How to Soundproof a Living Room
Are you having issues with noise outside of your residence or inside your living room? Whether it be a tractor trailer rolling past your house at 5 AM, young children screaming outside while you are trying to rest, or even a family member talking in the adjacent room, unwelcome noises can cause havoc for any family. If this is the case, maybe a soundproofing home improvement is the renovation you need.
Concepts behind Soundproofing
Noise transmission is where the sound comes from and how it travels, and noise reception is who receives the sound. Low frequency sounds travel further than high frequency as it is better able to travel around barriers. Sounds can either be structure-borne or airborne. Structure-borne sounds are transmitted via the building itself, whereas airborne sounds transmit through the air. Sound-proofing a room typically tries to address both of these types of unwanted sounds.
Knowing how much mass will be in between you and the sound transmitter matters before you start your renovation. The more mass there is, the more likely that the sound is going to be partially absorbed and you will in turn, hear less of said sound. For example, if after you complete your renovation you have thicker walls, you will hear less of the unwanted sounds.
Passive Absorption Soundproofing
A simple soundproofing addition is a rug on the floor that absorbs more of the sound waves. It has been shown that rugs and other foam-like materials can reduce sound waves by up to 10 decibels if strategically placed.
If you are working to soundproof a music or rehearsal room, a more complex soundproofing method is to add soundproof panels made from Styrofoam or other foamy materials behind the walls, floor and above the ceiling. Using mineral wool insulation or acoustic foam is a form of passive absorption soundproofing, as sound waves must bounce around many times within the material before they are able to escape. Each time they bounce, they lose a portion of their energy, making the sound more and more muffled.
To add soundproofing to walls, in addition to adding passive absorption soundproofing the basic idea is to add mass. Some materials can virtually deaden the amount of sound that passes through them. You can even add mass to your room which will absorb even more of the initial transmitted sound waves. Large bookcases and bureaus do a reasonable job in this situation, as well as concrete items.
If you have a larger budget for your renovation, you can add a double wall or ceiling. This will create additional space between you and the transmitter, trap the sound in the gap and dissolve it, so you hear less of it. Adding double glazing windows uses this principle, and can drastically reduce noise entering the room from outside.
A soundproofing home improvement renovation project is a viable option to reduce noise in your living room. For all home renovation projections, ensure that you employ the services of a qualified home improvement contractor like Heilman Renovations.