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The true cost of noise

The true cost of noise

Posted on the 11/02/2020 by Karndean Designflooring

Excessive noise in the workplace costs the economy billions of pounds each year through loss of productivity and ill health. Even moderate levels of persistent noise not only causes damage to hearing but also has a negative effect on mental and physical wellbeing. 

High levels of noise in office environments is causing an increase in stress and related physical illness such as high blood pressure, fatigue caused by difficulty concentrating and back problems due to leaning into the desk. Research has shown that noise and sound privacy at work are issues that employees are concerned about, impairing their ability to concentrate on complex tasks and reducing job satisfaction, motivation and happiness.

The HSE Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 sets a noise exposure limit of 87dB to protect employee’s health and wellbeing. With normal conversations recorded at 50-60dB it’s easy to see how a busy office could regularly exceed this limit.

The layout of open plan offices, commonly designed with sleek surfaces that reflect noise as well as light, leaves these workplaces at risk of exceeding this limit. Noise levels can be significantly higher than more divided layouts, with noise pollution from voices, telephones ringing, printers and other machinery as well as the sound of people walking about. 


Above image features LLT215 Alaska and LLT217 Vermont

However, a number of adaptations can be made to open plan offices to reduce ambient noise levels. Fabric desk divides and acoustic ceiling and wall panels will help to absorb noise whilst a flooring with enhanced acoustic properties can reduce noise caused by shoes and scraping chairs.

Karndean flooring is surprisingly quiet underfoot as it features a layered vinyl composition which creates a soft and malleable product. Additionally, our easy fit Korlok and LooseLay ranges incorporate an enhanced acoustic backing that can reduce noise transfer to floors below.

The Korlok range features a rigid core construction and pre-attached acoustic foam backing which offers effective sound reduction with no need for a separate underlay. The ambient noise created by many footsteps, both within the room and transferring to the floor below, can be reduced by 21dB. 

Highly suitable for office situations where underfloor access may be required, our LooseLay range not only has an innovative acoustic backing to reduce noise transfer by 13dB but also is quick and easy to install, reducing down time during renovation. Due to its loose lay format, each plank or tile can be simply lifted and replaced as required.

Available in a wide range of wood, stone and sealed concrete designs our Korlok and LooseLay ranges are ideal for a contemporary workplace. Durable enough to withstand the demands of a busy commercial environment, a Karndean floor comes with a 15 year guarantee. 

Have you installed our Korlok or LooseLay? Share your latest project with us on Twitter @KarndeanUK or Instagram @Karndean_uk