Soundproofing

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by DIY, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. DIY

    DIY New Member

    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Florida
    Has/does anyone on this forum have experience or knowledge of soundproofing material? In my search so far there is a company that makes a soundproofing material that is similar to work with as drywall is..Comes in 4' x 8' sheets easy to cut score snap etc. and "say" one sheet of there 5/8" soundproof board is equal to the thickness of 8 1/2" sheets of standard drywall.
  2. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    Soundproofing is a tricky thing. The wall material is only one factor.

    When I did some (basic) research on it a couple of years ago I recall resonance through the studs and joists as being an issue also. There was something called z-channel that created an air barier between the studs and the wall surface.

    I also recall any minor penetrations like gaps around the door or even the outlets can drastically reduce the effectiveness of the soundproofing.

    Sorry if that doesn't help much...
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Building material suppliers do sell something I have called HomoSote ( probably spelled wrong!)

    In my reading, the most effective barrier is air space, and interior wall surface isolated from the actual structural studs.



    edit: I was close. See this link for 440 sound board: http://www.homasote.com/
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  4. Quality of work, not materials

    What Shaun said is true. Prashster.

    Imagine you are "trying" to construct a plastic bag that will hold water, starting with sheets (of material), tape and glue. Your workmanship will be put to the test. Changing material will help get waterproof seams that hold up better over time, but workmanship is still the most important thing. Quality of work.

    Sound travels through air. Sound is a vibration. It can also travel through material, and then once again travel through air to your ears in another room. But blocking all air transfer through a wall is still KEY.

    The big challenge is to make an airtight bag, a "container" that lets no air through. The big challenge is not to buy another material. No kidding, what is more important than the 4'x8' sheets of material is the quality of tape and the workmanship of the seams !!

    Repeat: focus on your work. If you slip up, everything else is "immaterial" - i guess that is punny, since it tells you to stop talking, thinking and asking about materials.

    All materials designed to block air are good. Foam, cement, plywood, etc. Trapped air materials are good (EPS foam, open-cell foam). Density is good (concrete). A layer of each is good.

    Highly recommended to use more than one type of material, since sound(S) that travel easily through either one will get blocked more by the next layer which has different properties. Each layer is airtight. Can I say it again?

    David

    Edit: What Jimbo said is true. If structural studs are in direct contact with the finish layer on both sides, you will be bridging -- letting sound travel easily through a bridge. Any layer of any fluffy-rigid sheet stuff will help de-couple the vibration transfer.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  5. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    If you are putting up a wall, one highly recommended way to soundproof is to use 2x6s for the floor and ceiling plates. Use 2x4s for the studs but alternate them from side to side using spacing that works for your dry wall. When the wall is up weave insulation between the studs so it is always on the other side than the one you are going to nail to. Use 5/8 wall board and you should be good to go.
  6. 5/8" is 2x as dense as 1/2" wallboard.

    In stores in my area, the drywall sold as "Fire code" is twice as heavy and dense as the next smaller size, i.e. 1/2". So not only is it thicker, it is also denser per area, or volume. It stops noise better since it is denser than the light stuff.

    Above, RRW is suggesting again this same recommendation:
    - some dense material
    - some air space
    (either real air, or foam which is trapped air, or a fluffy rigid panel which is trapped air).
    In addition, he is suggesting a good way to de-couple the studs from the wall panels.

    To go a bit further, you could also use FOUR parallel 3"x2"s instead of two 2"x6" as ceiling and floor plates. Hope that is obvious why to do that. I know an experienced remodeler who did that and he claims the benefit (the gain) was worth it. He is only half way through soundproofing a big apartment building, after a few years, working off and on as apartments become available.

    If you use two layers of any (same) material, it is a good idea to use different thicknesses, because a certain part of a wave (sound wave) can find its way through one thickness because that thickness corresponds to a "harmonic" multiple of that wave, and to use the same thickness of the same material will only aggravate the transmission problem instead of damping it. So don'T double the same panel and expect it to work twice as well for all frequencies; some parts of some voices or other noises will travel through better than anything else, and it will feel real loud if that is all you can hear.

