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Soundproofing ideas?

by Melissa Moloney last modified Apr 13, 2006 07:06 PM
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Soundproofing ideas?

Posted by Melissa Moloney at April 13. 2006

Does anyone have any relatively inexpensive soundproofing ideas? I am building a house near a schoolyard, and it's pretty loud. I looked into glass blocks, instead of windows but they are rather expensive. Aside from just turning up the volume of the music real loud, does anyone have any other ideas? I really, really appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks!

Re: Soundproofing ideas?

Posted by Ben Phenix at April 13. 2006

Soundproofing is actually a pretty difficult endeaver.

There are several aspects to sound proofing: mass, space, and damping.

Given you can't have 6 foot masses of concert installed, most sound proofing that really do a wideband job require two hard surfaces spaced apart ideally with some damping material between.

So for example: Two panes of glass with a few inches between them would be far better than blocks of glass for example. However, the key would be the ensuring that the windows were installed well; without gaps.

For homes, I'd recommend first starting with sealing up the area facing the school ground as well as possible. Eliminate gaps between windows and doors. If you actually are able to, high density fiberglass (sometimes called rigid fiberglass) and heavy vinyl sheeting within the walls would make a huge difference, again, sealing as best as possible. Other methods may include installing a heavy curtain (sound stage like). Best if it can go floor to ceiling as fit as possible.

Given childern noise are largely mid / high range sounds, dealing with the gaps first may net you a sizable improvement.

Re: Soundproofing ideas?

Posted by richierod at April 13. 2006

There are essentially two ways of soundproofing: mass and air.
1) Mass: Cinder blocks are a great way of sound proofing. Build your walls out of them. If that proves too expensive, for a stud wall you can make sandwiches out of drywall, sound-board then drywall. In a music studio I used to work in, we had double walls of this sandwich, and it was real quiet in there. However, you lose a lot of space with walls that are 4 thicker than normal. Some guys build these type of walls, then pour sand in the cavity between the exterior wall and the interior wall. Works great, but I wouldn't recommend it. (potential mess)
2) Air: Here, you de-couple the wall from the sound source. If your exterior wall is vibrating to the beautiful sounds of the marching band, then you want your interior wall to be still. How? You de-couple them, in other words, you create an air space between the two. This is what makes double-pane windows so much quieter than single. If you build with a 2x6 sill, and use 2x4's as studs alternating between the exterior and interior walls, you create two walls that are not touching each other. You are using twice the amount of wood, though, so this may not be considered inexpensive.
I would recommend any build a home studio book for great, inexpensive soundproofing ideas. None of them will be cheap. Cheap construction (standard costruction) is notorious for it's sound transmission.
And don't let someone tell you that resilient channel works. It doesn't.
Good Luck.


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