If its peace and quiet your looking for, or it’s a business your trying to run from your home, like a musician’s studio for artists, the best thing you can do is find the right soundproofing materials to make that happen for you.
Soundproofing is an age-old technique that has been used as far back as the 1960s within the industry of aviation, where the best solutions were used to minimize noise from the aircraft engines as well as wind, so as to make it easier for the pilot and aircrew to communicate with its passengers as well as each other.
Image flying in an aeroplane with no noise proofing at heights of thousands of feet – does not make for a fun experience.
There are a number of different materials you can choose to use, and we are here to help you decide what it the right one for you. We will look into the different variations of type of acoustic proofing, and what type of materials can be used for each.
Acoustic Panels or Acoustic Boards – Acoustic panels are also known as ATS Acoustic Panels, so when you order them you know what to look for. These are the more decorative options for your room, where foam won’t be desirable. These are more aesthetically pleasing and come in a variety of fabrics, patterns and colours to match your interiors. You can use these anywhere, at home and in an office.
The nice thing about these is they usually come pre-made and so don’t require much assembly. All you need to do is put them up as they are quite easy to hang. Investing in a few to hang around your room may just be the solution to your auditory proofing needs – it will reduce the noise and quieten the surroundings considerably.
Acoustic Fabrics – These types tend to be heavier and thicker in density than the other materials. For example, mineral wool insulation which is usually installed in places such as theatres and movie studios. This too is very easy to put up and durable as well as multi-functional. The only down side to this is you need to hire a professional to put it up for you and it can be quite cumbersome to do it yourself, not to mention you do need a few hands to put this one up.
Acoustic Foam – Also called Studio Insulation Foam or just Studio Foam, is shaped like a wedge or a few wedges put together like a pyramid. These are quite famous and used extensively, because not only are they cheap, they last long and are easy to install. Plus, the bonus is you can hang them up anywhere, including the walls, corners of your room, the roof and if need be – the floor too. It is one of the most efficient materials out there.
The downside to this is that it is mainly designed to be used in a studio where you can find the most amount of reverberation, and not so much anywhere else.
Floor Underlayment – Soundproofing a floor is quiet an efficient way to reduce noise, especially if you live above other apartments or houses. Some types of materials are laid underneath the carpets and if there isn’t one, then they are installed under the floor boards.
The materials used best for this type of insulation is either Cork or polymers and often also felt. What’s nice about cork is that it is a completely natural material derived from Oak trees and is part of a sustainable market. The Soundproof Pros article on cork will give you a good idea on the effectiveness of this material if your looking to cover your floors too.
Acoustic Coatings – If you’re looking to soundproof for example your car or an environment where heavy machinery is being used, the best protection used in this case would be Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) – this is an impenetrable rubber like material, that acts as a sound barrier by dampening the vibration and reduces reverberations such as echoing vibrations.
One can also apply it to wall studs and ceiling joints including the floors.
Architectural Soundproofing – This type of option is a bit vaster, as it is part of a house build. For instance, when the architect plans the games room in the basement, he will make sure the people upstairs will not hear a single peep. Soundproofing insulation is usually used in these circumstances and things like the windows, walls, doors all need to be considered during the planning stages.
As the name suggests the blue prints will include this category by using either the best kind of raw materials or the best kind of design techniques, to reduce any possible sounds. The buildings shape plays n important role in this category – things like height of the walls, the placement of the windows, the placement of the door and materials they are made of, any balconies, to name a few.
Besides the above, there are also other types of compounds that can be used, these come in various forms such as liquids in tubes, sealants in tubes, echo absorbing window film, noise absorbing blankets, curtains or room dividers that help keep noise and vibrations to a minimal level but not necessary get rid of it completely.
In the end the one you choose will need to fit your needs as well as the needs of the building itself.