Quiet Walk? Floor Muffler? Need Help Choosing Underlayment?

tyjyNovember 16, 2010

We are installing a new Mirage Lock engineered floating floor and trying to decide the best underlayment to use. Mirage sells Uni-Mat 3 in 1 membrane but allows comparables for the warranty. I was quoted about $65 per 100 sq ft. roll for Uni-Mat.

We're installing most over a particle board subfloor with a little over (dry) concrete.

Our local flooring store sells Quiet Walk. I've read on this forum people using Floor Muffler. I think the Quiet Walk is more a recycled eco-friendly material where the Floor Muffler is a synthetic...right? (whatever that means) I really, ultimately hope for the quietest, most solid feeling floor I can possibly get.

Thanks for any and all the advice you can offer!

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Are you adding the underlayment because your floor sqeaks? If so have your tried securing the floor to the joists with screws?

Trying elimiating as much sqeaking as possible before installing the new floor. The underlayment will help muffle sound, but I suspect you will still hear it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:02AM
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We need underlayment because it's a floating wood floor.

I'd just really like suggestions about what underlayment/matting will make this feel more solid feeling (vs. "spongy") and not "clicky" sounding. Mirage suggests a "waterproof acoustic membrane".

In OP I should have called the Mirage underlayment: ULTI-Mat (not Uni-mat). It's 2 mm thick and is made of polyolefin.

The Floor Muffler is 2 mm thick & made of polyolefin blend foam

The Quiet Walk is about 3 mm thick & made of recycled synthetic fibers.

Please, anyone?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:44AM
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I thought this would be an easy question figuring plenty of folks out there have installed floating floors : /

Or is it just as flippin' complicated as I'm finding it??
(If only the different product spec sheets categorized in a consistant way then I'd be able to compare myself, Why is everything so hard and so time consuming, hey?! sheesh!)

I'm trying to compare: Ulti-Mat, Floor Muffler, Quiet Walk, and Sound Solutions.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 9:29PM
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We'll be installing a floating floor this weekend and were told that the best way to get a "solid" sounding floor was cork underlayment. So we're going with quarter-inch cork.

I talked the place where I bought the floors at for a recommendation.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 7:14AM
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I used quiet walk (bought it Lowe's for a good price) on a recommendation from the installer, and it looks very thick. I thought this would be a good thing. I went with Ikea's $1.29/ft2 laminate, and it was a bad combination. The laminate is rather thin, and with the thick, squishy Quiet Walk, the boards have cupped. It also feels a bit weird to walk on a wood floor and feel the floor underneath sink. I recently talked to the owner of a local flooring company, and they recommended a much thinner more dense underlayment. I think it was floor muffler. He had a piece of each (FM, and something that looked like QW), and put a board on top of each and had me knock on each one to hear the difference. It's a good test, and perhaps you can find a place that can let you do that.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 2:17AM
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cgpsp: Thank you SO MUCH for taking time to write! I was beginning to lose hope.

What you say is exACtly what my problem is about. Although we bought a top quality, expensive, engineered wood floor that we'll install "floating", the manufacturer (Mirage) recommends either THEIR matting (Ulti-Mat) or an equivalent, something I've deducted seems more like Floor Muffler than the Quiet Walk. As you say, the Floor Muffler is thinner and like a dense foam, the Quiet Walk is like a fiber and thicker.

My problem is it seems to defy logic that the thicker wouldn't be a better idea cuz it's, well, thicker. Your experience and explanation helps me alot because I surely don't want a floor that's squishy or even thicker than the flooring itself! I just have to get my brain around a foamlike/denser/flatter membrane (like the Mirage brand or the Floor Muffler) is actually a better option because it's, well, thinner.

I was considering the Quiet Walk because the local flooring store I deal with stocks it. They don't stock/sell the Mirage flooring though (which is the only thing I wanted due to color choice) so I'm basically worried the owner isn't really experienced with Mirage and the underlayment recommended.

Thus, my dilemma. I don't want to just buy something that someone stocks, I want to buy something that's going to be the very best application with the results (not clicky sounding or squishy feeling) I so desire.

Again, thank you VERY MUCH for helping me. I welcome any and all additional advice! Please let me know as we need to order this coming week.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 9:58AM
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Amazon.com sells underlayment products. You can do some research by reading the reviews of the products. It may give you some additional information to consider.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 12:02PM
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I used the Floor Muffler Ultra for my BR-111 5" wide floating floors. I almost went with the Mirage Lock since I loved the sturdy finish on top and how it locked without glue and I loved the 4.25" wide boards the best. I chose BR-111 since I had my heart set on Brazilian Cherry Floors for about a year and I thought it looked best with my cherry desk in my home office.

Everyone that visits me seems to think I have a solid wood floor since the floor muffler makes it feel that way.

Most likely the Mirage product is very similar to the Floor Muffler and I would go with the product that is more cost effective and easier to buy out of these two underlayments. Just my humble opinion....

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 11:53PM
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lynn, thanks for writing!

