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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.