A guide to soundproofing material
When it comes to choosing the right soundproofing material there are a few key things to consider
- Mass – the mass of the soundproofing material is one of the key factors determining its value as a sound blocker. The more mass a material has, the better it will block sound
- Available space – in most soundproofing scenarios, the available thickness of the wall/floor/ceiling etc. will be limited. Compromising on thickness against performance is often required (a 10m thick concrete wall would be perfect, but of course, not practical)
- Ease of installation – considering going into existing walls, building new walls or adding mass to the current wall (or floor, ceiling etc.) is also an important consideration. There are a range of soundproofing systems suitable for all scenarios
How to choose the right material
The system you choose will influence the material decision. Here are some of the main soundproofing systems we work with on a daily basis:
Walls and Ceiling Soundproofing:
Isolation and acoustic plasterboard
This system involves the use of resilient bars and isolation clips which decouple the existing wall from a new ‘wall’ attached to it. Performance of this system is excellent and involves attaching the clip and channel grid to the existing wall or onto batons placed on the wall, with acoustic plasterboard on top. Plasterboard can be double layered and have a mass barrier in between to add to performance
Sometimes, an acoustic underlay will suffice in adding enough impact and airborne sound insultation onto a floor, especially where the ceiling below has been treated. When this is not the case, the use of high density flooring is an excellent choice. There are direct-to-joist and overlay options. Direct to joist are perfect in conversions and new builds, but if there is already boarding down, the overlay options works equally well.
- Plasterboard: density is higher than standard plasterboard, and when used with a mass barrier, adds extra soundproofing protect for walls and ceilings
- Mass barrier: A thin layer of dense material adhered between plasterboard or inside partitions to aide in the blocking of airborne sound
- Isomax Clip and Channel: A resilient bar system for isolation walls and ceilings from new plasterboards etc. The air gap and isolation improves acoustic performance
- Underlay: Often made of recycled rubber and cork, acoustic underlays offer added performance to systems or work well on their own when they meet performance criteria. Acoustic underlays are made of different materials and come in different thicknesses; because of this they have different qualities in blocking airborne and impact sound. Make sure the undelay you choose suits the needs of the project. You can always ask us for advice.
Whatever your soundproofing needs, contact us today for help creating the ideal system. We have expertise on hand to guide on products, price, quantities and expected performance.
For further guidance, visit the HSE website to discover more on workplace noise issues and the law surrounding it