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  1. #1

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    Default Replacing carpet with hardwood floor, sound issues

    I'm getting rid of the carpet in our new house (hate that damn thing), and since the HT isn't a completely separate room from the rest of the upstairs I'm not going to leave carpet in there either. Only concern I have is sound reflections and how to battle them. I already have a thick rug in there but I plan on to move that underneath the seating. What else could I do besides rugs? Couple sound insulation panels couple feet in front of the speakers?

    Who else has hardwood in their 2ch or HT rooms? Issues? Resolutions? My dad is doing the work so I know it won't be a squeaky floor like most installers do, if that makes any difference for playback at all. Subwoofer might be the biggest issue on hardwood, no?

  2. #2

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    Carpet is your friend.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Carpet is your friend.
    Can't leave it, my and my family's health is more important than SQ. :)

  4. #4

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    How does carpeting, which you will seem to have some of anyway, affect the health of your family? Just curious.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    How does carpeting, which you will seem to have some of anyway, affect the health of your family? Just curious.
    Carpets are dirty. I ripped up the wall to wall in my last house and *wow* was it disgusting. I thought we were doing a good job cleaning it. We have a good vacuum cleaner and even did a steam cleaning once or twice a year. I have all hardwood now and I much prefer the cleanliness of it.

    As to sound, I have several area rugs in my room. Along with all the furniture, curtains, pictures and whatnot and I don't find reflections to be a problem. An empty room with hardwood floors is a reflection factory, but once filled it should be easy enough to work with.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    How does carpeting, which you will seem to have some of anyway, affect the health of your family? Just curious.
    Mentally it's very unpleasing, I hate the look and feel of it and it's also very bad for allergies (even when you keep it clean/wash regularly).

    Before someone posts any carpet companies study links, don't as I have no faith in them over personal experience. I can say that my mom has asthma and she has trouble sleeping in the bedrooms where we have carpet, the ones with wood floors she's fine in. Even us healthy ones breath a lot better in the non-carpet rooms.

    So keeping carpet isn't an option. If the HT was a completely separate room then I probably would but the way the layout is it's not happening.

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    Dad's new room has hard floors. What a nightmare. Added center rug, thick curtains, and accessories around the room. Added tapestries on wall behind couch. Nothing worked like carpet. More ambient reflections than any room I have heard. We had to recallibrate his entire system and still cant get it right. Had to turn bass down (alot) and treble up. Blahhh, I cant stand it. Movies are so hard to watch because its very hard to understand vocals from center channel. Maybe better with an Eq, but he is not going that far. The room is large, sounds like a big cave. Good luck....
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    Sami, I think it'll be tricky with that area you're using for the theater area if I remember correctly. I had issues in my last house with a large tiled area, and some accoustic panels on the sides worked well for me, but I couldn't use them as-is, i had to cover them with something softer, and they worked fine.

    I found that the mirror trick worked well for me in placement of the panels.
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    All that dust which the carpet has captured is kept out of the air. Isn't that a good thing?
    madmax
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    All that dust which the carpet has captured is kept out of the air. Isn't that a good thing?
    madmax
    And when you walk on it, it's brought back into air. In any case, in our family it's a proven fact that carpets are no good for our health. :)

  11. #11

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    Only gets me sick when I sniff it.
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  12. #12

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    I listened to one system with hardwood floors where the guy put a rug under each speaker and that seemed to work very well. it stuck out several feet in front of each speaker.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sami View Post
    Only concern I have is sound reflections and how to battle them.
    You could add some acoustic panels on the side walls at the first reflection points and or place some on the ceiling.This will gain back some of the upper mid high frequency absorbtion that you will lose when you remove the carpet.Also thick area rug or rugs in front of the speakers will help.
    Who else has hardwood in their 2ch or HT rooms? Issues?
    I recently changed my combined 2ch/HT room from carpet to wood laminate and was expecting sonic disaster but actually I like the sound of the room better now.I added a few DIY acousic panels and area rug.
    Subwoofer might be the biggest issue on hardwood, no?
    The sub will be the least affected as the carpet was only absobing higher frequencies.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by GV#27 View Post
    The sub will be the least affected as the carpet was only absobing higher frequencies.
    You probably are right, the system I based my fear just amplified from the weak structure of the building now that I think of it.

