5 Practical Tips for Soundproofing Your Home

Whether to provide a quieter sleep environment, to enhance the enjoyment of a home theater system or to create a home recording studio, many homeowners are looking for easy ways to soundproof their homes. The main thing to remember when it comes to making a home quieter is that sounds travels in vibrating waves of air. When the vibrations are stopped, so is the sound. It’s also important to realize that insulation does not necessarily stop sound vibrations. Conventional wall insulation like fiberglass, for example, actually enables the transference of vibrations.

Stopping sound waves completely is a tall order. Totally sound-proofing a home can be complicated and expensive, requiring significant structural alterations. The solutions that most homeowners seek are ways to deaden sound. From sound-deadening solutions can be undertaken as do-it-yourself projects to those that require enhancing the interiors of walls or ceilings, here are five practical tips for making the rooms of a home more quiet.

1. Carpet the Walls

Hard surfaces typically transfer sound vibrations more easily than soft surfaces like carpet. When it’s not possible to alter the walls of a room permanently, paneling the wall with thick carpet offers some sound-deadening benefits. For best effect, the doors to the room should be carpeted on both sides as well, leaving space to allow the door to open and close. Obviously, the floor should also be carpeted.

2. Acoustic Insulation

Some manufacturers make wall insulation that is specifically designed to help sound-proof interiors. Although these insulation materials can resemble conventional batting insulation and can be applied in the same manner, they are made with a unique materials such as stone/wool composition blend that reduces the transfer of noise.

3. Sound-Proof Wall Board

Drywall, fiberboard and sound board products that are designed specifically for noise reduction are available as well. Made to be as easy to install as standard drywall, these products are a good option for an affordable and relatively simple DIY sound-deadening solution.

4. Resilient Channels

The key to sound-proofing or sound-deadening is to stop sound vibration, and one of the most effective ways to do this is by creating gaps of air between two solid surfaces. In sound-proofing terminology, this is known as creating a resilient channel. Metal clips, brackets and rails are available that can be attached to wall studs or ceiling joists before drywall is installed. These resilient channel devices isolate the wall or ceiling surface from the studs or joists, making it harder for sound vibration to pass through the walls or ceilings.

5. Room Within A Room

Resilient channels are usually installed to a wall within a wall, doubling the wall’s sound-proofing capabilities. Although installation requires some renovation, these room-within-a-room (RWAR) solutions are likely the most effective solution for existing homes. The inner wall may be drywall, fiberboard, sound boards or even heavy blankets. The effectiveness of RWAR solutions can be enhanced by careful and precise installation techniques where the goal is to prevent anything that touches one wall to touch anything in the second wall.

When installing the inner wall, that inner board material is installed in a staggered configuration so that each seam lies at the center of the outer wall’s seam. A one-quarter- to one-half-inch space is left at the top and bottom of the inner wall to keep it from transferring sound vibration from floors and ceilings.

Steve James writes for home equity release information covering a wide range of retirement and household topics.

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