Are you a budding musician or a podcaster who wants to build a personal recording studio space? Or do you live in a noisy neighborhood and are fed up with the constant cacophony? In both cases, your house is that safe haven where you can fulfill your lofty aspirations as well as get a calm and soothing atmosphere to unwind and relax in.
Making your house into a peaceful nest amidst all the chaos of the world outside is a tough task. Thankfully, soundproofing does the job perfectly well. Read on to find out about how to make your house more soundproof so you have the rare privilege of a noise-free interior.
How to Make Your House More Soundproof?
Before we get started wit this topic, it is first important to understand what causes noise and what materials can block sound?
Noise is nothing but airborne vibration. What is perceived as ‘noise’ is simply the sound wave causing the walls to vibrate which in turn causes the air to vibrate.
This vibration in the air reaches our ears as sound. Hence, when we have to block sound, we are putting something in the path of that vibration, which prevents it from reaching our ears. The materials which block sound are mostly known as sound insulators. Examples of insulators include certain types of thick glasses, acrylic, Mass Loaded Vinyl, polyester fiber, rubber and other resilient materials.
Now, let us look at different ways you can make your house more soundproof:
1. Soundproofing the Walls
Whether you live in a house or apartment, your walls are the medium of sound transmission between your house and the exteriors. In order to minimize this transmission so that the noise entering from outside is visibly reduced, you need to provide proper soundproofing to the walls.
Most walls are pretty thin and made of materials such as wood and brick, which are not enough to keep the outside noises at bay. This is where soundproofing the walls comes in.
For this, check the walls thoroughly for any cracks or air spaces through which sound waves may travel. Often in old brick houses, these cracks are quite visible and prominent. When you find them, use sealants and acoustic caulking to seal as well as plug the cracks and gaps in the wall. You can also rearrange the furniture like couches and bookshelves, placing them in front of the cracks to further aid the process.
In order to soundproof wooden walls, you can use decoupling strategies like staggered stud design, double stud walls or other stud replacement methods that limit the conduction of sound waves through the walls.
But if these are not enough to curb the noise, you can opt for more effective methods such as soundproofing insulation, Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), resilient channels, soundproof drywall and Green Glue.
Adorning the wall with bookshelves and numerous wall paintings also help in blocking the path of sound and sound absorption. You can also use soundproof blankets for the same. Keep an eye out for the air vents as well and seal them off using either drywall or a soundproof sealant.
The Bautex Wall System provides an insulated concrete wall system for maximum sound reduction, with its dampening and absorbing properties. With an STC rating of 51, they are affordable and easy to install.
2. Fixing the Doors and Windows
A main pathway for sound to enter the house is through the doors and windows. They serve as the common link between your interiors and exteriors. They are mostly made of flimsy glass materials and wood, both of which allow sound waves to easily pass through and enter the house.
In order to prevent this, first examine the doors and windows thoroughly for any gaps and air spaces in their framing. Often old doors and windows have these faulty spaces and holes, through which noise seeps into the house without your knowledge.
Also, check the quality of glass used for the doors and windows to see if they are strong enough to keep the noise from entering. In most cases, they aren’t.
Now upon review, you might want to consider the following methods for soundproofing your doors and windows:
3. Working on Your Roof and Ceiling
Roofs and ceilings very easily allow the noise from your upstairs neighbors as well as from different air ducts and ventilations, seep into your house depending on the structure of your home. They are often connected with these air conditioning ducts and other pipes throughput the building. Thus noise from there directly reaches your ceiling and in turn, your rooms. Hence, in order to avoid this noise from entering your personal spaces and disrupting your sleep and daily activities, soundproofing is essential.
To that end, you need to install roof sheathings and joists to greatly reduce sound transmission. One effective way of doing this is to install drywall on independent ceiling joists or hat channels along with adding an extra drywall layer on the ceiling. You can also install a drop ceiling to cancel out the noise coming from the roof and ceilings. These not only add an element of style and elegance to the room but also effectively trap the sound waves in between its air layers, thereby preventing the transmission of sound.
4. Soundproofing the Floors
Floors are another key factor adding to noise entering your house. Whether it is hearing footsteps on the hallways and corridors or noise from the houses below, floors transmit all sorts of sounds with absolutely no barrier.
Hence, proper soundproofing of the floors is crucial for a peaceful and calm atmosphere.
An effective method of soundproofing the floors is carpeting. Carpeting the floor with heavy-duty rugs and carpets before moving in your furniture helps in cancelling out quite a lot of noise. Well-placed rugs and carpets help in reducing the echoes and reverberations from footsteps as well.
If you want to take it further and ensure maximum soundproofing, methods such as installing soundproof tiles, sound-insolation floor mats and acoustical soundboard beneath the floor is a great way to curb any noise.
A proper soundproofed home provides an idyllic interior atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the world. To give yourself such a space, you need to consider investing your time and money on perfect soundproofing.
The ways and methods discussed above provide you with sufficient knowledge to get started with your soundproofing project. Applying these methods, you can ensure a peaceful and soothing home environment for your family, without any disturbances and disruptions.