Professional soundproofing is the only way to guarantee excellently soundproofed interiors but if you can’t afford it or aren’t looking to cancel outside noise completely, there are simple ways to at least decrease the level of ambient noise.
Soundproofing is a necessity in most houses especially those located in busy towns. It creates a relaxing cocoon free from the hustle and bustle of life and lets you unwind in peace. Students and people working out of home are the biggest winners.
Cheap and easy to install, fiberglass batts are perfect for people who can’t afford to spend much on soundproofing. It does an okay job of filtering noise although it does leak through if the room is located right next to the street or near a source of noise.
For a better result, combine fiberglass batts with other soundproofing tools and try to restrict its use for sound absorption which it does a lot better. Hire a contractor for the work as technical skill is necessary.
Double walls are actually double walls with the two structures working toward reducing noise. They’re very efficient especially for studios and music rooms where enhancing sound inside the room is needed. However, the main drawback is high price as labour work pushes up the cost. You also need more space to accommodate the second wall.
Avoid spray foam which, though easy to lay, doesn’t do anything to control noise. Too much of it can also compromise the integrity of walls and is a pain to clean up.
For the ceiling
Ceilings are soundproofed a little differently because footfalls and other noise from upper floors travel below and even through walls as vibrations (flanking noise). You’ll know this if you’re living on the lower floor in a multi-storied building.
This is the best noise-reducing material for the ceiling and it even works on floors. It can be used in any room. Because it has to be installed beneath flooring and just above the ceiling – labour-intensive and technical work – hire a contractor and don’t attempt to do it yourself.
Like fiberglass batts, carpets should be used together with other soundproofing materials. Thicker ones with plenty of padding are the better choice no matter what the floor is made of.
As a rule, hardwood and linoleum transfer noise very easily while concrete reduces it better. Footfalls concentrated in particular locations also introduce a surprisingly large amount of energy to the site. To counter this, rugs and mats can be placed which, incidentally, helps insulate the room better.
Targeting the source of the noise is the best way to reduce it but a combination of efforts can see better results. Upholstered furniture, pouffes, ottomans and tapestries trap noise along with thicker walls and thicker insulation. Acoustic tile, a popular soundproofing tool, is another option. You’ll recognize it from its porous or pitted surface in ceilings in establishments like hotels, offices and restaurants.
Noisy neighborhoods can’t be helped but you can enjoy a quieter environment with soundproofing. If you’re a musician it also ensures neighbors aren’t disturbed with your practice sessions. Consult a soundproofing expert to find out which method is the best for your home and your budget.