planning to install new wood floors on top of the existing floor I have a Sirius problem with airborne noise my neighbor downstairs turns on TV at late hours I can hear everything even when is sleeping I can hear snoring is not a pleasant especially when you have to go early in morning to work what is the best treatment for my new floor there is no insolation between floors is halo what is the best underlyment I search some companies say the heavy the better for noise reduction I will appreciate your help tank you.

  32. Hi Harlan, thanks for the question. We don’t specialize in tile, but these guys do. Check out this helpful article:

  33. Harlan Stueven

    Really liked your review. Most are for wood or laminate. What do you recommend for tile?

  34. Hi Jaleh, you can contact us at 800-520-0961 or at [email protected].

  35. Hi, is it possible to get your email or phone number to contact you?
    Please let me know.
    Thank you

    Jaleh 818-259-5715

  36. Hi Polly, thanks for the question. An underlayment with IIC of 70+ is high performance and should give a very quality sound dampening for floating floors. For best results, a WPC composite vinyl core by itself is the quietest – it is waterproof and filed with fluffy noise dampening wood sawdust. No extra sound dampening should be necessary. You can also suggest floors with attached cork underlayment that can be used in conjunction with additional sound dampening underlayment to give you the ultimate sound dampening experience. You can check out underlayments such as FloorMuffler brand to recommend to your tenants.

  37. I am on the Board of a condo and we are developing the details for flooring requirements. The condo is 50 yrs old with wooden subfloors and just gypsum board attached to joist. If we require an underlayment IIC of 70+ for any type flooring( no ceramic,stone tile allowed) will we most likely hit actual mid 50’s in FIIC? Or should we be more concerned with delta IIC? Is it necessary to do periphery soundproofing also to diminish flooring to wall noise?
    We are requiring subfloors to be re-secured with screws since 50 yrs ago they were nailed and much of the noise is squeaking floor joists.

  38. Hi Jean, sorry to hear about the noise! An IIC rating of 50 isn’t very strong, considering our underlayments reach up to IIC of 74. Concrete is at an IIC of 25 if that gives you reference. Along with that, hardwoods are more hollow and will generally make a louder noise than some other flooring options.

  39. I live in an apartment. The guy above me installed a new hardwood floor last year and now I hear every footfall — even when he walks barefoot! Our building requires that the sound transmission between the floor and ceiling must have a minimum IIC of 50. If he installed IIC 50 then I would hear the thudding footfalls all day long?


  40. Hi Dustin, thanks for your question. Most underlayments are tested on an 8″, hollow concrete slab. For this specific application, it may be best to contact the lab that tests all of the underlayments and get their professional recommendation. Here is the website: And yes, top rated silent underlayments can be 72 or 73 STC. This is our best sound rated underlayment:

  41. Hi there – engineering background here. I’ve done a lot of research into how STC/IIC values really don’t meet the needs for the condo of which I am a board member. Can you point me in the direction of any research on wood assembly, 2″ gypcrete float, with a drywalled ceiling on a 10″ void space? Or perhaps a good idea of what STC rating (based on 6″ concrete) would actually meet our needs to make owners happy? 65 is our current policy minimum but we are finding other products hitting 72 now so I’m considering proposing a change.

  42. Hi CD, you will need to use a carpet specific underlayment for your project. You should be fine installing it over your wood floors!

  43. Looking to soundproof the top floor of a split foyer house with wood floors. tearing out the wood floor isn’t an option, so we’d like to cover it up instead. Can I put this over the wood floor and cover it with carpet and a carpet pad? Will this stuff react with the wood floor and/or the carpet pad?

  44. Hi Mr. ‘Acoustic engineer’
    What you explain your comment is very true, almost none of company tested their underlayment on ‘Wood subfloor ‘. Which most of condo has unless you live high rise.
    Do you happened to have any Underlayment test result in wood subfloor? ( those underlayment stated IIC 70)
    I would like to know approximately how much rate of IIC & STC on wood subfloor.
    Best regards,

  45. Hi Patricia, thank you for reaching out. For vinyl flooring, we recommend Floor Muffler LVT Ultraseal Flooring Underlayment, which has an IIC71/STC66 rating. You can learn more and order it here:

  46. Hi Vincent, thank you for reaching out. We are sorry to hear you are unhappy with the soundproofing in your building. We generally recommend underlayment with sound dampening properties to our customers, however it must be installed under your flooring, and it sounds like your flooring is already installed. We recommend checking with a local sound proofing expert, perhaps they will be able to offer you solutions to try above your flooring and on the walls. We hope this helps! For your reference, one of our best sound dampening underlayment options is Floor Muffler Ultraseal Silent Flooring Underlayment

