Sick of hearing your neighbors or traffic? How to Soundproof your home: Six Essential Noise reducing tips Your neighbors complain when you listen to movies and music. And you’re not even blasting the stereo system. You can hear street noise outside, and the late-night weekend party-goers on their way home. You basically only want to hear the noise you choose to hear. And you don’t want to have to apologize to your neighbors anymore for being “too loud” when you’re just enjoying your audio system - in your own home! Unwanted noise is annoying and frustrating. Noise leaks through your walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors. There are ways to stop the noise once and for all. But you have to want it and do it right, or you’ll be frustrated with the results and only more irritated by the wasted time you spent trying to solve the problem. Also keep in mind, while the word “soundproofing” is often used to describe products or assemblies designed for reducing noise, NOTHING is 100% soundproof! The building practice of reducing noise is also referred to as sound damping, noise damping, or acoustic design and performance. There is a standard measurement and rating system, called the Sound Transmission Class (STC), that gives you an idea of how good your wall assembly is at reducing the unwanted noise.” The higher the STC, the less noise you, and your neighbors, will hear through your walls, ceilings, windows, or doors.”. To give you an idea, the STC rating required for multi-family buildings and condos, according to building code, is STC 50. Now, that’s not meant to guarantee that you won’t hear your neighbor singing in the shower. It is just a baseline. The bear minimum. If you don’t want to hear a car screaming around a curve in the middle of the night, you better design or retrofit a room to test to STC 60. Want to keep the sound in your home theater room, where it belongs, then you need at least an STC 60. Some really serious folks, like those of Universal Studios http://www.quietrock.com/project-gallery/featured-quietrock-projectuniversal-studios.html, require ratings as high as STC 70 or more for their studios.” Here are some soundproofing and noise reducing tips and tricks, so you only hear the noise you want to: 1) Use sound damping drywall http://www.quietrock.com/quietrock-drywall.html products
that are specifically made for reliable, high STC, soundproofing results, like QuietRock http://www.quietrock.com. It’s easier to install http://www.quietrock.com/quietrockdrywall/quietrock-510.html correctly than any other solution—all you have to do is screw it onto the wall frame or onto the existing wall—and it can cut 50% or more of your neighbors’ noise. It can also prevent your noise from leaking through. In most situations, it’s the fastest, cleanest, most reliable way to make your home quieter and more comfortable. 2) There are some messier options, like using acoustic glue. If you have the time and patience, and you’re ok with potentially messing it up, and getting sticky, go for it. You’d still need to buy regular drywall, and use a lot of glue. DO NOT use the glue if you’re
doing more than a couple rooms – it’s just too much work, hassle, and mess. Installers don’t like it – for those very reasons. So they’ll be charging you for their extra time and hassle, and probably ask why didn’t just get sound damping drywall http://www.quietrock.com/ instead (that they could hang up within minutes). But again, if you’re soundproofing one room, and you’re doing it yourself, it may the right solution to use noise damping glue http://www.quietrock.com/soundproof-products/dampingglue.html. Treating your walls for noise will help block some of that annoying outside noise, and that alone would be fine in a house with no windows. But who wants to live in a cave? Although windows are wonderful for giving us a view of the outside world, typical windows aren’t great for keeping the traffic and city noise where it belongs - outside. Standard single and dual pane windows aren’t going to keep you from hearing that annoying train whistle every time it passes by, not matter how well-treated your wall is. Along with a well-built, soundproofing wall, acoustically-rated windows http://index.seriouswindows.com/residential/quietwindows.html can reduce that annoying traffic down to a small hum. Make your wall or ceiling as airtight as possible by applying acoustic sealant http://www.quietrock.com/soundproofing-sealants/quietseal.html around the perimeter. Don’t just assume that the base board or the paint is going to keep the noise from leaking through the seams, because they WON’T. Also, use acoustic putty http://www.quietrock.com/soundproofing-sealants/quietputty.html around all the outlet boxes – just like the acoustic sealant, every gap and leak makes a big difference. You need to pay attention to the details. Check your doors. Yup, there are special soundproofing doors http://www.quietrock.com/soundproof-products/quiethome-doors.html out there – just typical-looking doors, but built so that you won’t hear the details of the conversation in the apartment building hallways. Make sure if you get one of these doors, and even on your existing doors, you use proper seals around the perimeter. One way of checking for air leaks is to turn the lights off on one side of the door and have someone on the other side shine a flashlight around the edge. If light can get through, so can sound. Get some advice from an expert in acoustics. Acoustical consultants http://www.ncac.com/ are always willing to work with you so that you get the best results for your specific noise damping needs. If you’re going to talk to a builder or installer, remember to talk in STC. They understand that language. Request high STC solutions. And if they say “ok, that’s STC 50 we’re shooting for”, then demand more. When was the last time you were in a relatively new hotel or apartment building, built within the last few years, and you could hear the people on the other side of the walls or on floor above and below? Yeah, well, that’s baseline building code STC 50 for you. Ask for STC 60 and make sure that they have the right documentation to prove that they can get you there. Code is changing for the quieter. Trust me. You’ll hear about that soon if you keep following topics in noise control building practices http://www.quietrock.com/educational-resources.html. Too many building owners have been sued thanks to noise control problems. This is partially due to the reliance on outdated and false information about sound damping best practices, and sloppy building practices that simply ignore the value of Quiet.
About the Author Serious Materials Editorial Team Serious Materials created the category of â€œsoundproofingâ€? building materials and has been manufacturing QuietRock noise reducing drywall and solutions since 2002. QuietRock has been installed in over 40,000 projects including multifamily, hospitality, medical, military, government, and worship building types and facilities. The complete line of QuietRock SoundProofing Drywall is available across the U.S. Resource Link: QuietRock
Your neighbors complain when you listen to movies and music. And you’re not even blasting the stereo system. You can hear street noise outsi...