  15. #15

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    Honestly, tile and wood floors help the LSi tweeters in my experience. I find them too laid back otherwise. YMMV

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    Sad there's seems no way to tame the hardness of hardwood floors. I'm thinking of doing the same thing in my family room area, with an area rug to soften it up some.

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  17. #17

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    My stereo is in the living room.

    The ceilings are 9 feet high, and made of plaster. Hardwood floors, I just finished counting 12 corners in the room, 4 from the bay window alone.

    You'd expect this to cause huge unwanted reflections and reverberations, but you do get used to it. You can also put up sound absorbent panelling.

  18. #18

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    I grew up with hardwood floors...because we couldn't afford carpet. I hated those floors. Hard, cold in the mornings, always had to worry about scuff marks from my shoes. It seems that now the trend has come full circle and hardwood is the IN thing. I told my mom she will make a fortune on her house when she decides to sell by simply ripping up the carpet that they covered the original floors with (about 2,500 sq. ft. of REAL hardwood floors).

    I on the other hand will continue to keep my nice, comfortable, sound absorbing wall to wall carpet.
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  19. #19

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    Carpet is so 70's... ;)

    Seriously though, I haven't seen carpet outside of US since the late 70's. Not that I have been everywhere in the world but to me it seems like the US is the last stronghold for carpet.

    Not that I want this discussion to turn into carpet vs wood. Everyone likes their stuff the way they like it.

    If your mom decides to sell, and its actual wood blanks, not the pieces they sell now, she absolutely does need rip the carpet off. I would also assume the floor would need to be sanded and lacquered after all these years.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sami View Post
    Carpet is so 70's... ;)

    Seriously though, I haven't seen carpet outside of US since the late 70's. Not that I have been everywhere in the world but to me it seems like the US is the last stronghold for carpet.
    Better than dirt floors.. in your 3rd world countries:p:p
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakelm View Post
    Better than dirt floors.. in your 3rd world countries:p:p
    Haha, dirt floors, that's carpet. :D

    Now lets get back to the topic.

  22. #22

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    It seems that a combination of hardwood and carpet/rugs is best. See what wall to wall carpet did to this guy's high frequency response in his "Music Vault" - down 7dB's at high frequencies. Note in this case they are pretty high frequencies so whether most people can hear that high, who knows...

    http://www.ultraaudio.com/twbas/twbas_20060215.htm

    The rest of the article if you're interested:
    http://www.ultraaudio.com/twbas/twbas_20050915.htm
    http://www.ultraaudio.com/twbas/twbas_20051215.htm

    There has got to be a reason why this guy's room is half hardwood and the rest carpet.
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  23. #23

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    I think a couple of nice throw-rugs in front of the speakers would get you 85% of the way there. get ones that are machine washable to address your worries about allergies, etc.

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  24. #24

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    Finally got this thing done. Had to wait for my dad to show up to do it right. Bought a pack of acoustic panels, next thing is to start playing with the theater calibration once my parents leave. I will post impressions but it will be hard to compare since it has been long time since I played music there and I don't have any graphs of the carpet era saved.

    Ended up with hardwood downstairs and with laminate upstairs. I don't like the laminate nearly as much but it was a little cheaper and most importantly it is more durable. Both lockable floating floors, that was one of the main criteria when selecting the floor material. Laminate is all floating and it seems like you have much better selection on hardwood as well. A year ago floating hardwood was hard to find and it was damn expensive (closer to $10 a sq.ft.).

