The pro’s and con’s of a floating wood floor

When considering a new wood floor covering, everyone will be met with the term floating floor at some point during the search process, but few will truly know the pro’s and con’s of this method of installing a wood based floor covering. Well, here is a handy guide to the pro’s and con’s of a floating wood floor..

The Con’s

  • A floating wood floor can sound hollow or give an echo when walked on. This is due to the impact noise absorption being greatly reduced as it is easier for the sound vibrations to travel between the underlay and wood floor. This hollow sound can be reduced with better quality underlays but a floating floor, regardless of underlay quality, will never have the firm solid sound of a permanently fixed wood floor.
  • The majority of floating wood floors have thin veneer top surfaces that can only be sanding once or twice. Whereas a solid wood floor that is permanently fixed can often be sanded multiple times due to the top surface being thicker. This is subject to the amount of wood that is required  to be removed from the surface. Should you be considering a laminate floating floor, sanding is not possible at all.
  • As a floating floor is not fixed to the sub-floor, any slight undulations in the sub-floor can result in movement when the floating floor is walked on. It is not uncommon to see furniture move as it is walked past. This phenomenon can also be a result of the slight compression properties of an underlay.
  • Leading on from movement, floating floors, particularly engineered wood floating floors can  sometimes be creaky. Again, often due to an uneven sub-floor. Although, this is not to suggest that permanently fixed wood floors will be creak free!
  • Depending on the quality of the floating wood floor, they can occasionally look a little cheap,  even when bought at a premium. A good deal of shopping around should be done to get the finish and look you want. I often suggest, a good place to start is choosing a floating wood floor produced with a full grain on the top surface opposed to a block effect within each board.

The pro’s 

  • Installing Parador trendtime 3 Herringbone Oak flooringA huge advantage of using a floating wood floor is the speed. The more traditional techniques of fixing a wood floor to the sub-floor by means of using adhesives, nails or screws can be extremely time consuming.
  • With the increase in speed comes the advantage of a cheaper installation, should you be hiring an installer to do the job.
  • There’s far less mess installing a wood floor on top of an underlay (floating).
  • Floating wood floors are far more stable when it comes to humidity/climate changes in a property.
  • Should you have multiple sub-floor types i.e. some parts of your property may be floorboards and others parts concrete etc, installing a wood floor on top of an underlay can solve a multitude of problems and make the whole process far easier and less complicated. For example, should you be nailing a permanently fixed floor on to floorboards and part of the rooms sub-floor is concrete, you would have to use an alternative method of fixing like the use of adhesive in that area. Alternating fixing methods in a single room can be disastrous!
  • Floating wood floors are often far cheaper that solid permanently fixed wood floors.
  • When installing a wood floor using the floating method, generally, you will be able to use the floor straight away. No need to wait for adhesives to go off. There are exceptions when using a floating wood floor with a basic tongue and groove mechanism that will be joined with the use of pva adhesive.
  • When a glue free floating wood floor is installed, it can often be taken up and re-installed. There are many advantages to this such as; The future need to easily gain access to pipes, electrics etc underneath the floorboards. The potential to easily replace a damaged plank. The re-use of the wood floor in another room or even a another home in the future.
  • Silver Underlay with built in vapour barrierIn some properties, we find clients do not wish to damage their original sub-floor with the use of nails, screws or adhesives that would be used with a permanently fixed (non-floating) wood floor. Perhaps the property is old and carries character and value through it’s original sub-floor or the current sub-floor is in good condition and our clients do not wish to damage it as a floating floor can be removed and the original sub-floor can be brought back to life at a later date. A floating wood floor does not damage the original sub-floor in anyway.

Now you have a greater understanding as to the pro’s and con’s of a floating wood floor, it’s time to carry on with your empowered search. You should evaluate your property, your circumstances and your requirements and decide what type of wood floor is right for you. One of the first decisions is, shall you go for a floating wood floor or solid permanently fixed wood floor? It’s up to YOU!