    Closed cell foam causes a bit of this "harmonic" multiplier effect, since each cell is tight pressed against the next, whereas open cell foam does not have this characteristic, and thus does not let sounds reverberate through. Soft foam made for door and window sashes is great stuff to block all air leaks around wall openings (e.g. for electrical boxes and switches) for soundproofing since it is open cell foam (Expanded, not Extruded). (EPS not XPS).

    David
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  7. DIY

    DIY New Member

    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Florida
    soundproofing/more info.

    Thanks, to all who shared there knowledge and replied to this thread.
    I am not building a wall as some might have thought. I am just wanting to add some effective soundproofing to an existing dividing wall that was built in 1956, conventionaly framed with 2x4 studs,drywall,hardcoat then plaster.(they sure don't build walls that solid anymore) A cross section of the wall is @ 3/4" thick till you get to the stud.
    Thanks again!
  8. jfkopper

    jfkopper New Member

    Messages:
    16
    This product
    http://www.greengluecompany.com/
    was mentioned in a letter to Fine Homebuilding magazine (FH, Issue 185, March 2007, pg 10) comparing sound control products.
    The lab data are compelling and the ease of use in remodeling very attractive. I plan to try this product on my next project involving residential sound reduction.
    [I have no affiliation with, or economic interest in, the Green Glue Company]
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2007
  9. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    While I have not done a lot of sound proofing, I have used mineral wool in the past and it has worked very well, much better than just using R13 bats.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,811
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    sound

    If it has to be on the wall's surface, then foam insulation panels will work. To improve their look you can cover them with a layer of cloth.
  11. jfkopper

    jfkopper New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Generally, the fire codes require that foam insulation products installed in/on walls and ceilings be covered with a material of a suitable fire rating. One possibility is radiant barrier (like heavy Al foil).

    I recommend you take a look at the Green Glue option. The data are pretty impressive and there's no fire hazard.

    Be safe,
    /kop
  12. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Just to throw in my 2 cents and what little knowledge I have of sound waves and sound proofing.... in many ways insulating for sound is like insulating for temperature control (heat). In dealing with heat eliminating thermal bridges is a very big help in preventing the transfer of heat across the indoor/outdoor coverings thru the frame to the outdoor/indoor wall coverings. With electricity you want a good conductor, with noise/heat you want a very poor conductor. Another thing to look at or into is sound wave diffusion by providing surfaces which break up the soundwaves and redirect or absorb them. In the past there have been many different ceiling tiles and some wall tiles sold which had varying angled or might be described as geodesic looking surfaces, others had holes. All these were to absorb or redirect the reflected sound waves. In theme parks there has been alot of use of foam egg crating material for it's sound reduction effect. Just some thoughts I wanted to throw at you.....
  13. Rughead

    Rughead New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Location:
    Scarsdale, NY
    DIY sound proofing

    My experience with various materials to sound proof music rooms for rock bands has proved that simple recycled paper egg carton separators works best. Glued or stapled onto the walls and ceiling. Not real pretty in their natural state but painted or covered with any material of your choice makes a big difference in appearance - and - effectiveness. Cheers.
  14. good to know

    thank you for letting us know.

    but i think the sentence you just wrote can eventually be mis-read, so i'll add this: an egg carton layer cannot be used as the only thing to soundproof a room that has veryy bad soundproofing today. For example, if you put egg cartons on top of a flimsy hollow sheetrock wall, you still won't be happy.

    david
  15. jch

    jch New Member

    A recent "Holmes on Homes" episode (Wall of Sound) used this to soundproof the common wall between two townhouses:
    http://holmesonhomes.com/episodes.php?sid=5#episode12
    http://holmesonhomes.com/episode_show.php?sid=5&eid=65

    [​IMG]
    Homes on Homes.

    Discuss Mike Holmes here

    The measured results were spectacular. They had a boom box on the other side of the wall that was *completely* inaudible in the adjacent townhome.

    This material has a layer of steel down the core, so it is super heavy and dense. Unfortunately, one sheet costs almost as much as 8 sheets of regular drywall.

    So, for cost, there's no advantage over using 8 sheets of drywall.

    But it is the same thickness as only one sheet.

    Does this help?
    .../j
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2010
  16. jch

    jch New Member

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