    Anyways, here's some pictures if anyone is interested in the end result. Those who attended the DFW meet a while back can probably tell how the whole house just changed, to me it's like living in a new house. I feel like a kid with a new, expensive toy (well, it was expensive:)).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sami_ka...7608189612825/

    Still need a few more things, molding and such, then cleaning and we're done. Next up, calibration and acoustic panels...

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    Nice job Sami, like the dark look.

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  26. #26

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    I haven't read all the responses, but I see a bandwagon getting jumped on.

    Hardwood floors are a good thing.

    If I had a recording studio with carpet, I'd have some thin plywood up against the wall to lay down when playing instruments in the room. I don't want every instrument sounding like it's being played in the middle of a grassy field.

    0 reverb = unnatural.

    My mentality is that you damp the walls and ceilings, not the floor.

  27. #27

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    Anyone who has respiratory/allergy problems should get rid of thier carpet if possible. I know I'm having fewer problems with my nose since moving into a place with hardwood floors.

    Carpet holds onto EVERYTHING no matter how much you might clean them.

    Nice job Sami! Looks real good.

    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    How does carpeting, which you will seem to have some of anyway, affect the health of your family? Just curious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sami View Post
    Finally got this thing done. Had to wait for my dad to show up to do it right. Bought a pack of acoustic panels, next thing is to start playing with the theater calibration once my parents leave. I will post impressions but it will be hard to compare since it has been long time since I played music there and I don't have any graphs of the carpet era saved.

    Ended up with hardwood downstairs and with laminate upstairs. I don't like the laminate nearly as much but it was a little cheaper and most importantly it is more durable. Both lockable floating floors, that was one of the main criteria when selecting the floor material. Laminate is all floating and it seems like you have much better selection on hardwood as well. A year ago floating hardwood was hard to find and it was damn expensive (closer to $10 a sq.ft.).

    Anyways, here's some pictures if anyone is interested in the end result. Those who attended the DFW meet a while back can probably tell how the whole house just changed, to me it's like living in a new house. I feel like a kid with a new, expensive toy (well, it was expensive:)).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sami_ka...7608189612825/

    Still need a few more things, molding and such, then cleaning and we're done. Next up, calibration and acoustic panels...
    I too have laminate flooring and after I installed the Anti Mode 8033B (LFE EQ only) it tamed the bass in the room (6000 cu feet).

    Bill

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sami View Post
    Finally got this thing done. Had to wait for my dad to show up to do it right. Bought a pack of acoustic panels, next thing is to start playing with the theater calibration once my parents leave. I will post impressions but it will be hard to compare since it has been long time since I played music there and I don't have any graphs of the carpet era saved.

    Ended up with hardwood downstairs and with laminate upstairs. I don't like the laminate nearly as much but it was a little cheaper and most importantly it is more durable. Both lockable floating floors, that was one of the main criteria when selecting the floor material. Laminate is all floating and it seems like you have much better selection on hardwood as well. A year ago floating hardwood was hard to find and it was damn expensive (closer to $10 a sq.ft.).

    Anyways, here's some pictures if anyone is interested in the end result. Those who attended the DFW meet a while back can probably tell how the whole house just changed, to me it's like living in a new house. I feel like a kid with a new, expensive toy (well, it was expensive:)).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sami_ka...7608189612825/

    Still need a few more things, molding and such, then cleaning and we're done. Next up, calibration and acoustic panels...
    Looks awesome, Sami. I just tore the carpet out of my entire main level and put hardwood in. With a 5 x 9 carpet in the living room in front of my 2-channel rig I couldn't be happier with the sound. Without the carpet was a little scary though. You might want to put an area rug in front of the system in your bedroom.
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    Very Nice!

    Is that 5" plank? LOVE THE COLOR!!!

    We just got our gas lease check and that is #1 priority now.

    Where do you live in Bedford? From the looks of the doors it is a newer subdivision than mine.

    I'm at Forest Ridge/McLain and Cummings.

    Paul

    Carpet is filthy and a recepticle of dust,mites, pet dander and dead skin.
    Last edited by Polksaladanni; 10-20-2008 at 10:34 PM.

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