Just because we have always done something a certain way; does that mean that we should continue to do so?
Gypsum and sound reducing underlayments are a familiar pairing on most multi-family construction sites. Pairing these two products offers a fire resistive, sound attenuating substrate that owners and tenants both require and appreciate. The weak link in this chain has always been the compressibility of the sound mat. Placing a readily compressible sound underlayment beneath a thin layer of poured gypsum cement, frequently leads to cracks and deterioration of the gypsum which telegraphs through the finished flooring.
Construction processes often require sequencing of the building process. This sequencing ensures that you do not have conflict or incompatibility issues on the jobsite. Traditionally, drywall installation occurs before gypsum and sound mats in this portion of the sequencing. Since the advent of sound mats, the drywall installation has always gone first due to the compressibility of the sound mat that resides under the gypsum. A fully loaded drywall delivery cart rides on urethane wheels, which can exert thousands of pounds per square inch on the gypsum which causes widespread failure due to the deformation of the sound mat under heavy load.
Sequencing drywall before gypsum ensured the gypsum substrate was not damaged in the delivery and installation of drywall. That is where the positives of this sequence end. For gypsum and sound mat installation crews, this can result in numerous repeated trips back to the jobsite. Several areas of these projects need to have fireproof gypsum poured between wall cavities or under bathtubs. On a large project the gypsum crews might be out to the site to set up, pour and clean up fifteen separate times. Fifteen times means increased costs charged to that job because of the repeated set-ups and tear downs resulting in multiple trip charges.
Formulated Materials has created a solution to this industry challenge. The answer to this challenge is an uncompressible sound reducing mat known as Elite. Elite offers patented sound reduction exceeding industry standards all while offering unparalleled rigidity. Combining the Elite underlayment with a properly batched Treadstone® FR25 or FR30 gypsum underlayment will yield a floor that can withstand greater than 3,500 PSI. This strength is more than enough to withstand heavy rolling loads like drywall carts, toolboxes, hand trucks and refrigerators.
This is an important advancement because it offers various distinct advantages over the drywall first method.