March 13, 2018

5 Secrets for Achieving Indoor Sound Quality in Your Next Home

The design of a quiet and peaceful home requires taking some important noise management measures. These include controlling the noise that enters the home from the exterior, the noise between rooms and spaces or between floors, the noise within a room itself, and the noise caused by mechanical systems. Controlling indoor sound quality (ISQ) is a vital component of creating a quality indoor environment that is both comfortable and enjoyable. Implementing these five secrets for controlling noise in your house will certainly lead to a more calm and quiet home.

1. Soundproofing Wood-Framed Walls

Soundproofing the exterior and interior walls is essential for controlling noise in a home. Sound is a vibration that travels through air or conducts through materials, like the materials that make up the walls of your home. One strategy for soundproofing your home is to isolate or decouple the two sides of a wall so that vibrations on the outside are not transmitted to the inside. For wood-framed homes, decoupling strategies include a staggered stud design, double stud walls or other methods of stud placement that limit the sound vibration from conducting through the walls. Additionally, insulation within wood-frame walls will absorb the sound vibrations created by the air in the wall cavity, and noise dampening products can be applied between layers of drywall to absorb annoying vibrations. Another method for soundproofing wood-framed walls is to add mass to the walls, which typically means adding more layers of drywall to the wall. 

2. The Superb Soundproofing Quality of the Bautex Insulated Concrete Wall 

The Bautex Wall System is an insulated concrete wall system that provides high sound reduction. In fact, the Bautex Wall System received a high sound transmission class (STC) rating of 51, which is roughly 3 times as quiet as typical wood framed walls with an STC of approximately 36 (perceived loudness doubles every 10 decibels difference). The Bautex walls are solid without air cavities and with continuous integral insulation layer, which significantly dampens sound vibrations through the wall. Bautex walls also contain concrete which provides sound absorbing mass without having to add additional layers of materials.  The Bautex Wall System is the smart material choice for soundproofing a home without having to resort to expensive and more complicated wood framed assemblies. 

3. Soundproof Your Roof and Ceilings

A home's roof provides a large surface area where noise can enter the attic. Installation of noisy heating and air conditioning systems in the attic space is also very common practice. For a quiet home, it is essential that this attic noise not make its way into the living spaces. Insulating under the roof sheathing and between the attic joists can greatly reduce the amount of sound that is transmitted into living spaces. Also, installing drywall on hat channels or independent ceiling joists, as well as adding an extra layer of drywall on the ceiling can provide an additional noise barrier between living spaces and the areas above. Preventing roof and attic noise from entering the living spaces, and controlling noise transmission between floors must be part of the design of a properly soundproofed home.

4. Soundproof Your Floors

Soundproofing the floors is essential to noise reduction and sound control in your home. With new construction, controlling noise from people walking across the floor involves installing an acoustical soundboard beneath the subfloor. The soundboard isolates the sound before it has a chance to reflect up into the room. Another method of soundproofing floors is installing sound-isolation floor mats. Sound-isolation floor mats are constructed of lightweight closed-cell foam, recycled rubber, or heavy barrier vinyl and installed below the subfloor of hardwood floors, carpet with pad, ceramic tile, vinyl, or wood-laminate flooring. The mats isolate vibration and noise from footsteps or a dropped item, like a book. Soundproofing floors will reduce noise from upper and lower floors and control impact noise within a room. 

5. Sound Reducing Windows and Doors

A main path of noise into a home is through windows and doors since they provide less sound reduction than most wall assemblies. Installing more soundproof windows and doors is essential for creating a quiet home, particularly in urban areas. Typical single-paned windows have an STC of about 27,and good dual-paned windows as high as 32. Most standard residential grade doors have similar STC ratings between 25 and 35. It is crucial that the windows and doors are properly air sealed to avoid sound traveling through air gaps. Soundproofing your home must include sound-stopping window and doors that are thoroughly sealed.

Incorporating soundproofing measures into the design of your new house ensures a quiet and peaceful home. Vist Bautex™ Wall Systems for more secrets on soundproofing before you build your home. 

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