What Thickness Do I Need for My Sound Mat?

Sound mats are also known as acoustic mats. They’re made from different materials and come in varying thicknesses. The choice of material and thickness depends on the noise you’re dealing with and where the mat will be installed. 

Understanding Acoustic Mats

Acoustic mats absorb sound vibrations, preventing them from passing through surfaces and reducing noise levels. You can use them on floors, walls, and ceilings to mitigate impact noise like footsteps and airborne noise like conversations or music. The effectiveness of an acoustic mat can be measured in terms of its sound transmission class (STC) and impact insulation class (IIC) ratings. Higher ratings mean better noise reduction.

Choosing the Right Thickness

While it might seem like the thickest option is always the best, that’s not necessarily true. The right thickness for your sound mat depends on several factors such as:

Type of Noise

Impact noises caused by footsteps or objects hitting the floor are best managed with thicker materials. These can absorb the vibrations more effectively, reducing the sound penetrating the other side. Airborne noises such as conversations or music may not require as much thickness. The focus should be on the density of the material, which can block these types of sound waves.

Flooring Material

Choosing the right thickness for your flooring material is significant as it might impact durability, soundproofing, and insulation. Hardwood flooring requires careful thickness selection based on budget, aesthetics, and intended use of space. A thicker hardwood floor can be more durable and offer better sound insulation. Engineered hardwood flooring also necessitates balancing performance and cost when selecting thickness. Vinyl flooring can benefit from added stability and support provided by a thicker base.

Space Constraints

In construction and interior design, the thickness of insulation, drywall, or flooring can drastically affect the available space. A thicker floor may reduce the ceiling height, making the room feel smaller. Understanding your space limitations can guide you in choosing the most appropriate thickness. 

Building Regulations

Building regulations set minimum standards for safety, efficiency, and sustainability, affecting decisions on material thickness. Regulations guide the minimum insulation thickness required to prevent heat loss and reduce energy consumption. Building codes can also dictate the minimum thickness needed based on roof type and local climate conditions.

Different Types of Materials Used in Sound Mats

Sound mats are made from various materials with unique properties contributing to noise reduction. Here are some commonly used materials:


Manufacturers use rubber in acoustic flooring, providing optimum sound insulation, reducing noise transfer from airborne sources like music or TVs, and impacting sounds like footsteps. Rubber mats are dense, which can help prevent vibrations from studio equipment and other sources. They offer cost-effective soundproofing solutions, particularly for heavy industrial settings.


Use foam in acoustic flooring to soundproof barriers, as it effectively absorbs sound vibrations and reduces noise. This material comes in different types, such as polyurethane and EVA foam, each having unique soundproofing capabilities. Foam traps air, which helps to block and deflect sound, making it ideal for various applications like automotive soundproofing and industrial noise reduction.


Polyester is a versatile material used in sound mats due to its unique blend of heavy density and lightweight properties. It can be used in non-toxic insulation products and sound-absorbing composite materials. Open-cell polyester is particularly effective, with its performance dependent on the geometry of the application. Polyester fiber panels improve noise absorption, especially in the middle-frequency range.

Purchase a Quality Sound Mat Today

Choosing the right thickness for your sound mat is a delicate balance between soundproofing effectiveness and practical limitations. Other factors, like the quality of the mat material and proper installation, also play significant roles in how well your sound mat performs. Always consult a professional if you’re unsure what thickness is best for your specific situation. Buying sound mats from professionals can promote high-quality, effective noise reduction, expert advice, and proper installation for optimal performance.

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