  47. Hi Erik, thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us!

  48. Acoustic Engineer

    I am an acoustic engineer and wanted to make sure visitors understand the information they are reading here. The IIC values noted on this page only represent the performance of these underlayments when tested in buildings with 6-inches of concrete and a suspended gypsum board ceiling. I have completed hundreds of field IIC tests in accordance with ASTM E1007, and can tell you that less than 0.1% of condominium buildings in the USA are concrete with a dropped ceiling (except some kitchen areas and bathrooms). These noted IIC performances do not represent how these underlayments will perform in wood frame buildings with or without lightweight gypcrete or concrete buildings (without a dropped ceiling); the underlayments will perform significantly lower depending on the actual floor-ceiling construction. To be clear STC values are a factor of the floor-ceiling assembly and are not improved or depreciated by flooring underlayments. It is possible to complete a test of your proposed floor prior to installation to verify the field IIC, defined as Apparent Impact Insulation Class (AIIC), meets your HOA requirements. Contact your local acoustic engineer to learn more.

  49. Hello. I recently restored a historic building into 4 apartments. I rent some of them furnished. The soundproofing is horrible. You can hear music, voices, and footsteps. Lots of the original hardwood floors is exposed. What is the best underlayment I can put under the large area rugs I have down? Will this help at all? Would putting it under furniture and appliances help at all? I need advice.

  50. I finally got a permit from the city of Miami.
    We do a flooring and I will be doing vinyl floors (WPC).
    HOA requires STC 50 & IIC 67
    Which ones will you recommend and where to get it?

    Requirements here are usually 50/50
    Please email me info.
    Thank you!!!

  51. Hi Vik, thanks for reaching out. We know HOA’s can be pretty strict, so we recommend finding an underlayment that is made specifically for vinyl flooring with an IIC rating of 71+. From our collection, we would recommend Floor Muffler LVT Ultraseal Flooring Underlayment, which is made for vinyl and has an IIC 71 rating.

  52. Hi,
    Like many of you here, I am running afoul with the HOA.
    My condo is on the third floor. I installed a 5.2mm vinly plank flooring on a concrete slab.
    When it was brought to my attention that condo require 71iic rating, I researched underlayments and narrowed on: : QuietWalk+

    The guys at the manufacturer were fantastic. Unfortunately they only have sound test results for Laminate and none for a vinyl plank floor.

    My question is, if it not logical to think a 5.2mm padded vinyl plank floor will be quiter than a laminate, with the same underlayment?

  53. Hi Kate, thanks for reaching out. FloorMuffler is designed to be installed directly on a wood or cement subfloor with the flooring on top. We do not recommend using any additional underlayment, as this will create too much cushion beneath your floor and could impact the integrity of the joints in your flooring. Hope this helps!

  54. I’m going to be installing laminate. If I put the FloorMuffler on top of 1/4” rubber underpayment, will that enhance the soundproofing? Specifically footsteps.

  55. Hi Thomas, thanks for reaching out. We do not see any concerns with installing a 4mm underlayment under your laminate flooring. The only 4mm underlayment we carry is our Bestlaminate 3-in-1 Felt Flooring Underlayment, and this would be fine beneath a 12mm laminate. Our recommendation for your project would be Floor Muffler Ultraseal Silent Flooring Underlayment, which is 2mm thick and has a IIC74/STC73 rating. You can learn more and see other options here:

  56. Hi Ariana, thanks for reaching out. What kind of flooring are you installing? For laminate, we recommend Floor Muffler Ultraseal Silent Flooring Underlayment, which has an STC 73 rating. Check it out here:

  57. Hi!

    My HOA insists that we find a 60 STC rating for a framed floor. Most manufacturers only test on concrete slab, which makes this search extra frustrating. Which underlayment would you recommend I go with?

    Thank you,

  58. Hi,
    Is 12mm laminate with 4mm underlayment too thick for condo floor although both IIC/STC ratings meet the condo requirements? Will the thickness of 4mm causing any joint or any other issue over time? What thickness of underlayment would you recommend? Thank you.

  59. Hi Jessica, thanks for reaching out! We do not sell porcelain tiles, so this is not our expertise. I believe they need to be glued to the subfloor, so underlayment will not be needed. I would reach out to a tile professional for more information on this!

