Hard Wood Floors & Surround Sound Systems

richiewok

Standard Member
HI All,

I'm just finishing installing a two part surround system with a 5.1 system one side and projector surround system the other side of a large 'U' shaped room.

I'm having a friendly battle with my lovely wife about the flooring to the room. We've agreed on a wooden floor finish, but I'm seriously worried that this won't be the best choice; would carpet be better? ... the room is 50 Sq.m.

I've had excellent tech. advice in every respect from the guy I'm buying cables, amps and TV. off, but on this subject I would appreciate some more varied advice. Will this result in excessive 'echo' and 'noise' ... have you guys had any experiences in this field?
 

SeanT

Distinguished Member
Get some rugs, curtains, etc. if that suits, or just try it, the echo isn't that bad at the sort of volumes us hc types use most of the time (well, those of us that have neighbours!)
 

richiewok

Standard Member
Thx Sean..... so have you got a hardwood floor then?

I was hoping I could draw on the experience of those with existing hard wood floors.
 

SeanT

Distinguished Member
Nope, I have always had carpet, but I've set up surround systems and PA systems in auditoria, council chambers, halls, conservatories, offices, meeting rooms, exhibition halls - you get the idea - some eq often helps, but try it first, there will be ways and means to sort it afterwards (plus the floor will be just as nice with a couple rugs on it!)
 

richiewok

Standard Member
Thanks Sean ... the fact that you say it can all be sorted out later on is what I was hoping to hear..... appreciate your input :)
 

table manners

Active Member
ive got hard wood flooring in my cinema room but with the right furniture in the room it can work,i also brought my floor from a German company that glue a rubber compound on the bottom to help the floor sound better,it gives a better sound when walked on.i think there name was boden floors.Have a look at my cinema in the gallery (my showcase) if you want to see mine.
 

miceri

Active Member
I have a hard wooden floor.

1) When buying caprets, try to get ones that have a nice felt underlay, not the horrible brittle plastic crap that most have now. Failing that, buy a big roll of heavy felt underlay and cut to size. Use 2 layers per rug. Contrary to popular opinion, just throwing rugs onto the floor does not help at all. It needs to 'alter' the reflective (of sound, not light) properties of the room. Modern thin rugs do not.

2) If hanging paintings for reflection points ect, try to source a frame that leaves a gap behind the canvas to the wall. Use acoustic tiles (RPG maybe?) and create a false back to the painting that sits snuggly and invisibly behind the painting. For reasoning, see number 1.

3) Make sure the walls are not painted in a high gloss type finish - Matt, if possible will help slightly in reducing the echo and noise in the room.

4) The actual floors and walls. I presume that you cannot change any of the structure now? If you can, the Table Manners advice is based on good principles. The Green Glue method of constructing walls / floors etc. Do a search, plently of advice here.

Remember that it is not the floor that you are attempting to 'treat', it is the room. The floor only interacts with the surrounding environment to create the bright echo unwanted feel.

Good Luck
 

NonPayingMember

Previously Liam @ Prog AV
Just put rugs on the points of first and second reflections. There's no magic to it - if you have a hardwood floor you are hearing both sound direct from the speaker, and sound as bounced at you from the floor (and also the walls and the ceiling).

Simplest thing to do is slide a mirror on the floor to the point where in a normal seating position you can see the reflection of the tweeter. This is also where the sound will bounce from. Place rug here (same for left and right speakers too).

If you have a low ceiling, you ideally want to do the same for the ceiling point.

For left and right speakers you also find the same reflection point on the side walls. In a proper cinema room you would apply treatment, but the lazy approach can involve hanging rugs (soften reflection), or open DVD racks (diffuse reflection) etc. Rear speakers are similar. Bear in mind though, if the total distance of the reflection (i.e. speaker to wall, wall to you) is 1.5m more than the direct distance of speaker to ear then you probably won't need to treat it.

Always when desigining your system consider these kind of reflection points as it can be quite easy to move a bit of furniture a small distance and have it actually improve the sound in your room. What I've said above is just pure basics though, don't expect a perfect acoustic environment by just moving a couple rugs around LOL!!! You should also be considering second reflection points (bouncing off one wall, then the other, then to you), modal points in the room for speaker and subwoofer placement etc etc. But I reckon this could help.

By the way, I've just moved into a room with a parquet floor!!
 

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