Did you install over a concrete floor or wood subfloor as I am? I'm wondering if there's a difference in opinions when considering the different subfloors? Do you know?

Right now we're leaning towards the Floor Muffler or Mirage Ulti-Mat, esPECially after reading CGPSP'S experience above!!!!!!!

My biggest worry is if a thin, denser membrane will cover any imperfections in a particle wood subfloor? I do know that we will try and get it as flat, flat, flat as possible but if we can't entirely will it be noticable?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 8:37AM
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It sounds like you are interested in perhaps an eco-friendly option? I used eco-friendly Whisper Wool underlayment for my Marmoleum click panels. It did make the floor very quiet, although Marmoleum is on a cork base, so I'm sure that is also quiet. But, it warmed the floor considerably- I have a full basement under the kitchen, so it gets really cold, and there is a considerable difference with the whisper wool. It was a more expensive option, but I'm against any 'plastic' building materials in my home. It was super easy to use as well. My old floor does squeak in spots, but this muffles that sound quite a bit.

Is there any way you could get samples and lay a few planks of your floor on top and just try them out?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 12:28PM
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oldhousegal: Thanks for the tip. I will check that out. I'm mainly trying to abide by the Mirage flooring warranty issues that requires certain criteria.

Floor Muffler seems to be getting good reviews. I'm thinking of the kind w/Ultra Seal. Anyone ever order through Shock Flooring.com? The price is considerably less through that online company but I'm wondering if it's the kind of thing like "if it sounds too good to be true...it probably is"!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 4:07PM
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tyiy, my floor was a concrete floor since my home is on a slab with no basement. Make sure the installer knows what the Ultra Seal is since my first installer wasn't using it and part of the boards were installed improperly. My 2nd installer was great and read instructions. I wish I did the floor myself and just had a friend cut the boards.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 11:52PM
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Thanks lynn! We're doing the entire job alone so any/all help is appreciated!

We have stupid particle board subflooring on the area (raised by 2 ft.) we're installing, which will definitely need re-screwing so there's no more squeaking, etc. Some underlayments claim they help with "imperfections" in subfloors soooooo...that's what I'm hoping for. We will try our hardest to address any issues with that dang particle board, but honestly, I believe it will never be perfect...Also why I want to make the right decision on this.

I'd still welcome input. We're down to Quiet Walk and Floor Muffler w/Ultra Seal. We don't have any lower level so sound that direction is not an issue. I'm MAINLY concerned with clicky sound when stepped on and a solid feel since it won't be nailed down.

Basically, even though it's "floating" I want it to seem like solid, hard wood flooring. Is that asking too much or is Mirage really the "cadilac" like they claim? (Can you tell my DH chose the floating style, due to the DIY in him?)

Anybody with advice I'd truly appreciate it. THANKS!

(Anybody order online from Shock Flooring?)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 10:48AM
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I would like to know what you ended up choosing......I have cement floors and will be installing engineered wood and soon as I pick something out!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 12:30PM
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We have been having good experience with Floor Muffler w/Ultra Seal in the past years.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 1:26AM
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Hi, glad I ran across this...

We ended up using Healthier Choice Sound Solution, really because we had a flooring installer friend come over to give us any last minute tips and he said that's what his company uses. We purchased it from Menards for about $44 a 100 sq ft roll. Pretty sure we taped the seams. Flooring has been installed for over a year and all is great!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Just a quick adder here, I'm thinking more about this and the flooring DOES have a louder sound when walked on with hardsoled shoes (vs. a solid wood sound like with an old oak floor from back in the day-my only reference). I forgot this when responding above because I don't usually wear hard soled shoes! MAYbe another person will be able to say if this is normal or a wrong choice! Sorry to recomplicate it

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 4:32PM
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Hardwood Floors Outlet Murrieta

Underlayments- Floor Muffler is still the best underlayment on the market. It is a polypropylene foam so it can be recycled and it is a US made product! They have several varieties now including ones that you can glue down. It is the ONLY underlayment most HOAs will allow in multifamily or commercial buildings because it has the best sound ratings. For more info: floormuffler.com. Some EVA underlayments, and I do mean some, come pretty close to the FM ratings, try to hear the difference because you cannot see the difference. Thickness is NOT an indicator of sound reduction qualities.

As far as sound goes, any floating floor is going to sound more hollow than anything that is glued down, but that hollow sound is subjective-if you live in a home with a basement that hollow sound is normal, if you live on concrete it is clicky. Floating floors really don't feel different than glued down or nailed flooring, with maybe the exception of an empty room. Hard soled shoes (heels), will cause a louder sound regardless of the floor (think tile), and it is normal, but any floating floor will have a louder step compared to any glued floor (but it is not often that you will have both side by side) to know the difference.

Mirage flooring-yes this is high quality floor, with a high price tag, most stores will not stock since it is usually a special order item and they cannot return any product purchased. With the exception of the HDF core materials, these floors have a thick veneer and can be sanded and refinished 3-4 times.

Good Luck and happy floors.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 2:38PM
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