© Copyright 2013 Wes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Fitmywoodfloor
About

I am a Pergo trained professional installer of 20 years. I've been up close and personal with lots of floors and have the knobbly knees to show for it...Should you have any questions or comments please feel free to add them below. Thanks for taking the time to call by and I hope the information you've found has given you some insight!........................................................................................................................................................................“When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in the site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network, amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr, amazon.de, amazon.it, amazon.ca, affiliate window network.” This statement is to comply with current internet regulations regarding transparency to consumers.

Posted in Engineered floor fitting, Installation and project guides, Laminate floor fitting, Sub-Floor preparation Tagged with: , , ,
  • Hugh Rees

    Wes
    I thought it only fair to feed back the end result after all the help you gave me. I lifted the floor, marking each plank to make relaying easier, thenscraped off the adhesive underlay, and put masking tape on every board to cover any residue. I then accllimatised the planks in the room before relaying them. Not the easiest few days I’ve had. Unfortunately, it was just as bad, moving and creaking and it was obvious the undulations in the floor were to much. It’s a shame because it looked fantastic. I ended up having a nice thick carpet fitted, and will return the oak to where it was in my previous house, on a chipboard floor, before I put the house up for sale. Many thanks again for your help

  • Hi Hugh,

    Thanks for coming back with the conclusion. It’s a shame it didn’t work out. It does sound like you went to great lengths to try and rectify the issue!

    All the best Hugh..

    Wes.

  • Hi,

    The way an underlay would work in relation to a ‘full bond’ method of installation would be to adhere the underlay to the sub-floor, then adhere the engineered wood flooring to the underlay. Please note, you’d need a specific underlay for this. Do not just use any underlay. An example would be something like Regupol 4515 http://www.cmsdanskin.co.uk/general-construction/acoustic-floors/resilient-acoustic-floor-coverings/regupol-4515-multi-acoustic-underlay/.

    Do check with the suppliers/manufacturers that whatever underlay you decide on can be used in the method mentioned above.

    I hope that’s of some help and kudos for considering your downstairs neighbours..

    Kind regards,

    Wes.

  • onbeyondzebra

    Thanks Wes…appreciate your thoughts and will certainly look into underlay that can be used in a bonding method.

  • jaspal

    Hi Wes

    We have just purchased engineered herringbow flooring, which will cover approx 50m2. Can it be laid using a floating system or would you always do it using the glue down method.

    The flooring is going down on underfloor heating panels on which the floor can go down directly.

    Thanks

  • Hi Jaspal,

    You should really speak to the manufacturers of your flooring. They should advise on how their product can be installed in such circumstances.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • theshawn

    We want to put engineered hardwood in our hall leading to kitchen, kitchen and dining room over slab in our ranch home. About 300 sq ft, and the wife abhors the hollow sound of floating floors, hence glue down I guess?

  • To prevent any hollow sounds, yes, glue, nail, or screw. The method you use being dependent on your sub-floor. Do not just glue to whatever is there. Do some due-diligence in making sure the sub-floor is adequate i.e. Dry, solid, flat, moisture checks, moisture suppression if required etc..

    If the floor is to be installed over a suspended timber sub-floor, there will still be a slightly hollow sound. This is unavoidable..

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Matt Cooper

    Hi Wes,

    Were currently looking to have an 18mm solid wood floor laid on top of existing floorboards, we will be laying it at 90 degrees to the existing floorboards and would like to lay it using the floating floor method gluing the wood together on the tongue and groove. Is this a viable method? If so would what underlay would this need underneath? and if this is not the best way what would be?

    I look forward to your response!

  • Hi Matt,

    I can’t recommend floating an 18 mm board.

    My advised method would be to lay bitumen paper, then secret nail (Using cleats) to the floorboards. Do also be sure to check the floorboards moisture content and make sure there’s adequate air flow underneath the floorboards.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Hi Brian,

    Personally, the best method would be to remove the chipboard all together and replace with 18 mm T & G structural ply. Depending on the joists span, you could also pin straight to the joists, however, the floor may be more susceptible/exposed to humidity changes from the cavity. Hard to say without seeing it.

    The best and correct method would be to direct bond/fix. Although, you are right, it’s not advised to do either to chipboard (Hence, my advice above). One, for it’s lack of structural integrity in this context. Two, due to oils/treatment having a potential negative effect on the adhesive bond.

