Do you have a home theater? Perhaps you’re in the process of renovating your basement to be your theater space, or maybe you’re adding on to your home. Whatever the case, you have a lot of decisions to make regarding equipment, speaker placement, wall coverings and the like. One that you might not have thought much about is the type of carpet used in your home theater. How do you choose the right option?
First, why would you want to carpet your home theater? Why not go with hardwood or tile? There’s a good reason to avoid hard surface flooring – it bounces sound around too much. You want to experience the sound produced from your surround sound system in the way the manufacturer intended, and that means having carpet around to absorb excess sound waves.
The Effect on Sound
Carpeting does a lot for the sound of your movies and games. If you opted to go with hard surface flooring, you’d find that the sound bounces a lot, making things echo, and distorting the sound from the speakers. Carpeting, on the other hand, dampens things by absorbing some of those sound waves. That’s why most commercial theaters use at least some carpeting on the larger sections of open flooring.
The Effect of Carpet Padding
The carpet itself is not the only thing you’ll need to worry about. You should also consider the thickness of the padding under the carpet. The thicker the padding, the more sound deadening action you’ll get, which equates to a better watching experience overall. Of course, padding also means more comfort.
The Effect on Comfort
Sure, hardwood and laminate floors are hot right now. However, no one will ever accuse them of being comfortable. When you sit down in your home theater, you want to drift away and become completely immersed in the movie you’re watching. That’s tough to do with cold, echoing hard floors.
Think about Carpeting the Walls, Too
As a final note, you might want to consider adding carpet to some rather untraditional areas. Namely, the walls of your home theater. This is done for the same reason that carpet is installed on the floor – to dampen sound. If you take a look at the walls the next time you visit a commercial theater, chances are good you’ll notice that they’re covered with fabric. That’s to help improve the moviegoing experience and to dampen sound. It also helps to soundproof the room, and prevent unwanted sound waves from traveling to other areas beyond the theater.
When making your choice, you should consider both industrial carpeting, which is low-pile, but high performing and durable (and easier to clean when you spill soda), as well as modular carpet tiles. Both options are affordable, and both can help you create the ideal moviegoing experience within your home without setting you back a bundle. In some cases, you may find that both can also pull double duty as wall coverings.