  60. Hi,

    I’m moving to a New Cond second floor and I’m installing porcelain wood look. HOA doesn’t specify what they want for IIC rating. What is the underlay and thickness recommended for porcelain?

  61. Hi Liz! We will be sending you an email shortly with our recommendations!

  62. Hello
    I recently purchased a condo on the third floor and am in search of flooring options (not carpet) that provide soundproofing that is close to carpet. The condo has wood subfloors. We found a flooring called Duraguard (Mannington) with an IIC rating of 72. In order to maximize soundproofing, is it recommended or necessary to put additional underlayment on top of a wood subfloor to maximize soundproofing OR is a flooring with a iic72 rating enough to soundproof between floors in a condominium? Are there any other floors that you would recommend using?
    Thank you!

  63. Hi Jessica, thanks for the question! So when we reference IIC and STC, the rating is usually found with the underlayment and not the actual floor. The floor you want has an attached underlayment, but most likely does not provide the sound reduction you are looking for. We’d recommend finding a laminate without attached underlayment and then purchasing the STC & IIC rated underlayment needed for your floor. We have several that meet this condition! You can shop all of our floors and underlayments here:

  64. Hi there

    My condo board has the following requirements for “hard surface” flooring.

    70 IIC rating (or better) AND a 71 STC rating

    I am wondering if you know if the Golden Select laminate flooring with the foam backer meets those requirements?
    This is their website, I can’t seem to find anything that clearly says yes or no and I am waiting to hear back from them. Any assistance would be so appreciated. Thanks!

  65. Ralph Williams

    Thanks we are looking at Vinyl Planking

  66. Hi Adam, thanks for your question! Considering your laminate already has attached underlayment, we wouldn’t recommend adding any other cushion under the flooring. The best option would have been to buy a laminate without underlayment and opting for a specialized sound reduction underlayment. It seems like your two options would be returning the floor and buying a new one without underlayment or risking it and adding another sound rated underlayment to your installation. Considering some underlayments are up to 4mm and you have a thick floor, you may be able to get away with adding additional pad. Just be cautious, if you do add additional underlayment, it will void your warranty and you could face joint issues down the road.

  67. I am moving into a condo and they would like the flooring to have an iic rating of 59 or higher. I have 14 mm thick laminate flooring (12 mm + 2 mm attached padding) that, according to the manufacturer, has an iic of 48. What type of underlayment would be ideal to bring this total rating to the 59 or higher? Thank you very much.

  68. Hi Ralph, thanks for your comment. What kind of flooring are you installing? For laminate flooring installation, we recommend Floor Muffler Ultraseal Silent Flooring Underlayment, which has an IIC 74 rating.

  69. Dear Bob and Betsy,
    Our Strata Council is responsible for reviewing and approving renovation requests for our condo strata. Our by-laws state that our floors must have the IIC at 72 or higher, but no STC requirement. We have 2 inch solid concrete floors with no acoustical ceilings. What are the best underlays for condos that meet our requirements? Thank you, Ralph

  70. Hi Tom, thanks for your comment. We do not carry ProFlex250, so unfortunately we cannot provide details regarding the sound dampening properties of this specific underlayment. Floor Muffler is one of our most popular options in terms of sound dampening, and has an IIC74/STC73 rating. Our Quick-Step RealSound Advanced underlaymet has an IIC72/STC 74 rating. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  71. Our condo association is considering requiring an underlayment of ProFlex250 for any hard surface floors. How does this product’s IIC rating compare to the Quiet Walk, Quiet Step or Floor Muffler underlayments?

  72. Thanks for the information, Seth. Unfortunately we can’t advise about the insulation of the flooring and the vibrations you are experiencing. Perhaps it would be helpful to speak with a home inspector to identify the source of the problem you are experiencing so that it can be properly diagnosed and addressed! If you opt to replace your flooring, we are happy to help you find the best underlayment and flooring options for your home. Best of luck!

  73. Thank you so much for all the great information you have provided regarding my inquiry.
    No new installment of AC that I know of . It is the same existing AC unit. We had this confirmed that the noise / vibration is coming from downstairs every time the AC is on but it wasn’t that bad 12 years ago. The new owner downstairs had recently moved last year of October and the following month they had already complained of excessive foot noise coming from our unit which is the first.Makes me think that our flooring is not properly insulated since we can hear vibrations emitting to our hardwood floors and carpeted rooms when their AC is on and vice versa they can hear our “ normal day to day walking activities “ or they are just sensitive?
    If I have to ask my HOA about this , how do I present it to them?

