Everyone’s heard of insulating their home. It’s an important thing to do for one’s heating, cooling and general energy costs. What about other kinds of costs like peace of mind? Noise can ruin peace and tranquility. Noise or sound is a kind of energy that needs to be contained as well for the sake of others. Just as for heating, there is insulation for that too. There are many products available for sound insulation or “soundproofing insulation” that covers a whole range of products including attic insulation, wall coverings, ceiling tiles and spray foam.
Attic sound-proofing insulation is much like thermal insulation in that it goes in the same place between the rafters in the attic. One can use it as the first energy barrier for thermal insulation as a thin layer geared to reduce noise. On top of this one can then add thermal insulation on top. Some, if not most, thermal insulation doubles as sound proofing since it too uses the same principle of not allowing energy to use solid areas as a conductor of heat or sound energy. Once the top layer is sound proof, it is time to deal with the walls. There are many products for the walls including piece-by-piece tiles or foam matting that is put up in larger pieces. In most cases, some kind of adhesive is used to attach it firmly to the wall. There are a wide variety of thicknesses and shapes available including a number of decorative styles. For serious applications (e.g., a recording studio) there are “dragon teeth” foam rubber products that reduce sound energy to near zero. Having done the walls, if there are still doubts about sound going through the ceiling, ceiling tiles a can be affixed to the ceiling with adhesive of hung on metal bracket grids similar to fluorescent lighting installations common in office environments. Both wall sound insulation tiles or mats and ceiling tiles work in the same manner. They provide small pockets or little “sound traps” that let the sound energy in but don’t let it out.
When all the attic insulation, tiles and wall coverings are done, there may still be cracks that allow sound to pass through. Spray foams can come to the rescue. Spray foams usually come in an aerosol that squeezes out a stream of wet foam that hardens into a formidable dried foam. It is used to fill cracks where tiles and other insulation leave gaps. It is the finishing touch and adds that little extra to keep things quiet.