    You could use a wood floor adhesive underlay. This is really the only floating method that manufacturers tend to accept. Do check with your particular supplier/manufacturer though.

    Another approach would be to install 9 mm ply to the chipboard by means of screws, then adhere the solid oak to that. Again, please do check with the manufacturers that this is acceptable.

    There are two main people to talk to :-

    Floor manufacturers – NOT retailers (advice is best from the horses mouth).

    Adhesive manufacturers – Should you decide to go down this route. They may be happy for you to adhere straight to the chipboard. For your own piece of mind, best to check.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Hi Matt,

    1) Fixing and floating are both valid options (providing these methods are given within your flooring manufacturers guidelines). Typically, the floating method is easier from a diy point of view, as preparation ‘can’ be extensive with the full bond/fixing method.

    2) If you decide to float the floor, you can cover the exposed fire hearth area with a dpm sheet, being sure to give plenty of overlap of the concrete. Alternatively, you could use a paint on water proofer for this. Wickes do this type of product for a some what reasonable cost.

    3) This can be done either way. If you decide to have the hearth installed first, instruct the hearth installer to use packings equaling the depth of flooring and underlay or adhesive etc. You’ll require the area at the front edge of the hearth to be free of hearth base adhesive. This will prevent the adhesive restricting the expansion of the flooring.

    If you decide to install the floor first, you will simply need the dimensions of the hearth and placement position. You’d then install the new flooring around 12 mm ( to be on the safe side) within the hearth dimensions leaving the sub-floor exposed and ready to receive the hearth adhesive. Do not have the hearth adhered to the new flooring in any way.

    I hope that’s of some help.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Gemma De Vecchi

    Hi Wes,

    I’m planning on laying 18mm T & G engineered Herringbone blocks. I’ve been told that I can either glue them together with PVA wood glue and float over an underlay or thats it’s possible to use an adhesive underlay instead. I was wondering if you have ever used an adhesive underlay and if so how easy it was and was it successful method? I see from one of the posts below that you know about this type of underlay. It looks pretty straight forward for laying boards in a parallel line either length or width ways across a room but I’m not sure how tricky it would be with a Herringbone pattern!
    I’m a pretty competent DIY’er and am planning to lay the floor myself. I’ll be laying it on original floorboards and a small 1m2 area of concrete, in Victorian terrace house.
    Really useful site to have stumbled across!
    Thank for your time!

  • Hi Gemma,

    I’ve used adhesive underlay many times. It’s a decent method but the key is to have an extremely flat sub-floor, as an unevenness sub-floor can lead to the ‘blocks’ moving independently when foot load is applied, with the resulting potential of creaking and T & G wear.

    My initial instinct/thought – as the sub-floor is floorboards – would be to ply line the floorboards first.

    I’ve also not used adhesive underlay with a herringbone design engineered floor, so without first hand experience, am unsure as to how easy/straightforward the process would be with an adhesive underlay.

    Drawing from my experience, I think I’d favour an XPS 5 mm block board underlay and pva gluing. If you decide on this method, do read the manufacturers guidelines on the correct way to glue the T & G. Also, underlays are not a fail safe, in relation to uneven floorboards. You may wish to plane or sand any high points of the floorboards resulting from ‘cupping/crowning’.

    Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful in relation to the adhesive underlay & herringbone combination.

    Regards,

    Wes.

    P.S. Glad you’ve found the site helpful 🙂

  • Gemma

    Hi Wes,

    Wow! That’s an impressive respond time, thanks!
    So I’m to understand that by using the block board underlay I won’t need to use a foam underlay over the top of this as well? (Just a DCM on the area of concrete?)
    Also I’m assuming that I need to screw down the block boards? (Although I can’t do this on the area of concrete).

    In regards to actually laying the Herringbone blocks, I see from your website that you start in the centre of a room. I was planning to lay them from the edge of the room like this:

    http://static.flooringsupplies.co.uk/downloads/Timba-15mm-LOC-Herringbone-Instructions.pdf

    The reason for this is that I don’t want to have to walk on any glued wood until its had a decent amount of time to dry, plus as I’m not gluing it to the sub floor I don’t want to risk moving it about! I would really appreciate your thought on the link?

