The Floor Is A Crucial Part of Any Holistic Acoustic-Design Strategy

Acoustic strategies often focus on ceiling and wall treatments. However, in most interior spaces flooring occupies the same amount of surface area as ceilings and can have a huge impact in improving productivity and reducing stress for occupants. Don’t forget: the floor is the one surface that we’re actually physically in contact with at all times which means, it plays a major role in noise generation. Explore below as we detail ways flooring can go from overlooked to playing a key role in a holistic acoustic-design strategy. 

Acoustic Video - Milliken Floor Covering

Milliken is an interesting mix of scientists, chemists, engineers, stylists, and designers. Together we make this exceptional noise-cancelling technology possible. Milliken is proud to provide the world's most technologically sound carpet backing in the industry.


Hear the difference

Significant Acoustic Advantages

Milliken's cushion backed carpet tiles provides significant acoustic advantages. Moving from a hard to a soft surface can significantly reduce noise generation and transmission. But it doesn’t stop there. Milliken's cushion backing absorbs 60% more noise and transmits 50% less noise than hardback carpet. 

Watch this video to hear for yourself, the difference cushion backed carpet tiles can make on your next project.

Acoustics Test Comparison – Hard Surface vs Soft Surface

Acoustics Test Comparison – LVT


A Comprehensive Look At Sound Strategies For The Floor

How does noise affect us?

And what can we do about it?

Click to the left for some acoustic background. The science of sound, testing methodologies, the differences between NRC, IIC and STC — Milliken-Ontera can help you clear a few things up.


Because Quieter Spaces Lead To Happier, More Productive Employees

  • Loud spaces can negatively impact concentration, memory, productivity, comprehension and lower morale. Long term exposure to noise can even increase heart rates and quicken breathing leading to higher levels of stress hormones, which can literally make you sick;
  • In educational environments, common ambient noise levels decrease intelligibility significantly — in some cases by as much as half;
  • Milliken cushion-backed products can play a significant role in creating quieter, more productive spaces.

acoustic values

In open-office environments, with teams of people all talking at once, noise can be disturbing and frustrating. In such environments, the acoustic advantages of Milliken cushion backing are impressive.

Acoustic Values for our product backings can be downloaded below:


Achieving an acoustically effective space requires focus on 4 specific areas when it comes to floor covering:


Sound absorption refers to the carpet’s ability to absorb (rather than reflect) airborne noise. The sound absorption provided by Milliken carpet, with its cushion backing and high-performance fibre, reduces noise reverberation time and therefore reduces echo. This in turn improves speech quality, allowing for better communication in collaborative environments.


Foot traffic across a floor is a noise generating process. Polished concrete or wood floors will generate more noise than floors covered by carpeted surfaces and floors carpeted with Milliken cushion back carpet will generate 24% less noise than those carpeted with hardback carpet. It is important to note that among office surfaces, the floor is by far the largest producer of impact sound, from footfall in busy walkways, to furniture movement and even dropped objects.


This refers to the transmission of noise between spaces, through a wall or floor. Reducing sound transmission between spaces will allow for calmer environments and improved concentration. Milliken cushion back carpet can play a vital role in absorbing noise and reducing sound transmission between areas.


Within a typical workplace, different activities generate different levels of noise and therefore require different environments and different acoustic solutions. The Well Standard requires the development of a Sound Plan to identify the sources of noise and create appropriate zones to minimise distractions and allow the appropriate levels of privacy. Milliken’s portfolio of floor covering solutions offers different acoustic solutions for different spaces.