When it Comes to Soundproofing Materials, What Really Works?
There are as many reasons to soundproof a room
or building as there are rooms and buildings that leak noise
. Whether you're building a home theater in your house or just looking to keep noise out and enjoy some peace and quiet, determining which of the different types of soundproofing materials
available will work best for you isn’t easy. Some companies offer tiles and other materials that can be attached to the walls and ceilings, others manufacture sound abatement material
that is installed under the drywall and floorboards where it isn’t visible.
Sound Absorbing Panels
- It's important to understand what kinds of materials absorb and dampen sound. The way the building and room are constructed also plays a role in how noisy the room is. If there is plenty of insulation and space between the inner and outer walls, you might experience a slight amount of noise reduction or muffling. If you cannot make structural changes to the building, acoustical sound panels may be attached to the walls to absorb sound.
- Irregular surfaces can prevent sound from transferring, while flat, smooth walls and ceilings do just the opposite. Sometimes, hanging heavy drapes on the walls can have an impact on the amount of sound transferred into and out of a space. Heavy carpeting also helps to dampen sound. You can install wall-to-wall carpeting, or you can use remnants over the whole area of the floor. Carpeting can be tacked onto the walls as well to dampen sound, but considering the aesthetic drawbacks most people are not willing to sacrifice the appearance of their living room for a moderate (at best) level of sound abatement. Sound abatement material such as Acoustiblok 3mm attaches to wood or metal studs under drywall, floors and ceilings and reduces more noise than older methods of sound abatement including poured concrete. Since the Acoustiblok material goes under the drywall, it needs to be installed either during construction or renovation, or it can be attached to an existing wall and a new later of drywall installed over it.
Doors and Windows
- Noise is often transferred through doors and windows. There are sound abatement measures you can take that are designed just for doors and windows. Weatherstrips and other draft guard materials can help eliminate sound in these areas. Double-paned glass in the windows will also provide a buffer zone that can reduce sound. For further soundproofing of windows, hang heavy drapes or sound abatement shutters developed specifically for noise problems that are unique to windows and doors. Mixing two or more methods of soundproofing -- for instance, layering heavy drapes over sound abatement shutters -- will more dramatically affect the sound levels in your room.