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Thread: Carpet or wood floor?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: Suffolk

    Posts: 1,034
    I'm guy.

    Default Carpet or wood floor?

    Wife and I are thinking of refurbishing our home, having decided to spend our retirement here (and spend money saved by not moving on extravagant holidays once /if that becomes possible again).

    I would like to have wood (possibly bamboo) laid on the solid concrete living room floor (30'x12 1/2') and have a couple of large rugs over that. Other possibility would be to have fitted carpet (preferably wool/wool blend).

    I would expect that there would be quite a dramatic difference in the way that sound waves would behave with a wood floor

    Anyone have personal experience of change from wood floor to fitted carpet or vice versa in terms of sound quality? (just "flying a kite" at the moment).
    LP12, Ittok, DV10X5, NVA Phono 2 (twin supply), NVAP50/A4O'S, LS5, Rega Ela mk1's.
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  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2012

    Location: Toulouse, France

    Posts: 5,467
    I'm Kevin.

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    I have a wooden floor in my listening room. I needed to put a rug down to tame the reflections a bit.
    Kevin

    Too busy enjoying the music....

    European loan coordinator for Graham Slee HiFi system components..

  3. #3
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Middlesex, UK

    Posts: 4,312
    I'm Alex.

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    About 30 years ago I spent days preparing the nice hardwood floor boards in the through lounge of my 1930's house, finished them in Bourne Seal which was a paste, not the liquid that is available now. It looked fantastic. But I ended up with large loose carpets that covered most of the floor!
    Spendorman

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 5,176
    I'm James.

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    Wood floor is not the way to go for best acoustics in a room unfortunately. Carpet is way better. But I think wood floors do look better so it is a tough call. Something that looks great vs something that sounds great!
    VPI Scout 1.1 - Ortofon 2M Black FGS - Croft 25R+ - Croft Series 7 - Heco Celan GT 702 - Audirvana - Macbook Pro - JustBoom DAC.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: Suffolk

    Posts: 1,034
    I'm guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Wood floor is not the way to go for best acoustics in a room unfortunately. Carpet is way better. But I think wood floors do look better so it is a tough call. Something that looks great vs something that sounds great!
    Sort of how I am thinking at the moment. Although music venues have hard surface floors - is it the mass of people attending concerts that tames the reflections?
    LP12, Ittok, DV10X5, NVA Phono 2 (twin supply), NVAP50/A4O'S, LS5, Rega Ela mk1's.
    Sony CDP XB930.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 24,594
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    You could still have a wood floor, but use a large rug on the floor at the first reflection point from the speakers.
    Barry

  7. #7
    Join Date: Feb 2013

    Location: Suffolk

    Posts: 1,034
    I'm guy.

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    Cheers Barry, I had to look it up but it looks promising
    LP12, Ittok, DV10X5, NVA Phono 2 (twin supply), NVAP50/A4O'S, LS5, Rega Ela mk1's.
    Sony CDP XB930.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: limerick

    Posts: 68
    I'm charles.

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    Hi Guy, how would the bamboo be laid if you went that route? Laying it solidly on the concrete floor with adhesive is fine. Gluing it on top of plywood which will lie on the floor will resonate unpredictably and should be bedded down on a mastic.

    I would prefer the bamboo solidly installed, a) for its beautiful appearance b) for sound quality.

    Carpets being relatively thin will absorb sound only over a very limited range of frequencies, so forming a narrow-band absorber. If the carpet is wall-2-wall the effect will be to largely absorb all the information that corresponds to the wavelength of your carpet thickness. To be clear, this info will be mostly MIA

    A thick attractive wool rug or rugs on felt underlay are fine.

    However, isn't there always an however? if you would like to add broad-band absorption (this is the good kind that actually does something and not just reduce a little flutter echo) a better way would be to build a cloud but you may need permission.

    If you have the height, hang a frame about 4' x 6' x 4" below the ceiling. This will accept standard panels of rockwool or equivalent. Choose a pretty fabric that compliments your room to cover the frame. The winner here is the fact that by varying the distance from the ceiling you can adjust the low frequency performance. Try for 4" air space, but even 1" will make a rather large improvement.

    Depending on personal taste, an LED strip light mounted on top of the frame perimeter looks really cool.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: west mids, UK

    Posts: 2,857
    I'm Phil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Wood floor is not the way to go for best acoustics in a room unfortunately. Carpet is way better. But I think wood floors do look better so it is a tough call. Something that looks great vs something that sounds great!
    agreed . i would go for the warmth of carpet and better acoustically
    When words are many , sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise . prov 10

  10. #10
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Moved to frozen north, beyond Inverness

    Posts: 1,896
    I'm Dave.

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    We have wood over underfloor heating embedded within concrete. We haven't got any carpets. The dirt is quite visible, and the floors do require cleaning quite frequently. Carpets will need vacuuming often, but much of the dirt will apparently disappear. Acoustically I think carpet is better, but perhaps deadens the sound too much.
    You have a solid floor under your wood. For a suspended floor the effect is likely to be different from a solid concrete base, with both vibrations in the wood, and also due to the cavities under the floor, but that shouldn't affect you.

    You are used to living with your floor. Personally I find it harder to walk on the fairly shiny wood surface than on a carpet or rug. Rugs or free carpets would have the advantage that you could try them out, and would be quite easy to take up again or move if you decided you didn't like them. You might find that you need a more powerful amplifier to drive speakers to give you a similar effect to what you would perceive with a wood floor.
    Dave

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