Listening room floor choices

Building a new home with a dedicated listening room on the lower level. My plan is to treat the (drywall) walls for the usual items, but am trying to decide between a luxury vinyl floor (over concrete) with an area rug or wall-to-wall carpeting.

If you’ve been down this road yourself and have some opinions on what worked/didn’t, they would be most appreciated.

I really love my thick synthetic putting green in the listening room; they absorb sound wave better than my old rug, I think. Please do not take me seriously and it is an acquired taste for sure :rofl:


I’m assuming when you say “lower level” it’s at least partially below grade. Here’s my experience … We put an addition on our house about 20 years ago and had a similar decision to make since I got the basement room. I chose vinyl tile over the concrete floor and use a rug that is easily moved. I did this mainly because we have had a history of water seeping through the 100 year old foundation of the main house. So far there hasn’t been any significant water in the new addition, but there is sign of seepage through the concrete block. Whatever your choice make certain the contractor knows how to properly drain water as that will save a lot of grief all around.


@pmotz – Appreciate the water heads up. The lower level is a walkout, with the listening room on the framed end (not the concrete wall up against the soil).

Putting aside the audiophile aspects of your decision, I wouldn’t use vinyl flooring anywhere in my house, due to the toxic outgassing of the material.

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My listening room is in the basement with 7’ ceilings and is finished in drywall. The room is approximately 15 X 24. There are 2X4 studs mounted on concrete walls on 3 sides, with a Stud wall dividing the finished side of the basement from the unfinished side along the 24-foot length of one wall.

Before turning the room into a listening/home theatre, I had 12"X12: thin vinyl floor tiles on the cement slab. The reverb in the room was unbearable. When I turned the room into a listening room/home theatre room, I put wall-to-wall carpet down with padding underneath. To me, this made all the difference in the world. The room is cozier, and the reverb is well under control but not dead.

The room has been configured that way for almost 10 years. Now I am thinking/debating on adding some Impression Series acoustic panels from GIK Acoustics at the first reflection points and their bass traps in the corners. The problem is that I already have a great soundstage and am unsure if adding those additional acoustic treatments will help get things to an even higher level of acoustic quality, or if it will detract from my current sound quality.

In any event, my vote would be wall-to-wall carpet if you have no concerns about flooding or water seepage.

Best of luck with the project.


Thanks for the info on your build. I’ve been leaning towards carpet for some of the reasons you described, but didn’t want to rule out other options until I gave it more thought. I’ve got 3-4 months before I have to make a final decision.

We changed from wall to wall carpet over concrete to hard bamboo flooring several years ago. (The listening room is 13’ x 18’ with12’ ceilings.) The corners of the room are treated with GIK bass traps and the first reflection points are also treated with GIK panels. There is a 12’ x 5’ antique wool Persian carpet with thick padding in between the speakers and seating. With those acoustic treatments in place we had only inconsequential acoustic changes with the switch from wall to wall to hard bamboo flooring. I was a little worried that there would be real negatives with the change but in our room the worries were unfounded.

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Also engineered wood flooring planks are a good choice as well. They have real wood veneer on the top and then layers of plywood underneath which are less susceptible to warping from moisture compared to solid wood flooring.

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Interesting! I mean, the content of the paper was mildly intriguing (as much of it as I could understand). But more so interesting that such a paper exists. So instead of us all gathering firewood, hunting for food, and chasing the mammoths away, society enables us to have hobbies (obsessions) and some people can devote their adult life to the study of floor coverings on room acoustics. Wow I love/hate society.

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Water intrusion is your enemy, choose wisely.

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