    Thanks again! :0)

  • Hi Gemma,

    Luck of the draw with response times I’m afraid 🙂

    To clarify, you should NOT use foam underlay over the top of block board. Yes, install a DPM sheet (min 1000 gauge) or liquid DPM over the concrete.

    No, you should absolutely NOT screw the block boards down. They will compress into the shape of the floorboards and as a consequence the overall thickness of the underlay will lessen in places. You risk the screws coming into contact with the wood flooring. Screws are also not necessary. Just loose lay them.

    We tend to lay from the center to gain absolute consistency in the crown line and balance. I can’t see a reason why you couldn’t lay as you intend, but it is late in the day 🙂 You should consult your particular flooring manufacturers literature regards the preferred installation method of your chosen flooring and adapt your strategy to suit that.

    A few pointers..

    Don’t rush it, particularly at the start (Even if this takes you half a day, it’ll be worth it). Be sure of your plan before you commit with the adhesive.

    Plan/plot out before you start. The easiest method would be to do a dry run. Attach four or five rows without adhesive (dry run). Shuffle the rows around till you have balance (Equal lengths on each side of the room). You could use the trammel method to find the center of the room and plot the crown line (Research this further). Dry running will also give you familiarity with how the blocks fit together without having the stress of adhesive going off in front of your eyes.

    Once you start gluing, use low tack masking tape to keep the joins in place. Remove this before the days out as it could tarnish the finish of your floor.

    Alignment is everything. Consistent alignment during installation is even more – especially before the adhesive has gone off. Get yourself familiar with how you’re going to keep alignment. Everyone has their own way. This can be practiced during the dry run phase. There’s actually some tips in the link you posted.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Gemma

    Hi Wes,

    Thank you again for getting back to me. Thanks for all your great advice. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for it!
    I hope others will also find this discussion as helpful as your others.
    Kind Regards,

    Gemma

  • Hi Chris,

    Personally, I would always advise that the kitchen be installed first. There are several reasons for this i.e. The unit legs will be seated on a solid surface with no issues of the underlay compressing as the units become ladened (Not to say that will happen). Also, for whatever reason, should the floor require lifting, installing the kitchen first will make this process a lot easier.

    If you do decide to install the kitchen first, it would make your life easier by anticipating the height of the flooring and underlay when installing any side panels. In other words leaving clearance so the floor can be installed under any side panels. Same with the island (If it is plumbed in). If the island has no plumbing and can be freely moved, within reason, then I’d install the floor first, and place the island in afterwards.

    We operate in the North West.

    Glad the site has been of some help Chris.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • JSW2691

    Hi Wes
    V helpful article. We did an engineered wood floor (18mm I think) floated onto a new screeded floor with UFH about 6 yrs ago. I recall that the underlay we used was quite thin and seemed to be very small polystyrene pieces sandwiched between some clear plastic. It was probably only 1 or 2mm thick and it meant that the floor felt rock solid underneath, in fact a friend had assumed we glued the floor as it felt so solid. To me it made sense with UFU as the floor could move with temperature changes. We are doing another house now which will also have an engineered wood floor with UFH and we want the same solid feel but I haven’t seen the same underlay anywhere. Wondered if this was something you had come across. If I can’t feel satisfied that we will achieve that same solid feel I may resort to glueing unless you know of any alternative.

  • Hi JSW,

    You could use something like this http://www.tradepriced.co.uk/duralay_silentfloor_laminate_hardwood_underlay.html …I’ve always been a huge fan of Durulay underlays and can highly recommend them. This particular underlay has a low tog rating, ideal for underfloor heating, and provides a very firm feel. Providing the sub-floor is flat! As is the case with any floor install.

    The fact your floor is 18 mm will also lend itself to creating a firm feel.

    I must say, gluing the floor down would be my ultimate preference, however, doing so is a technical undertaking, especially over underfloor heating. If done incorrectly, things can get very messy and very expensive, fast! That’s not to take anything away from your abilities as I clearly wouldn’t know them, it’s really just a general statement and food for thought.

    All the best with your up coming project.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Fredrick brown

    Hi wes
    I would like to lay a solid hardwood floor on to joistst is this possible if so what would bee the minimum gap between joists

  • Hi Fredrick,

    Typically, the ‘maximum space’ between joists would be 400 mm.

