The Latest in Noise Control Solutions for the Home

February 3rd 2006
The Latest in Noise Control Solutions for the Home

The emerging popularity for today's homebuyers is soundproofing in the home, whether it's relief from noisy neighbors or creating the ultimate home theatre room there are more options than ever in the area of noise control available to homeowners.

In order to best reduce household noise you should invest in noise control that will help block and muffle sounds. In the wall and in the floors sound waves are broken by resilient channels blocked by drywall and muffled by insulation. Fortunately, there are both insulation and drywall products available that are designed to create a more comfortable and quiet environment.

One of my favorite sound proofing drywall products is now available through Dryco Building Supplies. Quiet Rock, hangs and finishes just like standard drywall, while significantly blocking noise from entering adjacent rooms. Quiet Rock has the highest tested-assembly STC ratings of any drywall product. It produces a quiet environment at much lower total costs than other methods.

For soundproofing insulation, check out Roxul Safe and Sound available through most Building Supply Stores. It has been designed specifically for producing a quieter environment and has a number of other benefits as well (fire resistant, water repellent etc.) Pat yourself on the back for thinking about adding this insulation now rather than waiting until the drywall is up and it's too late.

Home Theatres

Home theaters are quickly becoming one of the most popular room renovations for existing homes, as well as a must have item in new home design.If you are considering adding a home theatre, there are professional installation services available that not only specialize in installing home entertainment systems but can also design better sound control and acoustics. Professional theatres are typically designed in a shape that will maximize sound performance (room shape dimensions 2X3X5) if this cannot be achieved in a home, acoustic treatments can help emulate this shape. Professional installation should also ensure all safety requirements and building codes are met.

Acoustic treatments are used for the most obvious of keeping the sound in the target room (so you are not the noisy neighbour.) Some commonly used acoustic treatments include carpets, blinds, shades, furniture while other items may include wall standards (to eliminate standing waves) that may appear like columns or wall panels that can appear like artwork.

Sound Proofing a Floor

One of the more common questions I get is from condominium homeowners who are replacing carpets with hardwood flooring materials and homeowners who are converting parts of their homes into multi family dwellings. You can achieve improved sound control by completing a few steps before installing your finished flooring material.

Floor Sound Proofing Detail

1. Install R-20 batt mineral fiber friction fit up against the underside of sub floor.
2. Install soundboard, donna conna or homasote sound board.
3. Install acoustical channel by nailing through soundboard.
4. Install 5/8" drywall screwed to the acoustical channel.
5. For added sound control you can add another layer of 5/8" drywall.

Consider using a glued down engineered product as opposed to a floating floor laminate system, which can create a clapping sound. But, let it be known that we have used and believe in cork as a sound-deadening sub straight and you know there is only one cork product.

Special Note: If the noise problem is really bad, you may have to take more drastic action. Many of the high frequency sounds can travel down through the heating duct system and into the suite below. You may want to consider disconnecting the heating system duct work to that room and supplement the heat in that room with an electric wall heater such as Convectair.

Also, many strata bylaws have guidelines in regards to replacing carpets with hardwood flooring type materials. Be sure to get written approval from your strata council before beginning the job. Good Luck.