Floating Floors For Ships And Yachts

ship and yacht building acoustics

Floating floors for ships and yachts improve comfort and refinement by enhancing the deck’s acoustic qualities. Floating floors are specified to reduce vibration and impact sounds, to create a damping effect.

The great thing about floating floors is that they also reduce secondary airborne noise and isolate impact sounds, so stamping on the deck confines noise above the surface, which is a useful characteristic when there are sleeping quarters.

Ships and yachts can use floating floors above all solid, non-acoustic flooring areas, including decks, cabins, engine rooms and kitchens.

How Floating Floors Work

Floating floors for ships and yachts are built above the existing subfloor and can utilise various insulation materials, including mineral wool and rubber. The subfloor is installed, so the floor is separate from the steel deck. The floating floor sits above the subfloor, covered by the floor finish, including carpet or decking.

Floating floors are lightweight (helping to improve handling and fuel efficiency) and extremely durable. Comfort and floor feel is improved through shock absorption, with no need for thick, heavy solid flooring in the yacht.

Why Are Floating Floors Specified?

Yachts and superyachts require floating floors, so there is an easily accessible space under the floor for cables, wiring and electrical installations. In addition, the floor needs to absorb vibration and sound, so there is isolation between spaces.

Engine rooms and any other ship/yacht rooms with machines are particularly useful applications for floating floors because the floor reduces the transmission of noise and vibration with an air gap and acoustic strips. The qualities of luxury ships can shine through when unwanted noise and vibration is isolated.

What To Look For In a Floating Floor For Yachts

There are a few things to look for with floating floors:

  • Fire resistance: Yachts over 100-metres are subject to strict fire regulations. If you own a large yacht, the floating floor needs to be fire-resistant.
  • Acoustic qualities: Manufacturers of floating floors for ships and yachts often quote a decibel (dB) reduction for sound control.
  • Application suitability: Some floating floors are only intended for certain use cases, like indoor decks or external areas.
  • Certifications: Floating floor systems tend to be certified by IMO/SOLAS. In terms of fire safety, look for floating floors with DNV A-60 certification.

Lastly, always go for the highest-quality product you can afford because the difference between cheap and premium floating floors is huge.