Soundproofing Your Home

Whether part of an existing renovation or on its own, these are your best options

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During this Covid-19 crisis, many of us have been spending more time at home. As a result, you may have noticed how what we do affects others within our household, and how sound moves not only between floors, but between houses and neighbours.

For some, it may not be a big deal because noise is not travelling easily between floors and rooms due to effective insulation. Others, however, may be negatively affected due to inadequate insulation that is allowing distracting noises to infiltrate home offices and other rooms. Those affected are likely wishing that there was something that could be done to prevent sound from travelling so easily. Good news, there is!

Focus Construction is here to provide you with ways to reduce these noises. First, it is important to understand how noise is transferred throughout the home, starting with knowing the two types of noise: Airborne and Impact. 

 

Impact Noise

This occurs when something is dropped on the floor or surface, a nail is hammered into the wall, or someone walks heavily across the floor. This impact noise travels through walls and flooring as vibrations.

 

Airborne Noise

Airborne noise is created by televisions, tablets, phones, computers, music, or people having a conversation. It travels through the air and finds its way through cracks and openings.

If either of these types of noises has created problems for you and your family, you are likely wondering how to reduce the noise.

Don’t worry, there are options!

 

Invasive Approach

This method involves installing safe sound batt insulation between the floors or shared walls in the joist cavities or studs. Sound batt insulation provides lightweight, flexible fibreglass sound protection that controls noise.

Use resilient channels to separate the drywall from the joist, and then install two layers of overlapping Type X drywall. After that, apply acoustic sealant to the entire joist where the ceiling meets the walls. 

If you are already renovating or willing to do some demolition, this is the option for you. While it is the most expensive choice and involves removing existing drywall and the resulting mess, this most extensive option is also the most effective toward reducing sounds resonating throughout your home.

 

Non-Invasive Approaches

 

Ceiling Drop

You can achieve similar results by dropping your existing ceiling with steel studs or furring out your wall (furring involves using thin strips of wood or another material to make space 

for insulation). This option is the best if you want to avoid demolition and have a lower budgetary ceiling.

First, fill the 2.5″ gap with pink fiberglass, and then install standard 1/2″ drywall. It is not quite as effective, however, and will likely require some pot lights/fixtures to be moved. 

 

Change your flooring

This won’t have any impact on a shared wall. You can install new flooring on top of existing flooring, or you can remove it and start anew.

Either way, you will need to install an acoustic insulation membrane. This product will help reduce both airborne noise and impact noise. The floor product you choose will also have some impact on sound reduction. Do some investigation and find out what membrane will work best for you in terms of styling and effectiveness toward reducing sound further. Generally, carpets and other softer materials will depress noise transfer; while tiles and hardwood will not diminish noise at all.

Please note that the goal for new flooring is to be separate from the building sub-floor, not attached with nails or screws. 

While this option is the most affordable, it is the least effective. If possible, Focus Construction recommends using this approach in conjunction with the others to maximize your results.

 

Whatever you decide, Focus Construction can assist you in choosing the best and most effective soundproofing option for your home and your family. Reach out today for a free estimate to find out how we can support you!

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