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davepuma
2008-10-04, 21:43
I'm in the process of having a new kitchen fitted and as I have to replace the kitchen flooring (currently laminate) due to a leaking washing machine, I thought I would do the living room as well. The two rooms, which are relatively small are separated by an archway (1.5m wide) and I know that it would look better if the two rooms had the same flooring to give it a better sense of space.

The living room is currently carpeted. The living room has a large leather L-shaped sofa, curtains and a few prints on the wall. The rest of the 'furniture' is an TV rack and Hifi rack housing a large screen TV, Amps, AV receivers, bluray, SB3 etc. etc. and a SVS sub in the corner.

The flooring that interests me is the engineered wooden flooring as I have heard it is more suited to kitchens than solid wood. Does anyone think that I will effectively ruin my acoustics? Has anyone replaced carpet with a hard floor (laminate, wood, tiles etc.) and regretted it? I notice from the galleries forum that a number of you have wooden floors. I would consider fitting a rug in the middle of the room but don't want to hide the nice new flooring with it, after all, what is the point in fitting wooden flooring if you're going to cover it up?

pfarrell
2008-10-04, 21:57
davepuma wrote:
> The flooring that interests me is the engineered wooden flooring as I
> have heard it is more suited to kitchens than solid wood. Does anyone
> think that I will effectively ruin my acoustics? Has anyone replaced
> carpet with a hard floor (laminate, wood, tiles etc.)

Wood is not anywhere near as hard as tile.

At frequencies that we care about, the floor covering is not a major
deal. A pure tile floor can help emulate the reverb of a bathroom, not
what you want.

For a living room, a nice setup is hardwood flooring with a thick middle
eastern rug covering the center, leaving a fair amount of wood visible
around the edges.

Clearly you want hand woven wool rugs, which are too expensive to cover
all the floor anyway.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

peter
2008-10-04, 23:15
On Sat, 4 Oct 2008 21:43:45 -0700, "davepuma"
<davepuma.3gsjkz1223181901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> said:
>
> I'm in the process of having a new kitchen fitted and as I have to
> replace the kitchen flooring (currently laminate) due to a leaking
> washing machine, I thought I would do the living room as well. The two
> rooms, which are relatively small are separated by an archway (1.5m
> wide) and I know that it would look better if the two rooms had the
> same flooring to give it a better sense of space.
>
> The living room is currently carpeted. The living room has a large
> leather L-shaped sofa, curtains and a few prints on the wall. The rest
> of the 'furniture' is an TV rack and Hifi rack housing a large screen
> TV, Amps, AV receivers, bluray, SB3 etc. etc. and a SVS sub in the
> corner.
>
> The flooring that interests me is the engineered wooden flooring as I
> have heard it is more suited to kitchens than solid wood. Does anyone
> think that I will effectively ruin my acoustics? Has anyone replaced
> carpet with a hard floor (laminate, wood, tiles etc.) and regretted it?
> I notice from the galleries forum that a number of you have wooden
> floors. I would consider fitting a rug in the middle of the room but
> don't want to hide the nice new flooring with it, after all, what is
> the point in fitting wooden flooring if you're going to cover it up?

I think it will ruin the sound a little, but a living room is always a
compromise between living and listening. For a dedicated listening room
I would never use a hard floor. That being said I have a wooden floor in
my living room (as well as everywhere else), with some carpets on it and
it's not too bad but it'll never be great.

Regards,
Peter

Phil Leigh
2008-10-05, 00:22
I've done this now in two different houses. It doesn't ruin the sound - but it changes it. To what extent will depend on many factors...solid vs suspended underfloor is important. Also, you should use the best quality underlay you can get - the thicker the better. Finally, a rug - any rug - will help to dampen flutter echo across the surface. Laminate is more reflective of high frequencies than real wood. In either case, the thinker trhe wood the better.

Room correction is very useful when making these sort of changes.

Indeed, you may even prefer the sound without a wall-to-wall carpet damping the sound.

Finally, think about the speakers or their stands...you don't want to spike into laminate or wood. Use small coins under the spikes to protect the floor surface. If using stands, the ones that can be filled with sand or lead shot are best...

MeSue
2008-10-05, 07:31
I can't comment on the sound. We don't have any carpeting in our house because we don't like to put upholstery on the floors. I just wanted to suggest, if you have a Home Depot nearby, you should check out the Trafficmaster Allure flooring product. When we installed it (mid-2007), it was only at Home Depot, but maybe they have it other places now.

It's a vinyl product, but it comes in planks and looks really nice. People who come to our house think it is wood. The planks have an adhesive tongue on 2 sides so each plank sticks to the adjacent one and nothing is adhered to the subfloor.

We have it in the kitchen and living room which are really all one room in our house. The rest of our house has oak floors, but I didn't want real wood in the kitchen. IMO, this looks nicer and holds up better than the laminate flooring and it doesn't make that clackety-clack sound that you get when you walk on laminate floors. If you Google, you should be able to find pictures of it installed.

ModelCitizen
2008-10-05, 07:41
I moved from an entirely carpeted house to one with a large lounged floored with oak parque on concrete. It is almost impossible to get a good sound in the new room. The audio reflections are terrible and the room sucks out whole frequency ranges, despite a multitude of rugs.