    Do follow the recommended installation guidelines set by the manufacturer of your particular flooring.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Fredrick brown

    Thanks Wes

  • Mk

    Hi Wes,
    We are planning to change from carpet flooring to solid wood flooring and had couple of visits by flooring companies – with conflicting advice regarding engineered wood and solid wood. Total coverage is about 65sqm and sub-floor is floorboards.
    We decided to opt for 20mm Solid wood. However, the advice we’ve been given is to get click lock solid wood planks and then float it on a non-adhesive underlay.
    I read your comparison above and understand about the con’s of floating solid wood flooring – however, does the comparison change if it is click lock and not tongue and groove ?
    Thanks, Mk

  • Hi Mk,

    In essence, the information/comparison changes very little. There are several differences between a solid T & G and solid click :-

    With the solid click, the floor will be fully removable with very little damage to the flooring. The vast majority (Excluding any pieces that may have to be damaged to remove them) of the flooring, in most cases, will be easily re-usable.

    With the T & G (with a floating method of installation), it would have to be pva’d along the T & G (Which is not recommended with a solid wood floor!) and which will essentially make it uneconomical to remove and re-use in my opinion.

    The installation time should be far quicker, hence, labour cost far cheaper with the solid click.

    Do understand, that if the sub-floor (In your case floorboards) are uneven or become uneven at a later date i.e. cupping, if the underlay that’s been used cannot absorb the unevenness, you will experience excessive movement, potentially creaking and other associated issues (Please note, this is not guaranteed to happen). If your new floor is going to run perpendicular to the floorboards, this will likely be less of an issue. If your new flooring is running in the same direction as the floorboards, you may wish to consider a ply topping but that is between you and your installer.

    Of course, you’ll still have potential associated symptoms of a floating floor i.e. Clackyness. Not necessarily an issue for a lot of people (subjective), and the advantages may out weight the disadvantages.

    Access to the sub-floor or beneath will overall be easier with the solid click as apposed the T & G.

    I hope that’s of some help.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Mk

    Many thanks for such quick response Wes.. Much appreciated.

    so just to recap, barring the exceptions you’ve mentioned about clackyness and assuming that the conditions are right (even sub-floor boards etc), floating a solid click solid wood floor over a non-adhesive underlay can be considered. did I get that right ?
    Thanks again

  • Hi Mk,

    Yes, a click solid wood does ‘not’ need to be installed on an adhesive underlay.

    Manufacturers guidelines, of course, should be followed, but I have not come across a solid wood click where the manufacturers required such a product to be used with an adhesive underlay.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Doug Simmonds

    Hi Wes, I have removed a threshold between two rooms and there is a gap between the floating floor in each room. I want to fit a new threshold but am finding this difficult to do as the floor on each side moves down when it is stepped on. Any advice would be great. Thanks

  • Hi Doug,

    Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

    If your new threshold has a fixing track, use that and perhaps a little ‘evo-stick serious stuff’ (< specifically, in a blue or black tube) or a semi-flexible adhesive. Then if required, add a sufficient amount of weight (Heavy tools box etc) until the adhesive has set.

    Alternatively, if the threshold doesn't come with a fixing track, simply use ample of the adhesive as above. Be sure to clean the surfaces that you will be adhering to of any dust, as well as making sure the adhesive doesn't come into contact with the floor covering. Then weigh down as before.

    Hope that's of some help.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Doug Simmonds

    Hi Wes, thank you for taking the time to respond. Really useful. I will give your suggestion a go. Thanks again.

  • Elaine

    I have a concrete floor in my conservatory, but want to lift the floor. So I thought about putting a new wood floor. ie put joist’s down then sheets of plywood then lay engineered flooring on top. Will this work?

  • Hi Elaine,

    Yes, it would work. You’d certainly need to speak to a builder/joiner in relation to such work.

    Hope that’s of some help.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • JamBir

    Hi Wes we had a click lock engineered floor floated over concrete floor with duralay underlay between flooring and sub floor. Skirting was removed, expansion gaps were left between floor and walls etc. Certainly a thorough job was done from what I could see.
    However 5 months on we are now experiencing a lot of squeaking and bounce in various areas. Is there anything that can be done to remedy this?

