Soundproofing Solutions for Walls, Windows and Curtains

What Is The Best Soundproofing For Walls EE

Most sounds are beautiful until you are hearing it at the wrong time or from the wrong place. It becomes a nuisance, it becomes noise that disturbs and irritates making you stressed especially when you are trying to sleep. If this is a problem you are facing then soundproofing for walls is the best thing to invest in to keep the sound out.

Maybe you want to keep the sound in. You own a recording studio where you make music. No matter how good and sweet the music you are making is it can be disturbing to your neighbours. Soundproofing your wall is still the way to go otherwise it becomes noise to the people outside.

Before we go into the best soundproofing to use for your walls you need to fully understand what sound is. If you do, then you can skip the next paragraph.

Sound is a form of energy caused by vibrations which travel through diverse media (gas, air; liquid, water; solid, walls), get to our ears, vibrates on the eardrum and registers in our brains as sound. What soundproofing does is reduce or stop this sound completely.

Some Factors To Be Considered When Soundproofing Your Walls

There are many ways to soundproof your walls and diverse soundproofing material to choose from. Though, some factors need to be considered to help you soundproof your walls. Factors like; type of wall and type of sound.

Let’s get these checked off your list of factors.

Type of wall

The type of wall determines how loud the sound will be heard once it passes through the wall. Are the walls of your room built with bricks/blocks or with a timber frame structure covered with plasterboard on both sides? Knowing this will help you know if you are to nail most of these materials to your wall or make use of soundproofing glues.

You can move to the next factor once you have this checked off the list.

Type of sound

  • What type of sound are you trying to keep out or in?
  • Muffled sound. For example, light conversations.
  • Clear conversation.
  • Loud sound. For example, very loud neighbours.
  • Maybe they are not conversation sound, probably impact sound like;
  • Footsteps sound.
  • Doors being shut.
  • Music band noise.

Once you have these checked, then you can pick out the best soundproofing materials to use on your walls.

Diverse Soundproofing Materials

As said earlier, there are diverse soundproofing materials. They come in categories like;

  • sound-absorbing
  • sound dampening
  • sound insulation
  • sound decoupling.

Sound absorbing material should not be confused with soundproofing material. There’s a misconception that they are the same, but sound absorption material is just a category of soundproofing materials.

Sound Absorbing Material

Sound absorbing material reduces sound echo by absorbing sound waves ultimately improving the sound in the room. One thing about these materials is that they don’t stop sound from entering or leaving the room.

An example is an acoustic foam [1] majorly used in studios, entertainment centres and theatres. It is designed with a structure that deflects and absorb sound, unwanted sound to be precise. Here are some examples of acoustic sound-absorbing material and why you should consider them;

Auralex studio foam wedges: This is majorly used to improve the sound in small spaces/rooms, even in theatres if it is not big. It is the most known acoustic foam type.

Pro studio acoustics tiles: Majorly used in game rooms, voice booths and studio. They absorb sound and kill echoes. They are used alternatively to auralex studio foam wedges.

Utopia thermal blackout curtains: These curtains are used to reduce the sound that comes in through the windows and doors. Its heavyweight fabric dampens sound and reduces echo. They improve the sound in a room more than they block sound. They can be used in the bedroom and home theatre.

Door sweep: They can fill any gap in door frames and stop sound from entering and leaving the room.

Sound dampening materials

These materials come in mats, rolls and paints. They are very dense, flexible and have great sound insulation properties. They reduce the energy of sound, kill vibrations and rattles. Mass loaded vinyl is an example for walls, others like floor underlayment are used on the floor.

Sound insulation material

Unlike sound-absorbing materials that absorb or dampens sound and echoes in rooms, sound insulation reduces sound from transferring itself to other parts of the building. It’s one of the cost-effective methods to consider when you want to soundproof your wall. Materials commonly used are;

Soundproof fibreglass

Also known as corning 703 is used in churches, theatres and home studios. They tame the high-frequency sound. Fibreglass comes in boards and slabs of different thickness. The 705 fibreglass boards are better for taming low-frequency sound than the 703 fibreglass. Protective gears must be worn when installing them, fibreglass is an irritant.

Mineral wool

Also known as Rockwool rock board is a fire-resistant, soft and flexible sound insulation material used in commercial buildings to insulate sounds in rooms. It is a high-performance soundproofing material that can also be used for the ceilings.

Sound Decoupling Material

Sound decoupling material is adding an extra layer/wall called drywall to the main wall in the building. First, a wall frame is made and nailed to the wall, if it is a wall not made with blocks, a noise proofing compound can be used as glue and applied between layers of drywall. Once the wall frames are installed, it can then be covered with drywall. The drywall comes in different thickness. Depending on the type of sound and sound level entering your room, you will choose the best drywall suitable for your wall.

Many times, where you live will determine which soundproofing materials you should use. You might consider external soundproofing if you live near any industry that uses loud machines or near the railway. This might cost much, but you have to do what you can to have peace and quiet right? There are deadening paint you can use on your outside walls if you don’t want to make use of wall frames and drywalls.

Glossary

  1. Thomas Net: Acoustic Material[Link]