In this blog, we will give you an overview of “soundproofing tips” talk about soundproofing materials, how to select the right soundproofing material, methods of soundproofing, and soundproofing materials’ properties.
Let’s talk about some of the critical things you need to keep in mind when soundproofing;
- Consider the origin & type of noise
- Review the properties of insulation materials
- Check the thermal insulation characteristics
- Focus on ease-of-installation and maintenance
- Keep the purpose of soundproofing in mind
- Know different methods of soundproofing
- Explore All The Options
What is Soundproofing?
Soundproofing is the art of adding materials or using techniques to restrict the passage of sound waves. The goal is to reduce the sound intensity being generated from the source before it reaches the destination.
There are several effective ways to curtail sound both at the source or at the destination. Adding mass surely leads the rest as it restricts airborne sounds effectively. Many different soundproofing products provide different levels of insulation yet follow the same principle of mass addition.
There are also sound dampening materials and devices whose function is to dampen the sound intensity. Soundproofing becomes a mere necessity in homes near the freeway or the center of the metropolitan area.
Soundproofing is not solely about restricting the outdoor noise from entering the house. It also involves curtailing indoor sound reverberation. Sound tends to bounce back from solid objects and this creates echo and amplifies the intensity of the sound.
The best way to minimize sound reverberation in a house is by using curtains, blankets, or shades to absorb sound waves. Additionally, carpet and wool rugs also help in absorbing sound waves.
Different Types of Sounds
There are two primary types of sound; Airborne sounds and structure-borne sounds. To know more about soundproofing and choose the right soundproofing material, you need to explore and understand different types of sounds.
Airborne sounds are all normal sounds that travel through the air to travel from source to destination. Sound of speech, TV, music, and machines are all common examples of airborne sounds.
Sound travels in the form of waves and generates vibration in the object on collision. Walls, ceiling, windows, and floorings all vibrate on the collision of sound waves and this is how airborne sounds travel.
On the contrary, impact sounds or structure-borne sounds generates when there is a collision between two objects. This collision also creates vibrations and these vibrations travel through the structure to form sound on the other end.
Examples of structure-borne sounds include bouncing a ball or the impact of a hammer on the wall.
Why Do You Need To Know Types of Sound?
It is important to know the basic sound types as different materials and techniques are used to block different types of sound. Airborne sounds are blocked by mass while structure-borne sounds require multiple layers or foam-filled cavities.
Soundproofing Tips: How To Choose The Right Material?
Selecting the right soundproofing material depends on several factors. It is essential to consider these factors before making the final decision.
The Origin of Noise
Determining the origin of noise or the source from which it is being generated plays a big role in material selection. Besides the source, the distance between the source and destination holds pivotal importance as well.
Soft and minimal noise can easily be blocked by sound-absorbing forms while hard impact noises require advanced insulation materials.
The Type of the Noise
As discussed previously, it is important to determine whether the noise in consideration is airborne or structure-borne. Failing to know the difference often results in buying the wrong materials that may be the perfect sound insulators, but are not suited to your specific insulation need.
Properties of the Materials
It is not only the sound type and intensity that influence the material choice. It is also pivotal to check the properties of soundproofing materials. It is always best to choose eco-friendly soundproofing materials such as mass-loaded vinyl sound barriers.
Thermal Insulation Characteristics
Some materials offer dual insulation both sound insulation and thermal insulation. If you desire to achieve both insulations then it is best to choose a single dual-purpose material. Soundproofing curtains or blackout curtains with three-weave technology are great dual-purpose insulators.
Easy to Install and Maintain
You must also consider the ease of installation and maintenance cost when choosing the right soundproofing material. There is no shortage of highly-effective DIY soundproofing materials and techniques such as soundproofing kits.
On the other hand, some materials provide adequate insulation, yet require professional supervision such as window shutters and inserts.
Purpose of Soundproofing
To choose the right material, you need to have a clear-cut purpose in mind. There is no one-size-fits-all option here and you must know the true purpose before making a decision.
For instance, mass-loaded vinyl is a great soundproofing material to barricade the outdoor noise but is ineffective when it comes to locking the sound in. The same can be said for curtains and blankets whose aim is to stop sound echoing rather than restricting the outdoor noise penetration.
There are some inefficacies in soundproofing techniques that may lead to leakage of sound. You don’t always need to try new insulations techniques sometimes all you need is to cover the loopholes.
Using acoustic sealant and door draft stopper to minimize the leakage of sound are fine extra soundproofing measures.
Methods of Soundproofing
Soundproofing is done through either of these four methods; Sound damping, mass addition, decoupling, and sound absorption.
