Flooring in music room
My basement, most of which is dedicated to a music room, recently suffered some fairly serious water damage when drainage overflowed severely during a period of heavy rains. As a result, the flooring almost certainly has to be replaced.
The music room is 600 sqft (30x20) with a 9' ceiling, so it's quite spacious. It's outfitted in very thick, plush carpet on top of very thick floor padding. This dampens sound sufficiently that the room has a fairly nice, neutral acoustic. You can hear yourself play, and in a chamber setting, people sound good together, and everyone can hear each other clearly. It's also very neutral for recording, and dead silent (sufficient to record professionally; for work, a professional team sometimes shoots videos in this room).
I need to replace the flooring with something waterproof or pretty impervious to moisture. I was originally leaning to doing engineered hardwood and dampening the resonance with a lot of floor rugs, but that might not be waterproof enough. Now i'm thinking about doing LVT (luxury vinyl tile plank) or WPC/SPC (wood or stone plastic composite, another type of vinyl plank); I'd still need to put down padded rugs for comfort.
Has anyone used either type of material in a music room, especially a larger space? What is the sound like? Any suggestions for alternative flooring? (My husband wants porcelain tile, but that's cold and I suspect it will be unpleasantly echo-y, like playing in a bathroom.)
What was the padded base before? Did you simply mean the padding that goes underneath wall-to-wall carpet? Are you wanting a padded floor? Or just a solid one with rugs on top?
I have thick padding, carpet, and a rug on top in my studio. I can't remember what's under the padding but it's nothing special--if you wanted to take out the carpet, you'd have to put some kind of flooring in.
Cork flooring would work well. Good for soundproofing.
I think I'd stick with an inexpensive water proof hard surface and cover it really thick rug pad and rugs. You can also get carpet made into a rug and they'll bind the edges for you; it's just whatever the cost of the carpet per square foot. That could be the best of both worlds- movability when needed and sound absorption.
Thanks all. Cork can't be safely used in a basement since it's not waterproof.
I'm so sorry this happened to you. We had the same thing happen in 2013 and I lost a ton of my music theory books. I know it is not entirely on topic, but we ended up putting in a rather expensive flood control system. It does its job, and we don't have to worry about flooding anymore.
That's exactly what happened to my violin teacher's studio. She pretty much put in the same type of flooring as before.
Thanks. We actually have a pretty extensive drainage system (with both interior and exterior drainage tile) but the window wells leaked.
Lydia, one option is just wall-to-wall vinyl, and then rugs. For the rugs, look at olefin material. Vinyl isn't trendy, but it sure is practical.
do they make treated wood flooring that's waterproof??
Lydia, since it is a basement, I would recommend a ceramic tile floor (on a waterproofed cement foundation). Since you want fixed carpet in the end, the looks of the tiles is not important and you can take something decent but not too expensive for that. Then the fixed carpeting goes on top of that.
Lyndon, the closest thing to that is WPC, which uses wood fibers in a composite matrix. Engineered hardwood has some moisture resistance but isn't waterproof.
Lydia, I have had very good luck with WPC floors. I live in a duplex-down unit, so I primarily "live" in my "basement". They are extremely stable, waterproof, and are quite rigid. The good ones look good enough to fool people.
Lydia, I'd expect that vinyl or non-porous rubber flooring would be among the best in resisting moisture damage. Either would be less destructive than ceramic tile if something is dropped on it, with rubber being the far superior of the two in that regard. Neither will damp sound nearly as well as your thick carpeting.
The ceiling is just a standard residential ceiling. I figure I'll be getting padded rugs over whatever else is on the floor, hear what it sounds like, and if necessary, do acoustic tile on the walls.
I will presume "a standard residential ceiling" to be drywall. If so, that could be covered or replaced with acoustic tile in addition to the walls, if needed.
I believe so, yes. We discussed the possibility of installing acoustic tile with the builder when the house was first constructed and we decided to hold off and see what the acoustic was like with just the carpet, but the existing normal ceiling should support it if we wanted to do so.
As David mentioned, any tile floor is death to bows and instruments that get dropped on it. Rugs that can be taken up in rainy weather and moved to higher ground would be a real good idea.
i have vinyl planks that lay on the floor. They are non glued for the most part. Warmer than porcelain. If the basement floods, the impacted tiles can be lifted to get to any water that may have gotten underneath, without taking the entire floor apart. There is no wood involved, so the tiles themselves are waterproof.
Thanks. I've decided to go with wood-appearance multiwidth LVT plank, and layer rugs as necessary. I'm thinking about anti-fatigue mats, which I have in water-absorbent form in my kitchen and which I really like.