Trying to get it right first time around

May 31, 2010
Vancouver, BC
As some of you know I'm building my retirement home.
It will have a dedicated music room for two channel music only.
Room size is W16'x L24'x H10'.
Side walls are 8" thick concrete.
Floor is a 8" suspended concrete slab which will be power troweled/polished. Front where the speakers will be is a concrete slab on grade.
Sub fill is 3/4 clear crush compacted to a proctor of 110, VB, 9" insulation. Slab thickness here is 5".
This front slab will be isolated from the side walls with closed cell foam to reduce vibration from reaching 8" concrete walls.
Ceiling construction is exposed 5"x12" fir beams which are caped with 3"x6" T&G fir.
Side walls will be treated as required once speakers are in. Front wall we be mainly diffusion and some smooth walls.
The room will be quite reflective so intend to have area rugs where the polished concrete/chair will be.
The front area where the sog is, considering using 3/4" solid t&g white oak or continue with polished concrete.
If using the oak floor I would embed wood sleepers in the concrete so that the flooring could be glued and nailed to the sleepers.
So do I go oak or more concrete?
Thoughts on this last option ?


Active Member
Oct 15, 2018
I think you know that it is impossible to make any predictions that you can hang your hat on. Having the footers embedded prior to the flooring install is the best thing for many reasons but beyond that I think its a coin toss. There is something to be said for comfort and beauty and the influence it has on sound perception. There is enough evidence though that shows wood flooring to be perfectly acceptable in our soundrooms so if it were me as I prefer the beauty that a real natiral wood flooring provides I would just install it and be happy knowing that if I ripped it up that the chances of the room sounding/measuring better will not be guaranteed. Of course you can go the other way and live with the polished concrete (and wood footers sticking out) for a while and decide later if you want to go with the wood. Keep in mind though that there will likely be additional finishing carpentry that will also need to be modified to suit either.

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
congrats on your project moving along!

my floor is 6" of concrete on grade, with glued down composite wood (with real wood vernier) strips on the front speaker third of the 29' long room.

whether the glue down works will depend on the level of moisture content from the soil. in my case the earth is glacial till and i did not have much of a moisture issue. so as long as i HVAC the room and temps are constant i can use the glue down directly on the concrete. i've now been in the room 14 years without issue. and my location gets extreme weather.

i've always thought that the glued down wood composite over concrete makes for a natural energy transfer. last year my friend Ed Hsu was doing floor vibration measurements related to the Taiko Tana-Herzan project and he found my floor was the quietest he had measured......and he had measured quite a few.
Last edited:
May 31, 2010
Vancouver, BC
Hi Mike
Like yourself we are on rock on our Island and had to blast for 10 days. We have no soil within or around our building footprint. All slab on grade are on native rock, 2-3' of clear crush, 6mil vapour barrier 6 to 9inches of insulation.
Will use the solid oak flooring on sleepers and will also glue down with Bostik Vapor lock. Have used this method with laminated flooring on my homes for 15 years.

Thanks Number 9 for your comment.
Agree natural floor will look nicer in the room.


Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
Houston area
I’d pay equal attention to the ceiling surface. Some (adjustable?) absorption between the fir beams could go a long way
May 31, 2010
Vancouver, BC
Making them adjustable is a great idea, thanks.

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