Advice on rubber flooring for garage and sound barrier

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Forum topic by NoSpace posted 01-18-2019 02:38 AM 1368 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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170 posts in 1797 days

01-18-2019 02:38 AM

Has anyone used rubber flooring for their garage shop and/or sound barrier?


It’s a 1-car and doubles as office; won’t be that expensive and want to make it nice. I’m in the desert and I think the concrete is in good shape. I would imagine the rubber flooring would be a slight bonus for table saw etc and vibration but what do I know…Are there any drawbacks, or a particular kind of material that’s better for a wood shop? the one thing I wouldn’t want to do is make it hard to vacuum.

sound barrier:

Anyone have a brand they’ve used they’d recommend?

I need a relatively small amount, just for 3/4 of one wall that’s shared with the house; it has it’s own roof. I also want to go all out on shelving and cabinets for that wall, so instead of sound barrier—>drywall. It would be barrier—> plywood/shelves/cupboards.

13 replies so far

View Holbs's profile


2254 posts in 2586 days

#1 posted 01-18-2019 05:03 AM

flooring… can’t help you with that decision. I have concrete 2 car garage. The only flooring I have are those 12”x12” 1/2” foam tiles for standing and cushioning.

sound barrier. Hmm… are the walls not insulated? I think the blown-in insulation has a better reputation for sound insulation than fiberglass batt rolls. Has been awhile since I researched all this :)
Could instead try to insulate/muffle the sound from the machinery itself rather than entire wall.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View splintergroup's profile


3053 posts in 1779 days

#2 posted 01-18-2019 06:15 PM

I really like the 1/2” thick rubber mats (4’ x 3’) for covering the concrete in front of my TS and other shop equipment. I spend a great deal fo time standing at tools and this makes a big difference for my back and feet.

The mats are heavy so they don’t slide around and large enough so the edges are not “underfoot” while using the tool (tripping hazards).

View SMP's profile


1442 posts in 462 days

#3 posted 01-18-2019 06:27 PM

I used horse stall mats from the tack and feed shop. I know Tractor Supply has them as well, and may even check Craigslist as people get rid of livestock. I’ve dropped tools on them, no damage.

For sound dampening, the stuff at Lowes worked well

View NoSpace's profile


170 posts in 1797 days

#4 posted 01-19-2019 04:44 AM

Interesting, SMP, I hadn’t seen those. might be easier for me to install than the heavy stuff in rolls.

all the walls are insulated with blown-in, but it doesn’t stand a chance against a 109 db table saw. i don’t recall ever being blasted for using any other power tool—well except the air compressor.

I’m hoping to pull off getting a saw stop soon; they claim 83 db (not cutting). that wall is perfect for shelves and cabinets and would be a great first project to break in the SS with it’s much larger work space. attack on all fronts: quieter saw, shelves and cabinets adding mass, and a layer of sound deadening.

as for the floor, yeah, i’ve not found many people installing the rubber surfaces. I want the entire floor covered and part of the goal is aesthetics. i did see a couple youtube videos on it and seems like it might work but sure is going to look dirty all the time with a darker color.

View Kelly's profile


2512 posts in 3501 days

#5 posted 01-19-2019 05:12 AM

Like SMP, I used horse mats. They are heavy as a horse and, at 1” thick, will take a beating. You can park a car on them.

Initially, I bought five horse mats to give my feet a break. Since installing them, I note they insulate me from the cold of my concrete shop floor. Too, dropped things live, more often than not. That includes dropped sharp tools staying sharp.

At first, I just used enough to cover the traffic areas, but as I put wheels under equipment, I found it advantageous to avoid the 1” drop/rise, so moved toward the wall to wall approach.

Then there was the bathroom. I installed a tread plate under the floor and added a layer of of rock. Then I caulked again. Yes, you could eat burritos and visit that room.

View Kelly's profile


2512 posts in 3501 days

#6 posted 01-19-2019 05:34 AM

On sound, my last big remodel, before retiring, was a blast. I got to play with things to benefit the client. One of those things was sound proofing.

When working in the kitchen, with three windows and a French door, and before the insulation and rock was up, I was working away and opened the door to toss something on to the deck and was amazed to discover a raging wind storm. I couldn’t hear it until I opened the door.

I had caulked EVERY joint I could find, before insulating and rocking. It was an experiment and it worked because it stopped air movement. Of course, sound is just air movement (thus, no sound in space (rarefaction and compressions of air waives)).

If you can stop air movement, you can stop sound transfer.