Sound damping is all about minimizing the sound reverberation to stop the amplification of sound intensity. In open spaces and empty rooms, sound tends to amplify through reverberation.
The sound resonates through diffusion and reflection from objects such as flooring, ceiling, walls, doors, and windows. Sound damping is the idea of dissipating the sound waves before they amplify.
The simplest way to soundproof a structure, object, or space is by adding in extra mass or by increasing its density. Sound penetrates through objects to move from one place to another.
Adding mass to the object halts sound transmission along the tracks and that’s why this technique is used commonly. Various densities, widths, and layers and employed to add extra mass and increase the density of objects, making them soundproof.
Sound is simply vibrational energy and it requires a definite pathway to flow. Breaking the direct connection by adding layers of soundproofing material is called decoupling.
The best way to understand this technique is through tin-can telephones. They use the same technique to transmit sound in the form of vibrations from one end to another. Breaking the pathway or decoupling the string would seize the sound transmission.
Sound amplifies and resonates through cavities and that’s why the best way to regulate and control sound intensity is by filling in the cavities.
Soundproofing Materials and their Properties
Here we have some of the popular soundproofing materials that are commonly used to insulate homes. Each of these materials lies in one of four general categories; Sound-blocking, sound-absorbing, sound dampening, and decoupling.
Acoustic foam is also known as Studio Foam and is easily identifiable by its wedge or pyramid-shaped appearance. These foams can be used in multiple ways. They can be either hanged from the ceiling, attached to the walls, or placed in corners to trap bass and regulate the sound.
These batts are made up of several different composite materials and are available in different types from mineral and rock wool to fiberglass. Their role is to fit in the wall studs to cover up the cavities that amplify the sound.
Proper use of sound-insulating batts can greatly minimize the sound intensity and effectively insulate the room.
Acoustic boards or panels are only an enhancement of acoustic foams. They are more decorative and available in different fabrics, patterns, and colors.
In terms of insulation, they function by absorbing sounds and minimizing the reverberation of sound from solid objects such as walls, doors, and windows.
Acoustic Curtains or Blankets
These materials fall under the category of acoustic fabrics and are thick, heavy, and dense fabrics that function by sound-absorbing technique.
Similar to acoustic panels, they can be placed on the windows, doors, walls, and can also be hanged from the ceiling.
Dense rubber-like coatings commonly Mass-Loaded Vinyl coatings are referred to as acoustic coatings. They function through the technique of sound insulation as the added mass aids in restricting the passage of airborne sounds.
They have many different commercial and home applications and are commonly used to soundproof cars, insulate machinery and appliances, or as an underlayment.
Flooring Insulation or Underlayment
Hardwood floorings are durable, strong, and sturdy, yet a very bad sound insulator. In truth, they make the problem worse by projecting sound back into the room.
To counteract this sound reverberation, floor underlayments are used to decouple the flooring from the subfloor to curtail noise transmission. Polymers, cork rolls, and MLV are all commonly used as floor underlayments.
Structural or Architectural Soundproofing
All the sound insulation materials, objects, and techniques that use modify, or revamp the architecture fall under the category of architectural soundproofing.
These include soundproof walls, soundproof windows, decoupling products, window inserts, etc.
In this blog, we provided an overview of soundproofing and discussed soundproofing materials, how to select the right soundproofing material, methods of soundproofing, and soundproofing materials’ properties.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the Best Soundproofing Tips?
How do I soundproof a room for cheap?
You can soundproof a room for cheap by following these tips:
- Use soundproof curtains or blankets
- Apply window treatments
- Use carpets and wool rugs
- Install acoustic panels
- Add more furniture
- Use White noise machines
What materials can block sound?
Heavy, dense, and thick materials are used to block sound. Airborne sound cannot penetrate through heavy mass and heavy materials are the best to insulate homes and block sounds.
What is the cheapest way to soundproof a wall?
Adding soundproofing blankets, DIY window plugs, and curtains are all cheap and effective ways to soundproof a wall. Not to forget, you also need to seal the cracks and holes in the wall with an inexpensive sealant such as acoustic sealant caulking.
How do you stop outside noise?
Soundproofing or sound insulation is required to stop outside noise from entering your home. First and foremost, you need to fix or seal any holes, crevices, or cracks in your walls, window frames, and doors.
Replacing windows with insulated double or triple-pane windows and hollow-core doors with solid0core doors also helps in insulating the homes. Additionally, insulating walls, ceiling, and flooring also help in soundproofing.
How do I block out loud music?
The best way to block out loud music is to insulate both the source and destination. If the source is not indoors, then you can only soundproof the destination i.e. your home. Many soundproofing techniques can be used to block out loud music sounds including, insulated windows, soundproofing curtains, wall insulation, and white noise machines.