For the past several months, my roommates and I have taken to enjoying varying builds of Dance Dance Revolution in the evenings, inclusive of X, MAX 2, and Supernova 2. I personally have gotten reasonably good at it, taking my game up to 7 and 8 difficulty in the earlier builds and as high as 11 in DDR X, barless (that is, without a safety bar).

Unfortunately, despite the fact that we live in a three story townhome with no neighbors above or below us, our neighbors on either side have complained about the noise during hours of play. Because we share walls with both sets of neighbors and our only practical locations are closer to one or the other, we can't minimize noise by setting the system up equidistant from both shared walls. And, as the shared walls have strong sound insulation, the noise being put out is relevant but not significant. The real problem is the vibration, which is an exceedingly common complaint about home installations.

After researching the issue, it came to my attention that foam inserts are a very common strategy to reduce vibration and audible noise. It is also possible that we can schedule our routine with either set of neighbors, but we'd like to be more courteous during normal waking hours if possible.

We currently own two Konami dance pads that we've modified with plastic chairmats and carpet tape to prevent slippage. I'm considering picking up a cheap memory foam topper from Amazon to place under the chairmats for single, versus, and doubles play, under the assumption that the high density of the material and low slippage should be sufficient for extended play at high difficulty.

Is this the best solution to the problem? What other methods of vibration baffling are available that I've not considered?

  • Interesting...as someone who owns two metal pads, I'm wondering if using a foam topper would be an effective fix.
    – Kotsu
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 6:22
  • I know here in the Netherlands, when we moved into our apartment (which was unfurnished), there was a building requirement to have a carpet/flooring underlay with at least X decibel rating (stuff like this). You haven't included what kind of flooring or frame you have, which could make a huge difference in advice (for example, wooden floors/frame vs. concrete/stone will definitely have an affect on dampening and vibration).
    – FAE
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 10:38
  • @FallenAngelEyes AFAIK, we have a thin (1/2 inch) carpet spread over hardwood and sound-insulating foam. This is ignoring all of the structural components, including steel rebar and the concrete used for the walls and foundation. Given the remainder of our complex has far poorer insulation than we do, I don't believe we have an even decibel rating being enforced throughout, and our stairs clearly have no insulation whatsoever. I'm going to leave the question unmodified, though, under the assumption that a more effective shock absorption strategy is just as viable in a different setting.
    – MrGomez
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't think that memory foam mattress topper would be a good choice in this case. It tends to compress quickly, especially in response to body heat, and once compressed it is going to offer less vibration resistance than other materials. The "cheap" kind of mattress pad tends to wear relatively quickly as well. Other types of higher density urethane foam might be appropriate, but the kind rated for sleeping on is unlikely to be useful.

Have you considered using carpet pad instead? It's specifically designed to absorb impact in order to increase the life of carpet installed above it. I would think that would make it useful for your purposes. You need such a small amount of it, I'd think that a home improvement warehouse or carpet showroom/warehouse would sell you a remnant for next to nothing. With the cost being so low, you could probably get a few different types and test them all to see what works best for you.

  • I had not. Thank you! -- Our solution, meanwhile, was an agreement with the neighbors on one side combined with migrating the dance pad to an area of the house with increased baffling, due to a floor plan designed for a tessellated set of washing machines in both apartments (which gives us increased wall stability and two extra rooms between ourselves and our other neighbors). This seems to have worked for us.
    – MrGomez
    Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 19:44

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