View Mattg43's profile


25 posts in 663 days

#7 posted 01-19-2019 06:20 AM

Air movement with sealing is important, but with stud walls and sheetrock on the other side, there is still going to be a significant amount of transmission through the surfaces.

From a practical standpoint, absorption and blocking used in tandem should be reasonable effective in the area you are wanting to use, and a combination of them will probably be noticeably better than any single solution. A good insulation (the recycled denim or paper stuff is supposed to be among the best for sound absorption, but others will work and probably save quite a bit) in cavities after you have sealed off things like electrical boxes, seams in drywall, etc – there are products designed for this that wrap all the way around the box, not just around the edges, and a blocking layer (typically 1lb/sq ft is the minimum for high levels of blocking from all frequencies, though keep in mind low frequencies really need more weight). Mass Loaded Vinyl in that weight will be about 1/8th of an inch thick, but you can find it from 1/2lb/ft, up to about 2lb/ft. Lead, of course, is also very good for this, excepting for the toxicity thing.

Then something like QuietRock, or sheetrock/green glue or is great, but if using plywood if you do not want to go further really does need some sort of barrier layer.

If you were starting with stud walls, 8ft tall, and 16’ long, I am guessing you could be all done for around $500, and have a really quiet wall between them. probably cheaper if you can get the MLV locally from a large supplier.

There are quite a few sites out that will go over things in depth, but without doing a decoupled wall, its just going to be a matter of blocking and absorbing for results. No easy ways around it.

View BFamous's profile


322 posts in 678 days

#8 posted 01-19-2019 11:57 AM

Don’t they actually make sound deadening drywall these days? I believe it is purple in color. I’ve never used it, but Ive seen the ads for it. Not certain how well it works…

Like others have said, sound is air movement and vibration. Also, flat and hard surfaces reflect sound more than soft and uneven surfaces. The soft and uneven surfaces break up sound waves. That’s why curtains in a room help stop an echo and noise. So think of the wall across from the wall you want to insulate, or if you have high ceilings… Egg crate foam is often used in music studios to help reduce sound transfer. Maybe think about ways to break up the sound waves around the entire room by using acoustic sound baffles of sorts.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View splintergroup's profile


3053 posts in 1779 days

#9 posted 01-20-2019 03:37 PM

Typical sound deadening in upscale hotel rooms involves heavy insulation in the wall cavity and in many cases there are “clips” that isolate the drywall from the studs so vibrations don’t transfer through. I would assume these clips would preclude attaching anything to the wall (like shelves) or their function would be compromised.

I looked again at the rubber mats in my shop and indeed they are the heavier 3/4” 6’ x 3’ stable mats made from ground up tires. Very heavy and very nice. I picked these up at Tractor Supply when on sale for about 1/2 price.

I was glad I brought some tie down straps to roll them up and keep them rolled up otherwise I would not have been able to move them into or out of the vehicle 8^)

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

393 posts in 1207 days

#10 posted 01-20-2019 04:24 PM

This is one of the better YouTube videos that addresses sound isolation with a barrier wall. .

My old compressor was louder than the screaming monkeys of the Amazon.
I replaced it with a California Air Tools 2010A and put it on a timer so it cannot come on at night. Totally worth every penny.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View EeerWoodworker's profile


24 posts in 319 days

#11 posted 01-20-2019 04:48 PM

One of the best things you can do to quiet sound coming from a room is have a double row of studs that are staggered only has drywall on one side of each stud. This keeps the sound from transitioning through the wall. It is pretty easy to do if done on the initial build. I learned this from Mike Holmes when he was sound proofing townhouse walls for someone.

View NoSpace's profile


170 posts in 1797 days

#12 posted 10-02-2019 02:20 AM

I just remembered I had a thread about this. I ended up paying a drywall guy to put up 3/4” drywall in the garage over the existing drywall, and Green Glue in between. Unfortunately I didn’t do any before and after measurements, but it seems to work pretty good. I can’t hear my vacuum in that other room unless I nearly have my ear to the wall. On my side, I haven’t heard a conversation yet. I would imagine the Green Glue solution is about as much bang for the buck there is.

View therealSteveN's profile


4266 posts in 1131 days

#13 posted 10-02-2019 06:37 AM

I used horse stall mats from the tack and feed shop. I know Tractor Supply has them as well, and may even check Craigslist as people get rid of livestock. I ve dropped tools on them, no damage.

For sound dampening, the stuff at Lowes worked well


I have these mats also, and in front of the machines, it goes a long way to lessen low back pain associated with standing on concrete. Both Rockler, and WoodCraft have much thinner, spongier ones they sell for almost as much as the horse mats, the horse mats rock.

-- Think safe, be safe

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