Soundproofing Your Home - BMD's Guide to Acoustic Insulation & Noise Suppression Products
The Benefits of Soundproofing Your Home
Soundproofing is carried out by utilising insulation & other materials to minimise the noise passing through the walls, floors, roofs & windows of your property. You may think that soundproofing is only necessary for acoustically sensitive environments like recording studios or schools, there are many benefits to be gained from investing in it for your home.
Whether it’s to provide you with a little light relief from noisy children or to help make your music room more soundproof, so you don’t disturb the neighbours, there is always a good reason to consider soundproofing measures. You should also consider how your house is soundproofing any noise from outside to the inside of your property as well.
If you want to avoid disturbing your neighbours and being disturbed by your neighbours at the same time, the best thing to do is invest in soundproofing your home. Privacy is a valuable thing that we often do not even consider until we don’t have it anymore, and one of the worst breaches of privacy is when you and your neighbours can hear each other. Private conversations can be overheard, music and loud "footsteps on the stairs" type noises can cause tension between you and the last thing you want is to fall out with someone who lives right next door to you.
Your home should be a relaxing, comfortable place to work from or spend time in or indeed to return to after a long day at school or at work, so it is essential to prevent the noise coming from both inside and outside of the house. You don’t want to worry about what your neighbours will overhear or what you may inadvertently hear from their side. By soundproofing your home, there will be no awkwardness or tension, so you can live side by side with your neighbours in harmony.
Comfort and Quality of Life
Soundproofing can significantly enhance the comfort of your home, from helping to provide the perfect sleeping environment to ensure that you are able to relax for a moment in private whilst the kids are particularly rambunctious. In order to achieve this ideal environment, you don’t even always need to soundproof the whole house. By soundproofing the doors and windows of particularly noisy areas in your house like your kids’ bedrooms and the rooms where you like to relax, that is enough to create peace and quiet. No more stress, no more anger, and exhaustion caused by noise - just a happy home for the whole family.
Types of Sound
Airborne noise is the sound that is normally transmitted through the air and these include people talking, traffic noise, loud music, machinery or instrument sound, dogs barking, neighbours yelling etc.
Impact noise is the noise caused as a result of things like footsteps or furniture being moved on the floor or any knocks against a surface, or vibration from machinery. Many sources of impact sound also produce significant levels of airborne sound.
Structure-borne sound is often used to refer to sound that travels for long distances via the structure, and often occurs in connection with vibrating machinery linked directly to the structure.
Overview of Sound Levels - How Much is Loud?
First we must understand where on the scale typical sounds and noises we hear actually lay to be able to see what levels would be comfortable or need attenuation:
When we look at the walls and fabric of the building we can focus on several areas:
Sound Attenuation & Absorption - reducing transmission of noise and absorbing sounds
When you are considering introducing acoustic materials remember to also consider the additional weight of those materials over and above the normal structural and live loadings. Different densities of materials are available to consider which get heavier (and more costly) as the density and/or thickness is increased.
Sound Absorption Materials & Products
Dense Solid Walls (eg Dense Blocks, Bricks, thicker is better)
Cavity Walls (can be more acoustically insulating due to multiple layers with different densities)
Sound Isolation - isolating one part of the structure from another, avoiding vibration noise.
In order to isolate one part of the structure from another, you should separate items from one another and introduce damping or very dense materials such as rubber in between
Sound Isolation Materials & Products
RB565 Resiliant Bar (used for ceiling isolation from floors above)
Ceiling Acoustic Isolation Products
Floor Acoustic Isolation Products
Wall Acoustic Isolation Products
You could then also consider looking at specifying other additional secondary measures such as -
Double or Triple Glazing with Acoustic Glass
Blinds, Shutters and Curtains
Flooring Finishes, Carpets & Underlay