    Thanks in advance
    Bob and Betsy

  74. Hi Seth, thank you for your comment. Under normal circumstances and if properly installed, underlayment should not become less effective or deteriorate over time. Perhaps the underlayment that you have installed is not designed specifically for sound reduction. Most underlayments that have sound dampening features can help reduce noise levels within and below a room, and help eliminate hollow sounds and noisy floors. Unfortunately, no underlayment can guarantee to completely eliminate all noise. Is this possible that your neighbor recently moved their AC to a new location or has a new unit that is now causing more noise and vibrations?

    Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thank you!

  75. Hi Nino, thank you for your comment. Here at Bestlaminate, we specialize in laminate, vinyl and hardwood flooring so unfortunately we can’t advise you on the best solution for ceramic tile installation and underlayment. We recommend you reach out to the manufacturer of your ceramic tile for installation and underlayment advice.

    We do offer many vinyl and laminate floors in a tile look. Vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof and is a great option in areas where you would consider ceramic tile, such as kitchens and bathrooms. With a vinyl floor, you can install our Floor Muffler LVT underlayment, which offers an IIC71/STC66 rating.

  76. Hi Deena, thank you for your comment. We recommend felt underlayment, which is designed to reduce noise and help cushion your flooring. Although a high quality underlayment will definitely help with sound dampening, there is no guarantee that it will completely reduce all the noise you are hearing from the second floor. If you have any further questions or would like to discuss your underlayment options in more detail, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-520-0961.

  77. We lived in the upstairs condominium for 13 years now and I was wondering over those years will the underlayment used for hardwood floors would in some way lessen the effectiveness as far as sound insulation? I’m not sure what kind of underlayment we have but every time our downstairs neighbor turns their AC we hear loud vibration sound emitting from our hard floor all the time.? What does it mean?
    Thanks in advance.

  78. Hello….I am trying to find a solution to the nightmare I am dealing with in my dream house! We built a two story home and our kids bedrooms are in the second floor….I can hear every footsteps they make and they are just lightweights! We are getting ready to replace the carpet on the second floor and during this process we want to put in an underlayment to improve the sound issues….I am looking for the best of the best! I don’t want to hear any movement from the second floor. What material would you suggest? All that we have is a single plywood subfloor and carpet padding….

  79. I need to install ceramic tiles in a condo with concrete sub floors. The condo association requires an underpayment with an IIC of 60 and above. What do you recommend? Where can I buy it and at what cost?

    Nino Fleri
    [email protected]

  80. Hi Gail, great question! When it comes to trying to sound proof a floor, our best underlayment is the Floor Muffler ( This will help keep the foot noise to a minimum and is our highest rated underlayment for sound transmission. You will want to look for IIC and STC ratings when it comes to underlayments. Hope this helps!

  81. Is there a difference if your condo association does not have the 6 inches of concrete between floors. Is it still possible to sound proof the upper floor once hard wood or laminate flooring are installed. If so what is the best rating to accomplish this? Thank you!

  82. Hi Michael – A laminate flooring installed on an underlayment of IIC 70 or higher, such as Floor Muffler, should perform the same as a standard carpet with standard underlayment. Be sure to pay attention to both the IIC and STC rating when purchasing your laminate flooring underlayment. The STC rating pertains to airborne noise, such as voices, radio, television, etc. The IIC rating measures impact sounds, such as footfalls, dropped objects etc. The transmission of these sounds through floor/ceiling assemblies (such as those found in multi-level homes and apartments) will be inhibited by underlayments with higher IIC and STC ratings. I hope this information was helpful for you! Pleas contact us at 1-800-520-0961 if you are interested in purchasing any underlayment from us! We ship to the contiguous 48 states!

  83. Our condo rules don’t give any IIC or STC specs for floors. Just says “carpeting and pad”.
    Question is: How does an underlayment with a rating of 70IIC compare w. standard wall-to-wall carpet w. a “std. pad” underneath?

    Thank you.

  84. Hi Sherry, thanks for your question! We do not sell the Quiet Walk specific brand, but the IIC/STC ratings are similar to the FII, it’s just a difference of the type of test. You will be able to find all of the ratings for that underlayment here:

  85. Do you have the rating for “Quiet Walk” absorbent pad including Quiet Walk Vapor Barrier. This is on top of ‘thick soft concrete’ (6″ or thicker).
    I do find a rating of FII of 71.
    What is the comparable IIC (STC?)
    I have an Armstrong Archetectual Remnant Laminate floating floor on top of the Quiet Walk system.

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