A well-designed and properly equipped studio can be a hotbed of phenomenal recordings. The acoustics of a good studio depends heavily on the structure and flooring of the room. Rubber offers an excellent option for effective sound production.
Rubber flooring is made out of compacted rubber and is effective in acoustic sound treatment. Rubber flooring needs an underlayment; the material of underlayment depends on the type of subflooring. Rubber flooring is inexpensive compared to other soundproofing flooring materials.
A critical step in attaining your music aspirations is to find a place where you can practice and produce your music. Whether you’re in a band or choir, a soloist or an opera prima donna, a country singer, or the next hit-making rapper, your recording studio is something to consider seriously. Rubber flooring is one of the top options you want to look for in a functioning studio.
What Is Rubber Flooring
Rubber flooring is not only protective, but it’s also remarkably versatile. Rubber flooring is made out of densely compacted rubber, making it ideal for sound production and shock absorption.
This kind of heavy-duty rubber has many different flooring applications. From use in commercial gyms to construction zones, laundromats, and recording studios. Apart from their anti-vibration qualities, rubber flooring is great for both functionality and aesthetics.
How Is Rubber Flooring Used For Recording Studio
There are several major considerations for using rubber as a flooring option in recording studios.
Dampening Sound From Your Environment
Have you ever been on a Zoom call, and you can hear the A/C whirring from your contact’s side? Recording your music from a normal room often results in such disturbances. Your recordings will pick up all kinds of noises from your environment. Footsteps in the hallway, things dropping, wind howling, and phones vibrating.
Sounds travel faster and louder when they vibrate through solids. Rubber has a dampening effect of muting any sounds that may travel through your floor. This is why heavy-duty rubber is not only useful in flooring but can also be used for soundproofing your recording studio’s walls.
Dampening Noise to Your Environment
According to the Journal of Popular Music, acoustic treatment involves insulating your room from standing waves, echoes, and reverberations. Most of these sounds and vibrations travel through the floor and transfer to the walls and rooms below.
Playing your bass guitar in your apartment might seem like a great idea, but unless you have Jimi Hendrix’s skills, not many of your neighbors will have the same appreciation as you. The sound you produce will cause reverberations that will transfer through your walls and floor to the outside world.
Rubber flooring acts to dampen the vibrations and reverberations, especially to the floors below your studio. Without proper flooring, the sound you create will transfer from your floors to your walls and your neighbors and beyond.
Recording artists spend lots of hours practicing and tweaking their productions. Most of this time is spent on their feet. Rubber flooring is more comfortable than other compact materials.
The elastic and supple rubber absorbs the pressure of your weight, making it easier on your joints and limbs.
Rubber is shock-absorbent. So you stand to protect your delicate equipment if they happen to fall on the floor. Also, if anyone takes a fall in the studio, the risk of injury is less if they land on rubber flooring.
Compact rubber is simply beautiful to look at and feel. It gives your studio a touch of professional flair and speaks to your personal tastes. Compact rubber flooring comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Whatever your preferences, you’re sure to find designs that suit your tastes and standards.
Do You Need Underlayment for Rubber Flooring?
Moisture can collect between your rubber floor and the subfloor. Rubber floors may also crease up when laid atop an uneven floor. That’s why many types of floors used in recording studios and other noisy environments need an underlayment.
The underlayment is a layer between your subfloor and the new floor. The main benefits of underlayment are reducing vibrations further, adding softness and warmth, and increasing your floor’s durability. In most cases, a rubber floor will need an underlayment.
Some compact rubber flooring products come with an already attached underlayment. If your chosen flooring product doesn’t come with underlayment, you will have to install it separately before laying it on the rubber.
If you install rubber flooring above a concrete or wooden floor, the rubber may trap moisture below. The moisture can cause molding and mildew growth. For different surfaces, you will have different types of underlayment.
A full-spread adhesive is the most ideal when installing an underlayment between a flat concrete floor and a compact rubber floor. The adhesive also protects the rubber from the potential hazard of slippage.
A paper underlay works best with flat hardwood floors. Apart from protecting against moisture, the paper also ensures the wood remains beautiful and without stains even when you later remove the rubber floor.
Ceramic tiles are brittle, and if you install rubber flooring without an underlayment, the tiles might crack and break. A non-adhesive foam underlay can protect the tiles below while also avoiding rubber folding along the tiles’ groove lines.
How to Clean Rubber Flooring
One advantage of compact rubber is that it’s fairly easy to clean. You want your studio space to be ready for use within a moment’s notice, especially since artists spend so much time there. To clean your recording studio’s rubber flooring:
- Start by vacuuming with a soft brush vacuum to remove debris.
- Mix some warm water with some neutral pH cleaner. Use the mixture to mop the floor using a sponge or nylon mop.
- Use the mop and clean water to rinse.
- Air dry your floor before walking over it again.
- Repeat this at least weekly. You may have to clean daily if you’re operating a high traffic commercial recording studio.
When cleaning your rubber flooring, avoid:
- Abrasive scouring pads.
- Harsh solvents.
- Cotton mops as they leave lint behind.
- Using too much water. The rubber will soak up the excess water and the solvent will seep through to the non-vulcanized rubber underneath.
- Canister vacuums with heads that drag over the surface. They may cause markings and tears.
Is Rubber Flooring Expensive?
The price of rubber flooring depends on the type, thickness, and underlayment requirements. Rubber flooring for recording studios can attract premium rates and normally cost between $2 and $25 per square foot. For a home recording studio, expect to pay an average of between $3 and $8 per square foot.
To come to an estimate for installing rubber flooring in your recording studio, go through this checklist.
- Each company has different prices. Get free estimates from at least three contractors in your area.
- Add 15% to the contractor’s estimate to accommodate any wastage, additional complexity, and difficult configurations that may appear later.
- Find suppliers of quality compact rubber flooring products and negotiate prices.
- Factor in the cost of underlayment.
- Get a copy of the manufacturer’s recommended installation requirements.
Estimates for a home recording studio rubber flooring and underlay roughly follow these ranges:
Basic Recording Studio
Materials $3 to $3.5 per square foot.
Installation $1 to $1.2 per square foot.
Mid-Range Recording Studio
Materials $3.8 to $4 per square foot.
Installation $1.3 to $1.5 per square foot.
High-End Recording Studio
Materials $4 to $7 per square foot.
Installation $1.6 to $2.4 per square foot.
A well-designed recording studio can help your production stand out from the crowd, wow your clients, and take your acoustic production quality to the next level. The type of flooring is an important part of sound treatment, and rubber flooring offers many advantages over other types of recording studio flooring.
With rubber flooring, you’re assured of minimal noise disturbance, beautiful aesthetics, high safety standards, and comfort. Additionally, rubber flooring is an affordable option, plus it’s easy to clean and maintain.
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