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Q. How Can I Absorb Sound in a Large, Modern Room with Hard Surfaces?
I'm about to rip out my wall-to-wall carpet and put down hardwoord flooring. How will the room sound?
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Aspen-based ESC incorporates sound absorption products beautifully into contemporary homes with hard surfaces.
June 25, 2009 by Julie Jacobson

I just had a home theater system installed by MyerEmco in my great room – an open contemporary room with vaulted ceilings. I want to take up the old wall-to-wall rugs and install hardwood floors.

A large sectional Persian rug will be put down.

How will it affect the sound bounce and what alternatives are available to capture the perfect sound from the new system? By the way, I have leather furniture. - Mike, Lorton, VA

A. Mike, this question is right up my alley. I have been wondering the same thing with my open-floor-plan mid-century modern home – formerly concrete floors, wood paneling and a huge bank of windows with no window treatments.

You might consider cork flooring over hardwood. It’s a green alternative and helps absorb the sound. That’s what we put down. It looks cool and now the room sounds less like a giant toilet.

A similar question about flooring was asked and answered on EH.com regarding an in-home basketball court that doubles as a formal ballroom. There are a couple of good suggestions in there.

Window treatments are probably the easiest way to absorb sound.

Or, for a contemporary home like yours, RPG makes some beautiful sound-absorption/diffusion products. I personally like their ceiling treatments, and they also offer modern wall treatments. Definitely poke around rpginc.com for some inspiration

Their stuff isn’t cheap, though.

See some examples from Aspen-based integrator ESC, which incorporates sound absorption products beautifully into contemporary homes with hard surfaces.

In any case, you definitely should go back to MyerEmco for their advice. They are experts on the matter!


Cork flooring in Julie Jacobson’s home: it does a lot better than concrete for absorbing sound in the media room

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Julie Jacobson - Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson is co-founder of EH Publishing and currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro, mostly in the areas of home automation, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. She majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. Julie is a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player with the scars to prove it. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson.

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