Soundproofing your Walls
What is sound proofing?
Soundproofing is the process of reducing the transmission of sound between two spaces; in the case of buildings, two rooms. Any room can be soundproofed to provide a more comfortable acoustic experience. There are many basic ways in which a space can be soundproofed, all in which we can assist with. These include increasing the distance between the source and receiver, using noise control products to reflect or absorb the sound or using damping methods such as acoustic baffles. In general, the more mass a surface has, the better it is at preventing the transmission of sound.
Sound proofing is an important aspect of any room, whether in the home or a professional workplace. Find out more how acoustics can affect your health here.
There are different sound characteristics that can affect us, such as:
Airborne noise is any noise that is emitted through the air. In the case of soundproofing, airborne noise creates something known as flanking noise. Imagine a room being filled with water and now imagine the areas in which the water could escape from that room. Sound works in the same way - anywhere there is a gap, sound will escape through it. This is flanking noise. The image demonstrates flanking transmissions and how they work.
For example, if you work in an office and rooms are not correctly soundproofed, flanking transmissions will pass between each room. So, if you have an important meeting in the boardroom, sound from the office or corridor outside will be heard in the boardroom.
In terms of building acoustics, impact noise is the term used to describe disturbance radiated from the ceiling or walls into a receiving room. Impact noise is often cause by footsteps, moving furniture, or dropping of objects.
Impact noise becomes an issue when a structure is rigid and vibrates, transmitting it into the structure of the building and through any solid connected constructive elements. This is perceived by us as a low frequency sound and can be an annoyance for people in the adjacent space.
Guide to Soundproofing Walls
Please get in touch with the team here at Muffle to discuss your specific noise problem and we will reach a solution designed for you.
When soundproofing your internal walls, the main thing to bear in mind is that we do not want the existing wall and the new solution to be connected. Once surfaces are connected, sounds pass through and will still present a problem. For internal walls, the ideal soundproofing solution is to build an additional “wall” structure adjacent to the existing wall.
To allow for the solution to only be applied to one side of the wall, the existing wall should be masonry, have a thickness of 100mm and be plastered on both sides. Other types of existing walls will need extra treatment, Approved Document E suggests a build up on each side of the existing wall for these other types.
The new build up should consist of at least two panels of plasterboard, with staggered joints.
If the new wall has no frame, then there should be at least 35mm distance between the new wall and the masonry core.
If the wall does have a frame there should be a gap of 10mm between the frame and the existing wall.
To help tackle sound at all frequencies, mineral wool and/or absorption element should be included with a minimum density of 10kg/m3 and minimum thickness of 35mm.
This absorption/wool element should be included within the cavity between the existing wall and the new panel.
Depending on the type of noise disturbance, this build up may change. Our in-house acoustic advisors can assist with more specific problems.