Industry Q&A: Interface's Gerson Discusses 'Sound Choice' Backing
Interface was recently awarded Quiet Mark certification, signifying superior noise reduction, for its Level Set LVT products featuring the company’s Sound Choice backing. Interface is the first flooring manufacturer and one of the first companies in the U.S. to receive this certification, which is administered by the U.K. Noise Abatement Society.
We spoke with David Gerson, Interface’s vice president of marketing to learn more about what this certification means to his company and customers.
Q: First, can you tell me a little more about Quiet Mark and how Interface became involved?
A: We worked with the Noise Abatement Society to study the current scope of the market, specifically LVT—which is the fastest-growing segment of the entire commercial space. The Noise Abatement Society has been around more than 50 years, and Quiet Mark is an extremely well-known global brand, particularly in Europe. Other companies that have earned Quiet Mark certification include Dyson, Sharp, Whirlpool, Bosch and Electrolux.
Acoustics is a complex topic, and we all should be using the same measurements and same well-respected third-party body so we can actually come up with a standard and set the bar high. There are currently a lot of games you can play with acoustic testing measurements—it’s like the Wild West out there. So it’s really important you find a reputable third party that has a history of evaluating and establishing acoustic benchmarks and guidelines. In Quiet Mark we have established a baseline for testing best-in-class solutions in this fast-moving marketplace for LVT.
Q: Why is acoustics such an important consideration in the commercial space?
A: Acoustics, and specifically the response to poor acoustics within the built environment, is driving a need for people to find solutions. As we’ve moved to more open office environments and more open school plan environments [with fewer barriers to stop sound] it’s only gotten worse. Noise has a really negative affect on concentration, communication and focus.
Q: What can you tell me about the Sound Choice backing?
A: We’ve engineered a solution that does a lot better job of reducing sound that emanates when walking across a hard surface. Our Level Set LVT features an integrated Sound Choice backing layer that does the sound dampening. Rather than use an expensive underlayment, this is an all-in-one solution with the sound-reducing layer inherent to the product.
Level Set installs with our patented, interconnected TacTiles system, which creates a really agile loose-lay modular system. The Level Set collection is also of compatible height to our carpet tiles, so [installers] can easily move from hard to soft flooring without transition strips.