4 Ways to Soundproof a Room
If you are building a new home, it is important to consider what sounds you may need to keep in or out of each room in the home. There are some pretty obvious examples, like a music room or a home theater. But what about more traditional spaces?
Laundry rooms, powder baths, and mechanical closets emit sounds that you would most likely want to be contained, while nurseries, bedrooms, and home offices should be protected from noise emanating from the rest of the home. But how do you plan to soundproof a room? Below are four ways you can soundproof the rooms in your home.
The first way to soundproof a space is through absorption or absorbing sound waves. Absorption works through friction when fibers in fabric rub against each other converting sound energy into minute amounts of heat. Absorption can be done by using things like carpet, area rugs, and soft window coverings inside the room. Additionally, insulating interior walls helps as well. Specialized products, like Rockwool, work extremely well. But any fiberglass, blown-in cellulose, or wool insulation will serve you well.
2. Adding Mass
The next method of soundproofing is through adding mass, essentially just creating heavier surfaces for sound waves to dissipate against. The most common ways of adding mass are using thicker sheetrock (5/8” instead of ½”) or by using multiple layers of sheetrock with layers of “green glue” between them. Green glue is an adhesive that dampens vibrations between the layers of drywall. Using green glue between two layers of drywall installed 90º apart from one another is an effective way to combat airborne noise and keep noise from passing through walls.
3. Mechanical Isolation
The third method is called Mechanical Isolation, which simply means physically separating layers so they cannot vibrate against each other. Mechanical isolation is one of the more involved processes. One method is to alter the construction of the wall itself. Most interior walls are made from 2x4 lumber; a staggered stud wall uses 2x4 studs on a 2x6 base. Studs are staggered from one side to the other, so no single stud touches the drywall on both sides of the wall, leaving no physical channel for vibrations to travel through. Another method is to build two separate walls with a small space in between. This takes a lot of space but provides very good separation. One last technique is to use clips and channels. These are special hangers that are attached to the studs and the drywall, so the two surfaces do not directly contact each other.
4. All of the Above
The final and most effective method of soundproofing is simply combining all the techniques above. For example, a staggered stud wall with fiberglass insulation and double 5/8” drywall will perform better than any individual methods used in isolation. Because sound is simply vibrations traveling through the air, any opening that air can pass through sound can as well, so it is important to consider all variables when attempting to soundproof a space.
If you think your home could benefit from soundproofing, reach out to BRAVAS today. We are happy to put our expertise to work, making your home a better (and quieter) place to live, work and play.