The “ABC’s” of Floor Noise Reduction

Office Carpet

Carpet is often in stalled in office spaces to help control sound.

The ABCs of acoustics refers to three strategies of managing noise at work: absorption, blockage, and coverage. Noise is not simply a source in the workplace — it is also a question of how sounds reverberate and flow in a specific area.  Here are 3 principles for reducing the noise from your floor.

Floor Noise Reduction: A is for Absorb

The issue is resolved if an unwanted sound is appropriately absorbed before it reaches the listener’s ears. This can be a very simple or complicated solution depending upon the sound and the results desired.

Carpets are a good choice for the floor, especially if yours is covered in hard surfaces. Various sound-absorbing materials and decorations may be easily implemented into a workplace without sacrificing style and aesthetics for walls, decorations, accessories, and furniture.

Floor Noise Reduction: B is for Block

Carpet with acoustics

Adding a throw rug and acoustic panels can help to absorb sound

Blocking sound can be accomplished by using passive construction techniques. Extra layers of drywall – not the same thickness – with staggered joints may be required in commercial settings. It could refer to walls built to meet at the slab and deck, with proper glue and caulking methods used on the joints. Soundproofing can also be accomplished with solid or other acoustic doors rather than utility doors. Similarly, choosing the right ceiling material is critical.

Sound blocking manages noise by the avoidance of noises. This is possible in certain tranquil locations (like trains and libraries do). Blocking sounds in selected regions and segregating noise from calmer activities helps manage noise in an open office and increase voice privacy.

Floor Noise Reduction: C is for Cover

For years, sound masking in open workplace settings has been gaining popularity. Sound Masking systems in open offices `mask” background noise by emitting sound from speakers in the ceiling (or, in some cases, a raised floor) that matches the frequency of voices.


Some office and retail spaces play music or other background noises to help make ambient noise less noticeable

It’s all about limiting our ability to piece together intelligible word fragments so that the brain can focus on work rather than being distracted by understandable discussions. Our omnidirectional ears always search our surroundings for clues that could help us fight or flight as part of our ancient inherited protective system.