Recording studios have specialised acoustic requirements to absorb and reverberate sound in different zones. While walls absorb sound, floors are dense and reflective to reverberate sound and enhance its transitional qualities.
We must first consider the desired sound effect when specifying acoustic flooring for recording studios. Should the sound be organic and soft or direct and bold? For example, concrete offers a direct transition, while hardwood is softer. The flooring should be hard and smooth in any case to reflect sound waves.
Here are your main options:
Concrete is perfect for recording studios because it’s smooth, dense and flat, reflecting sound waves better than any other material. The reverberation is direct and pronounced, making it perfect for larger recording spaces.
Concrete is installable over an existing solid floor or via a floating floor. We can add colour with concrete stains or coloured epoxy sealer (solid colour or flaky effect), which won’t affect the acoustic properties of the flooring.
Hardwood is more aesthetically pleasing than concrete and reflects almost as much sound as concrete, albeit in a softer, more organic way. Some sound waves striking wood are absorbed, but most are reflected, providing a more organic transition.
Hardwood is more expensive than concrete and requires a sound subfloor, and it is less durable than concrete but should last a decade or more. It’s a great option for smaller recording studios and other areas of your property.
Laminate is a cheaper alternative to hardwood, absorbing less sound but more sound than concrete. It is also installable over concrete, making it suited for studio upgrades, and it’s harder than hardwood, so more suited to heavy equipment.
Laminate is a good option if you want a cheap recording studio floor with good acoustic qualities. The boards are thinner than hardwood, so the subfloor may require boarding to ensure that impacts (such as from walking) are deadened.
Vinyl reflects sound similarly to hardwood with a rich, natural tone, and it’s available in hundreds of finishes. It’s the cheapest option of the bunch and can be installed over a solid subfloor, be it concrete, hardwood or tiling.
Vinyl is great for studios with high foot traffic because it’s incredibly durable and cheap to replace. You don’t have to worry about damaging an expensive floor when dragging equipment, and you can change the style at any time.
Overall – concrete and hardwood are considered best for recording studios, but laminate and vinyl flooring offer a cheaper solution that works great.