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How to Soundproof a Room

People may want to soundproof a room for many different reasons. They may have teens that have started their own grunge band or they may have surround sound in their TV room that they want to sound cool. They may want to have some quietness if they work at home. For whatever reason, this can be a challenge for even the best do it yourself people. However, the following tips may help you a lot.

How to Soundproof a Room

You can soundproof a room in several different ways. It depends on your budget, your specific goals, and your interior design tastes. Try some of these specific tips.

1

Adding Mass/Density

In order to keep sound from exiting and entering a room, you need to add lots of mass to the walls so that they don’t vibrate when exposed to the energy of sound. When you make a room from the ground up, make the walls very thick and make them out of a material that is very dense, including concrete. If you are adding to a room that already exists, use something like mass-loaded vinyl.

To measure the effectiveness of a product used for soundproofing, pay attention to the sound transmission class (STC) of the material. Harder materials have high STC classification, while soft substances have low STC classifications. The guideline for materials goes like this:

  • Poor is 20-30

  • Average is 30-40

  • Good is 40-50

You can also use the sound transmission loss or STL to determine the effectiveness of the material. This measures the isolation in decibels at the various frequency bands.

2

Damping

Damping is like adding mass and is a good way for how to soundproof a room. This is a method of soundproofing that dissipates the sound wave energy by turning it into heat. You put it between two pieces of plywood, drywall or fiberboard in order to dampen the sound that goes through the wall. You can do this as a DIY project in order to add soundproofing to the door, walls, ceiling, or floor.

3

Decoupling

This is based on the principle that whenever two different structures contact one another directly, the vibrations from sound can be transferred from one object to another, making the sound issue worse. Decoupling involves blocking that transfer of sound by keeping the contact points isolated from one another, usually with some kind of rubber.

Methods involved in decoupling include the following:

  • Build double walls with an air gap in between to block out the sound. You can do this also by insulating the space between the two layers.

  • Build a floating floor by using rubber isolators.

  • Isolate layers by using resilient sound clips or resilient channels to make a floating ceiling or floating wall.

  • Isolate the studs from the ceiling, walls, or floors by putting on joist gasket tape onto the different studs.

4

Filling Air Gaps

This is the last way for how to soundproof a room. You need to seal up all the tiny cracks and holes that may be existing in the room so that the room is air-tight. Even if you do the first three things mentioned above, if there are still air spaces, sound will leak through. You can plug up the open spaces using things like:

  • Acoustical chalk that can seal up perimeter cracks in the room or any tiny holes you may see. It is soft so it won’t gap later.

  • Foam gaskets are able to seal up any gaps around windows, doors, or electrical outlets, among other places.

  • Automatic door bottoms can be used to block the spaces between the doors and the floor beneath.

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