Acoustic Floors For Bowling Alleys

bowling alley acoustics

From the sound of bowling balls thudding the ground and rolling down the alley to people laughing and having fun, bowling alleys have lots of noises to control.

Without adequate acoustic isolation, bowling alleys are usually too noisy to use and enjoy, so it’s important to consider how you can isolate sounds efficiently.

Flooring is one of the areas where the biggest acoustic improvements can be made because bowling alleys have a lot of foot traffic and the unique situation where people run on timber flooring and throw a heavy ball on it.

Controlling low frequency and high frequency noises is possible with a floating acoustic floor and a ‘box-in-box’ construction where the walls are also insulated. We can further insulate the ceilings to keep sound and vibration to a minimum.

Acoustic Floors For Bowling Lanes

Bowling lanes need special isolation attention because the thud and sound of a rolling ball has different noise characteristics to machine pin setters. We often specify metal springs as opposed to rubber isolators to control sound in bowling lanes.

Floating floors are ideal for bowling alleys, and they can have wet concrete or dry concrete construction, making them suitable for all buildings.

An alternative to a floating floor is a fixed floor with a layered membrane system comprising rubber/foam underlay and a hardwood top. These floors are less capable at suppressing sound but work in bowling alleys where a floating floor isn’t possible.

Acoustic Targets For Bowling Alleys

Bowling alleys should aim for NR 35. This can be achieved with isolation pads at 37.5mm thickness and a concrete floating floor with a 100mm depth. The air gap needs to be at least 100mm to support bowling lanes and run-up areas.

In terms of construction and engineering, new bowling alleys should opt for a wet pour concrete system. Our systems are ‘pour in place’ after formwork construction. An alternative is dry construction using concrete particleboard.

Although NR 35 is the ideal acoustic target for bowling lanes and run-up areas, NR 30 is a good target for eating zones, restaurants and leisure areas. NR 35 construction is best when reserved for functional zones with active players.

Careful acoustic planning is needed to give bowling alleys the best acoustic experience and it’s crucial to consider your customer’s experience. Feel free to reach out to us for free advice and a chat about your bowling alley’s requirements.