Decoupling, Damping And Filling The Best Way To Soundproof A Home

Acoustical ceilings

Which houses need soundproofing foam panels and which don’t?

This decision isn’t always easy to decide — not for the construction worker, not for the family. That’s because soundproofing foam panels and acoustic ceiling clouds provide all sorts of benefits for a wide variety of lifestyles. You have one family with a budding guitarist that needs acoustic wall covering to keep everyone sane during the more creative periods. You have another couple that just wants additional privacy throughout the week and is tired of noise pollution interrupting their REM cycle. It’s your job to make sure all decorative laminate solutions and soundproofing foam panels are where they need to be.

When it comes to designing the perfect house you need to have a few guidelines to lead the way. Today’s houses are becoming more advanced than ever, being retrofitted with sound blocking panels right alongside solar panels, elaborate shrubbery and refurbished kitchen islands. Homeowners want to get the very most out of their home while saving money and helping out their community, that of which is easy to do with the aid of a savvy contractor. A common customer you will likely have when installing acoustic ceiling materials are singers, musicians and sound editors.

Back in 2014 it was revealed over 173,000 people worked as musicians. The same year saw two out of five musicians and singers being self-employed, meaning many work from the safety and comfort of their own home. Sound editors, sound mixers and even public speakers all need to have an area of the home where they can practice their work without risk of disturbing their neighbors or other family members. Other benefits can be gleaned from a more soundproof home, too, like protecting people’s hearing and making sure everyone gets sound sleep. What else can sound absorption materials do for a home’s residents?

Hearing loss is on the rise. Tinnitus is a very common issue among the majority of Americans and it’s widely thought that more people than ever before will be hard-of-hearing or partially deaf over the coming years. Around 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 65 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to noise at their job or during leisure activities, such as visiting concerts or playing music. How much is too much, though? Audiologists have determined noise at the level of 85 decibels for a prolonged period of time can put a person at risk for hearing loss.

Studies have shown one out of eight people in the country (that’s as many as 30 million) over the age of 12 has hearing loss in both ears. While ear infections, age and genetics certainly play a part, exposure to loud noises is one of the most common contributors. As a result more homeowners, particularly those with children, are reaching out to contractors to request decorative acoustic ceiling tiles. With the aid of soundproofing foam panels these rates can be lowered and a more agreeable relationship with sound can be encouraged.

Sound comes in different frequencies. Some can be heard over long distances. Others can be heard underwater. Surfaces already partially hinder sound waves from moving from one room to another — this is called the 1% Rule, stating that for every 1% of opening or generally unobstructed area of a surface at least 50% of the sound will make it through. Decoupling is actually one of the worst things you can do when constructing a soundproof wall, as it makes it harder for the home to block low frequencies due to the resonance of the structure.

What should you know when purchasing acoustic wedge panels for your clients? It’s good to start out with a standard 12 inch by 12 inch panel bearing a two inch depth curve relief. These do a great job of absorbing both low and high frequencies, with some panels even coming with an accompanying adhesive peel. Soundproofing a room is best done by adding mass, damping, decoupling and filling air gaps all in one. If you want to give your customers the best possible result, keep a close eye on your step by step process.

It’ll be music to their ears.