  • Hi James,

    Any available remedy is very much down to the reason for these issues.

    I’d like to ask a couple of questions if I may.

    How old is the property?
    Is the concrete the original concrete foundation (If not, approximately how old is it, if known)?
    Did the Durulay underlay have a silver or gold backing?

    Clearly from the questions, I’m trying to assess whether the issues you are experiencing are down to moisture.

    To clarify, the bounce and squeak has only just started to happen?
    Has there been any drop in water pressure from your boiler or could any local appliances have an unrecognized leak?

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • JamBir

    Hi Wes, thanks for your response. The property is around 15years old. It’s the original concrete foundation. I think it was a gold back on the underlay. The fitters did apply levelling compound in a few areas . There was an odd squeak here and there after it was initially layed. But the fitters said as its floating this can be expected. I feel it has got worse more recently. I am not aware of any leaks but will try and look into this.

  • In that case, I think firstly, some of the skirting boards should be removed to assess whether there is adequate expansion clearance and perhaps any signs of moisture.

    It could also be that the sub-floor wasn’t particularly flat to start with (as you’ve suggested some remedial work was carried out) and over time, the locking system is showing signs of wear (creaking). However, this doesn’t really answer the bounce issue (Increase).

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Hi Wes,

    I am having a floating floor laid at the moment. It’s tongue and groove engineered wood. The person laying the floor hasn’t used any glue on the tongue and groove (despite the instructions with the flooring floor saying to use glue). Do you think this will be okay? i am worried that the boards will shift apart over time.

    Many thanks
    Alan

  • Hi Alan,

    No, I don’t think it will be okay. You’re correct. The boards will shift.

    That’s assuming the installer is using another method of fixing I.e. Gluing directly to the sub-floor or secret nailing (If the flooring construction allows).

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Thank you very much Wes! That’s a great help.
    Best regards
    Alan

  • Sam Moore

    We had an 2 storey extention and floor creaked the builder lifted and relayed it glueing and screwed it down. It stopped it but once we moved in it started to creak again. I have laid carpets now is this the builders fault?

  • Hi Sam,

    Unfortunately, that really isn’t a question I can answer without seeing the job. In some cases, we’ve found the architect to be at fault.

    I can however offer you a solution through my sister company http://www.squeakyfloorsolution.co.uk. Perhaps something to consider further down the line, if you and your builder can not resolve this.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Hi Claire,

    Extremely sorry for the delay in getting back to you. There seemed to have been an issue with my comments system.

    I’m afraid, installing a floating floor will not reduce the creaking you’re experiencing at all. A floating floor may help slightly with the airborne noise due to it acting almost like insulation (another layer so to speak).

    Common faults range :-

    In some circumstances, the chipboard (I’m assuming it’s chipboard?) may have been fitted prior to the roof being installed on your property when it was first build. If the chipboard had got wet, then issues such as yours do happen i.e. Creaking/squeaking etc. Regardless of moisture resistance ratings of the chipboard.

    General poor installation i.e. few fixing in the chipboard, single fix method (when currently double fix is instructed by manufacturers), excessive deflection in the joists (current regs allow 12 mm deflection, which is ridiculous) etc.

    Not an installation fault, but just my general opinion after dealing with chipboard for over twenty years now – Chipboard is rubbish! The issues people are having and had for many years echoes.

    To be constructive. Your best bet would be to remove the chipboard and replace with ply. My sister website deals with just that http://squeakyfloorsolution.co.uk/ . Not a sales pitch. Just to illustrate that there is a very real problem out there.

    Regards,

    Wes.

  • Hi,

    Not sure if we’ve spoke before. My apologies if we have, it’s just I get many many questions.

    Can you confirm the ‘type of property’ in question i.e. approximate age, semi, terraced, flats, sub-floor material (If known) etc?

    A ‘floating wood’ floor will often do very little towards improving impact noise. I’m talking about real world here. Not underlay manufacturers marketing fluff. Carpet with a good quality underlay will always be far more effective at lowering impact noise.

    Regards,

    Wes.