MC

Phil Leigh
2008-10-05, 08:10
I moved from an entirely carpeted house to one with a large lounged floored with oak parque on concrete. It is almost impossible to get a good sound in the new room. The audio reflections are terrible and the room sucks out whole frequency ranges, despite a multitude of rugs.

MC

Room correction...Room correction - try it and see.

Also, try heavier weight curtains and if possible make sure your speakers aren't near any windows.

Concrete underfloor is a very good thing - for bass reproduction.
The best rug would be in front of you, between the speakers. Try and avoid any hard surfaces between you and the speakers. Wooden flooring by itself won't (usually) cause issues with wide-range suckouts. Windows will...

Also sofa's make good bass traps.

iPhone
2008-10-05, 09:19
I'm in the process of having a new kitchen fitted and as I have to replace the kitchen flooring (currently laminate) due to a leaking washing machine, I thought I would do the living room as well. The two rooms, which are relatively small are separated by an archway (1.5m wide) and I know that it would look better if the two rooms had the same flooring to give it a better sense of space.

The living room is currently carpeted. The living room has a large leather L-shaped sofa, curtains and a few prints on the wall. The rest of the 'furniture' is an TV rack and Hifi rack housing a large screen TV, Amps, AV receivers, bluray, SB3 etc. etc. and a SVS sub in the corner.

The flooring that interests me is the engineered wooden flooring as I have heard it is more suited to kitchens than solid wood. Does anyone think that I will effectively ruin my acoustics? Has anyone replaced carpet with a hard floor (laminate, wood, tiles etc.) and regretted it? I notice from the galleries forum that a number of you have wooden floors. I would consider fitting a rug in the middle of the room but don't want to hide the nice new flooring with it, after all, what is the point in fitting wooden flooring if you're going to cover it up?

I have an easy single question to ask that will solve your problem completely. Here goes, is the sound of your system more important to you then what is covering your floors?

If yes, keep the carpet. If no, then buy whatever you want and show off your new hardwoods. But to fix the sound change from the hardwoods, you will have to put a thick rug over it, probably add some funiture, and put some textile wall hanging up at the point where you can see your speakers in a mirror on the side wall from the listening position.

By the way, for the kitchen, the best thing we have found is the new bamboo flooring. Bamboo is actually a grass and the way it is processed makes it harder then any hardwood you can buy. We used to have to replace the hardwood floors in our two beach rentals every 4 to 5 years. Since switching to bamboo, we have had no issues and still don't even need to think about replacing the flooring. Bamboo will take the hit from the largest pot or dish dropped on it and not even show a mark where the hardwood has a dent. Audio wise bamboo is better then tile, but nothing beats a proper subfloor with carpet in my humble opinion.

Themis
2008-10-05, 12:39
I think that the floor (wooden or not) is only a part of the problem. Usually walls, ceiling and furniture are more important.

I have friends with wooden floors whose living rooms have wonderful acoustics. And some (without wooden floors) that have serious acoustic problems.

I suppose you can keep (and show) your brand new floor without ruining your pleasure.

amey01
2008-10-05, 13:53
Look at the room as a whole, but the hard floor will certainly play a big part. I had the issue in a second system in a downstairs room of my old house. I found that putting carpet just between the speakers and your listening position will go a long way to eliminating the problem that hard floor causes.

davepuma
2008-10-05, 15:01
Thanks for the replies guys, they've certainly given me something to think about. A few friends have decent AV setups and wooden floors (both solid and laminate) and to be honest they don't sound too bad but I'm obviously concerned about changes in my own room. The sound is important to me but so is the decor of the room and tbh, maybe it will be a challenge but a worthwhile one! I will be visiting the flooring retailer when I get back from work in a fortnight and hopefully by then I will have been able to come to a decision re. the flooring. At present, I'm swaying towards going for it! Thanks again guys, it really has been a big help and cheers for the suggestions on flooring alternatives and underlay.

amey01
2008-10-05, 16:17
I know, I know......take your system to the flooring retailer and listen to all the different floors. Then choose the one that sounds the best.

I'm not obsessed, am I?

iPhone
2008-10-05, 16:23
Thanks for the replies guys, they've certainly given me something to think about. A few friends have decent AV setups and wooden floors (both solid and laminate) and to be honest they don't sound too bad but I'm obviously concerned about changes in my own room. The sound is important to me but so is the decor of the room and tbh, maybe it will be a challenge but a worthwhile one! I will be visiting the flooring retailer when I get back from work in a fortnight and hopefully by then I will have been able to come to a decision re. the flooring. At present, I'm swaying towards going for it! Thanks again guys, it really has been a big help and cheers for the suggestions on flooring alternatives and underlay.

Good Luck. One way to look at it might be that even going with hardwoods there are things one can do to improve/change the sound for the better even after the hardwoods are in. Adding furniture, rugs, and textile wall hangings can help when things are to bright or overly reflective. These items also help to control the bass if it gets out of hand.

Don't get me wrong, there are still options for you even after you go with hardwoods. My first suggestion was to see if it was really only about the sound and now we know it is not. So on to plan B.