Home Improvement | 1 February 2016Soundproofing a Room Share article facebook twitter google pinterest There are many reasons to soundproof a room, basement, or garage. Noisy hobbies like woodworking, the more and more common home theater or gaming den, the thudding of your runner on a treadmill, and simply a desire to crank the volume to 11 are all good reasons to create a soundproof area in your home. There are solutions to excessive noise both within a space (absorption) and without (soundproofing), and the solutions are well within the reach of the do-it-yourselfer. The BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings has the answers you need and the step by step instructions to help you with soundproofing installation. The walls of the average house are not designed to contain the extreme sound levels of entertainment systems, music studios, woodworking machinery, and workout machines. To combat this issue, there are numerous soundproofing products and materials available to help keep those on both sides of a wall happy. Sound is created by vibrations traveling through air. Consequently, the best ways to reduce sound transmission are by limiting airflow and blocking or absorbing vibrations. Effective soundproofing typically involves a combination of methods. Stopping airflow—through walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors—is essential to any soundproofing effort. (Even a 2-foot-thick brick wall would not be very soundproof if it had cracks in the mortar.) It’s also the simplest way to make minor improvements. Because you’re dealing with air, this kind of soundproofing is a lot like weatherizing your home: Add weatherstripping and door sweeps, seal air leaks with caulk, install storm doors and windows, etc. The same techniques that keep out the cold also block exterior noise and prevent sound from traveling between rooms. After reducing airflow, the next level of soundproofing is to improve the sound-blocking qualities of your walls and ceilings. Engineers rate the soundproofing performance of wall and ceiling assemblies using a system called Sound Transmission Class (STC). Standard partition walls carry STC ratings of 28 to 32. Source – BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings Determining an appropriate STC rating for your home theater, music studio, or gym is dependent on a number of factors, such as the power of your multimedia system and the type of room opposite the wall. But a minimum of 60 STC is adequate for most. Remember: The higher the STC rating, the more sound is blocked. But blocking sound is not the only consideration. The low frequencies generated by subwoofers cause vibrations, which in turn create unwanted noise within the room. The most effective approach for soundproofing a home theater is to install both sound barriers to minimize sound escaping and sound absorbers to reduce noise within the room. Weave R-11 unfaced fiberglass blanket insulation horizontally between the studs. Cover each side with one or more layers of 5?8″ fire-resistant drywall. Source – BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings Adding mass to walls and ceilings is an effective way to block sound. Using cotton batting insulation adds more sound deadening than fiberglass insulation. In new construction, staggered stud partitions or double stud partitions (two adjacent rows of studs) are possibilities. Hanging soundproofing board, sound-rated drywall, or multiple layers of drywall can increase STC ratings significantly. Two of the most effective systems are resilient channels and mass loaded vinyl (MLV) underlayment, a heavy vinyl sheeting that many manufacturers claim can more than double a wall’s STC rating. For sound absorption, closed-cell acoustical foam matting can be used to insulate between drywall panels and framing. Similarly, padded tape minimizes transmission of sound vibration between wall panels and framing, and can be used to line resilient channels for added insulation. Sound isolation mounting clips contain molded neoprene to provide added insulation between resilient channels and framing. Vibration pads made of cork and closed-cell acoustical foam or neoprene isolate sound vibration to reduce transmission between objects. When fastening soundproofing and drywall panels to resilient channels, leave a ¼-inch gap between all panels at corners and fill the gaps with acoustical caulk. In fact, all gaps, seams, and cracks should be filled with acoustical caulk. The more airtight a room, the more soundproof it is. Tips for Soundproofing a Room Source – BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings Soundproof doors between rooms by adding a sweep at the bottom and weatherstripping along the stops. If doors are hollow-core, replacing them with solid-core units will increase soundproofing performance. Soundproof workshop and utility room doors with a layer of acoustical tiles. Source – BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings Use contact cement to glue ¼” closed-cell acoustical matting directly to existing wall and ceiling surfaces or to the back side of drywall panels in new construction. Source – BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings Apply self-adhesive padded tape to resilient channels or directly to the edges of framing members. Source – BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings Staple MLV (mass loaded vinyl) underlayment directly to framing members, between layers of drywall and soundproofing board, or directly to existing wall and ceiling surfaces. Overlap seams by at least 6″. Install 2″ vibration pads every 2 ft. between flooring and installed drywall panels. Fasten baseboard into framing only, not into vibration pads. Source – BLACK+DECKER Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings Seal all gaps between panels and at wall and ceiling joints with acoustical caulk. Buy from an Online Retailer US: UK: Confidently tackle–and accomplish–any wall or ceiling project yourself, with our help! Walls and ceilings are vital to the structural integrity and the overall appearance of any home, so they are worth your time and care. BLACK+DECKER The Complete Guide to Walls & Ceilings gives you all the information you need to understand and maintain structural integrity, while reimagining and remodeling visible surfaces to meet your home decor needs. When you decide to remove a wall and open up the space or create a new wall and a new room, you’ll see for yourself how great the impact of walls and ceilings is. All the essentials of framing walls and ceilings are shown with beautiful step-by-step photos in exhaustive detail, including framing window and door openings. You’ll also learn the tips and techniques for hanging and finishing drywall on horizontal and vertical surfaces. If you’ve ever taped and mudded drywall in the past, you’ll be amazed to see how much less labor and mess it involves when it’s done the correct way. Choosing and applying wallcoverings is also covered in this new book from the experts at BLACK+DECKER, as is the final step in your wall or ceiling project: installing trimwork. Baseboard, crown molding, door and window trim, and much more are explained with color photos and easy-to-follow instructions. Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.