How Can I Make My House Quieter?

If there is an amateur in the house learning to play a new instrument or a family member that feels the TV or home theater needs to be at its peak volume, try a few of these alternative soundproofing ideas. Noise is simply an airborne vibration coming from the source of the racket.

What we hear and perceive is actually sound waves coming from the object or wall. Noise frequently travels through crevices, cracks, and lightweight materials. Now that we identify with how the sound of noise travels. Let’s talk about how to make the noise disappear or quiet it down.

Think of sound like liquid flowing through the house. To eliminate the sound, you need to plug up the leaks. When dealing with noise, it’s necessary to measure the success of soundproofing.

Decibels (dB) are a measurement of sound and its volume. Overtime transmission is lost to even the best of walls. For instance, if the one side of the wall is 100 dB and the other side 75dB, you have a loss of 25dB.

Another example, a home theater produces sounds at 100dB. For a room to usually quiet down, the decibels need to be about 30 dB to 40 dB. With that level of noise, the wall would need to be rated with an STC of 60. Typically 5/8 inch drywall on both sides of the wall with installation between has about a 30 to 34 STC rating.

Sound Absorbing Materials and Techniques to Dampen the Sound

Sound-absorbing materials are simple and easy to use for dampening echo sounds. Some materials include upholstered furniture, carpeting, and padded curtains. Furthermore, looking at other ways to minimize noise from bouncing throughout a room, you should avoid tiles, laminates, and hardwood floors.

Acoustic Sealant

An acoustic sealant can be used to fill in the small gaps and holes found in and around the wall and windows. The sealant is designed to stop the sound coming into the room. Once the sealant is applied, the decibel reduction of noise is restored to a higher rating.

Acoustic Soundproofing Tiles and Foam

More soundproofing can be done with sound-absorbing materials like acoustic foam can significantly improve sound quality. These types of materials prevent noise from bouncing around inside the room. That’s why this type of material is typically used in podcasting booths and recording studios. It will also work in the home.

Acoustic tiles also are an excellent choice for controlling echoes. Many people wonder if these choices will drown out the noise of the next-door neighbors. Unfortunately, tiles and foams only keep the sound from bouncing around. Beyond deadening the inside sounds, these materials will not block outside noise.

Sound Blocking Materials and Techniques

We have already learned how sound-blocking materials work. A lot of mass will be needed to block out the sound. A 12-inch brick wall is a good sound blocker but who wants to build another brick wall around the foundation of a home. In some situations, this will not be permitted in apartment buildings or rentals you don’t own.

A similar choice would be an extra layer of drywall, which is the most effective way to drown out the sound. The ideal way to double the walls is to keep them separated, so vibration doesn’t flow through them. Exclusive clips for holding drywall, multiple layers of 5/8 drywall, and staggered stud configurations are generally used to separate the vibration.

By doing this, the mass will be increased if not doubled. However, this technique costs a lot more than the other methods mentioned. Even so, there will be no more outside noise penetrating through the walls.

Keep in mind, increasing the mass of the wall will increase the amount of sound that is blocked. Try out some of these methods for a quieter house solution.

Final Thoughts:

No matter which soundproofing option you choose, we are positive that some form of results will happen. Consider doing one wall at a time; this way, the noise issue can be tested and evaluated before moving forward. If the tactic that was used didn’t fix the problem, try another alternative until it is soundproof.

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