Sound Dampening Properties
Leave it to nature to create something both light and durable ... something both beautiful and functional ... something that can stand up to your knives and water spills ... while also absorbing unwanted sound.
Leave it to nature to create cork.
Nature wasn't protecting the hearing or sanity of cork oak trees, of course, when it gave their bark an impressive ability to dampen sound. It just so happens that one of the fundamental characteristics of cork -- the same cellular structure that makes it so durable and resilient -- produces cork's remarkable ability to reduce noise.
And it all comes down to air.
That's because the air inside cork gives it sound-dampening properties similar to insulating materials. Specifically, the raw cork that goes into Suberra contains up to 200 million air-filled cells per cubic inch, which help to reduce echo in a room and to diminish the transmission of sound waves.
Clearly, Suberra doesn’t just sit there and look pretty. As a countertop or other work surface, it boasts an astonishing array of extra benefits.
Cork has such renowned acoustical properties, in fact, that sheets of the material are often used to deaden sound between individual offices or apartments within buildings. And cork has long been the material of choice to reduce reflected noise and vibrations in classrooms, libraries and environments with high technical demands such as recording studios.
As underlayment, cork sheets need to be only 6mm thick to offer high-quality sound absorption. So you can imagine the sound dampening offered by Suberra slabs at their full 1.25" thickness.
Although cork isn’t the only material with top-notch acoustical properties -- solid rubber underlayment is also exemplary at dampening sound – it’s worth noting that cork typically offers better cost efficiency than rubber. And there’s the environmental aspect to consider: While rubber can be sourced naturally as latex by tapping rubber trees, most rubber produced these days is derived from petroleum.
The bottom line is, sound has to go somewhere. Sound is just energy that travels through air or through another medium as pressure waves, and it can ultimately be reflected, transmitted or absorbed. Suberra absorbs more noise so you hear less.
Who couldn’t use a bit more peace and quiet? That’s just one more thing Suberra does well.