ICS Magazine

NMHC, CRI call carpet top sound insulation choice

October 9, 2001
CRI cites benefits of carpet in noise reduction in multi-family housing.

DALTON, Ga. -- According to the Washington-DC-based trade association, the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), multi-family housing and apartment communities that include carpet benefit both tenants and building managers by helping to control acoustical and insular conditions.

Because multi-family housing layouts tend to promote open space, which can create noise, carpet is beneficial because it absorbs airborne sound, reduces surface noise and blocks sound transmission from floor to floor, says NMHC (www.nmhc.org), which represents apartment owners, managers, developers, lenders and service providers.

According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), the national trade association of the carpet and rug industry, carpet is 10 times more efficient than any other floor covering in reducing airborne noises from radios, televisions, video games, computers and people's voices.

CRI also points to carpet's effectiveness in absorbing the sound of foot traffic and impact noises and acts as a sound barrier between floors. Using the appropriate cushion under carpet and beneath rugs adds acoustical value to multi-family housing and apartment communities.

CRI also points to the R-value, or thermal resistance, of carpet. While carpet provides multi-family housing units with comfort and privacy, it also provides thermal insulation against extreme heat or cold. This R-value allows carpet to retain heat in cold climates and insulate against invasive heat in warmer climates, which results in reduced household energy costs. The addition of appropriate carpet cushion also enhances carpet's R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation value. With carpet and cushion, the R-value is 2.4, compared with plywood at 1.25 or concrete at 0.10. Typical fiberglass insulation is rated at 3.2.

CRI membership consists of manufacturers representing more than 90 percent of all carpet produced in the U.S., and suppliers of raw materials and services to the industry. The trade association is a source of extensive carpet information for consumers, writers, interior designers, specifiers, facility managers, architects, builders, and building owners and managers, installation contractors, and retailers.

For more information on carpet or carpet cushion, especially the R-value or noise reduction, visit the CRI Web site at www.carpet-rug.com or call (800) 882-8846; or contact the Carpet Cushion Council at www.carpetcushion.org or call (203) 637-1312.