Standard Active Last Updated: Jun 16, 2021
ASTM E2179-21

Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of the Effectiveness of Floor Coverings in Reducing Impact Sound Transmission Through Concrete Floors

Significance and Use

5.1 The impact sound rating for a floor assembly is determined both by the basic floor assembly and the floor covering on the upper surface. The same floor covering in combination with different basic floor assemblies will not always give the same impact insulation class (IIC) ratings. This test method is designed to provide data that characterize the floor covering alone when installed over concrete slab floors.

5.2 The ΔIIC rating calculated in 13.4 is used to compare the effectiveness of different floor coverings on concrete floors.

5.3 The impact insulation class (IIC) calculated for the reference concrete floor with a covering provides an indication of the impact sound insulation that the covering will provide with typical, monolithic concrete floors.

5.4 When the normalized impact sound pressure levels below a bare concrete slab are known, the difference spectrum calculated in 13.1 may be used to estimate the impact sound pressure levels and hence the IIC that would result if the covering were installed on the slab.

5.5 Warning: Difference spectra measured using this method shall not be used to estimate impact sound pressure levels for floors comprising only one or two lightweight floor layers such as oriented strand board or plywood. Such estimated impact sound pressure levels would be very inaccurate.

Note 1: The difference spectrum calculated in 13.1 gives unreliable estimates of the reduction in impact sound pressure levels due to the floor covering when it is placed on a joist floor incorporating a concrete topping (about 50 mm thick) poured directly on the plywood subfloor or steel deck. The estimated impact sound pressure levels are too low.3

5.6 This test method closely follows that described in ISO 10140-1 (Annex H) except that the single number rating used is the impact insulation class (IIC) described in Classification E989. The description of the standard concrete floor also differs.

Note 2: The requirement in Classification E989 that no deviation above the reference contour may exceed 8 dB means that there is no simple relationship between ISO 10140-1 (Annex H) test ratings and those generated by this method.


1.1 This test method describes a method for the laboratory measurement of the effectiveness of floor coverings in reducing impact noise from a standard tapping machine through concrete floors. The test results are not necessarily directly related to the subjective evaluations of the floor coverings.

1.2 This test method applies to all floor coverings, whether single or multi-layered, as installed on a standard concrete floor. Multi-layered coverings may be factory-assembled or assembled at the test laboratory.

1.3 The test method applies only to laboratory measurements. It does not apply to the measurement of the effectiveness of a floor covering in a field situation.

1.4 Laboratory Accreditation—A procedure for accrediting a laboratory for performing this test method is given in Method E492.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.06
Developed by Subcommittee: E33.10
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/E2179-21
ICS Code: 91.120.20