Homes are noisier than before because of the entertainment units, construction, and neighbors. The noise at home can drive someone crazy, especially if you want to relax after a long day at work.
Fortunately, the best soundproof insulation for home controls the waves. How so?
The insulation traps and absorbs sound waves when they pass the barriers.
Heavy materials are the best for sound insulation because they don’t vibrate. Sound absorption is also a crucial element in insulation but requires light, porous and loose materials.
There are several types of soundproofing home insulation, but fiberglass tops the list.
Because silence is golden, this guide helps you achieve it in your home. Read to the end.
How Does The Best Soundproof Insulation For A Home Work?
The best soundproof insulation for home works by adding mass. The masses limit the noise passing through a structure quickly.
Nonetheless, the most effective soundproofing solutions add the mass of different materials. This is essential since different materials block various sounds better than others.
Another effective process of sound insulation involves dampening the building. Usually, sound moves as a vibration when it hits a surface like a wall or a floor.
Thus, dampening the vibrations stops the sound from passing through buildings. So, the best way would be to start by dampening the structure and then adding suitable mass.
Types of Noise
We live in a noisy world from different sources. But, what is noise?
In simple terms, noise is displeasing and unnecessary sound. Usually, people consider noise as the sound that interrupts their actions.
For example, being on a phone call and your child is watching a cartoon on the highest volume. The cartoon volume, in this case, is the noise interrupting the phone call. Got it? Let’s move on.
Everywhere around consists of thousands of noises. Most importantly, the noise and frequency are the major bothering factors.
Typically, a person’s hearing range is between 20 and 20,000 Hz. It’s also susceptible to sounds at the range of 1000 Hz.
The best soundproofing insulation improves comfort and health. The types of noise are:
- Airborne Sound: It’s the noise that travels through the air. For example, dogs barking, vehicles honking, and conversations.
- Impact Sound: This is noise from the contact of two or more things. Glass crushing, toys falling or even people walking are types of impact sound.
- Flanking Noise: Noise travels under and over the sound barrier. Because nature travels in all directions, it’s hard to control flanking noise.
Types of Soundproof Insulation
Insulating your home provides a wide range of products. Yet, you need to consider only a few types of insulators.
So, let’s review the types of insulation below and how important they are to your home.
This is a blanket type of insulation that comes in rolls. Batt insulation is as wide as the distance between the ceiling, floor, and wall.
Still, the thickness is from one to several inches thick making it easy to find the right one.
Remarkably, the batt is rectangular hence effortless to install without any customization. But, if you need to cut out some areas, factor in the base material as it can affect the performance.
Fiberglass is the best type of batt insulation due to its durability and fire resistance. Additionally, it’s very rigid and requires a saw for any cutouts.
Remember to wear protective gear since the glass particles can enter your eyes and nose.
Conversely, mineral wool falls under batt insulation. Aside from fiberglass, it also comprises ceramic-based and slag insulation.
So, always verify the materials in the products before buying or using them.
Moreover, batt insulation can either be synthetic or natural. The cotton batts are eco-friendly since they are a product of recycled clothing.
Besides, they also trap airborne sounds better than cellulose and fiberglass. But when it comes to fire resistance, mineral wool is the best option.
Foam Spray Insulation
Polyurethane foam spray insulation is ideal for strangely-shaped areas. Still, it’s easy to use it insulating an enclosed wall or hollow doors without demolishing.
The experts recommend using liquid foam insulation with spray containers. Still, some people use pressure sprayers for a more extensive insulation area.
Bear in mind that the two methods of application use different foam formulas.
Foam spray insulation also expands to fill the cavity and hardens when curing. In the case of an irregular-shaped hole, liquid foam that cures gradually would be perfect.
In the end, you get very rigid insulation. Yet, it’s light enough to cut through with a serrated knife if you need to shape around the fixtures on the wall.
It feels great to have soundproof insulation for the space needing it, right?
But, liquid foam spray insulation has several drawbacks. For instance, it lacks a thermal barrier.
So, you need to add more mass on top of the cured foam to make it fire-resistant.
At first, blown insulation and foam spray insulation appear similar. Blown insulation is also excellent for irregular-shaped surfaces. But, it has a looser structure than foam spray.
Blown insulation is ideal for pouring on existing walls rather than new ones. Why? New walls have lumps that would make the insulation not stay.
Understanding blown insulation is simple in two ways. Firstly, you can pour or blow it onto the insulation area. Secondly, it features fiberglass, cellulose, or mineral rock.
However, this case doesn’t come in rolls or rectangular batts but chunks.
Insulation Panels and Boards
The rigid insulation boards and panels are applicable on interior and exterior walls. Usually, they come as Styrofoam, polyurethane, or polyisocyanurate.
Also, the firm structure is excellent to use on ceilings, floors, and low-slope roofs. Even so, the thin and light nature works perfectly for insulation purposes.
Even though they are fireproof, it’s not enough. You have to add a layer of gypsum board, preferably half-inch over the insulation board.
For exterior walls, a weather-resistant coating would be perfect.
How Should You Choose The Best Soundproof Insulation?
There’s more to the types of soundproof insulation. Choosing the right type involves other factors.
See below what you should keep in mind for a great choice.
Sometimes, it’s hard to discern the soundproofing effects since they feel the same. At first, installing panels or using spray foams is effective right away.
However, the effect fades over time as the user becomes used to the change. So what to do?
Using a rating system offers accurate solutions to the effectiveness of soundproofing material.
Sound Transmission Class is a method for rating sound isolation. STC uses numbers to determine how something blocks noise and sound. So, higher numbers are a good result.
Conversely, Noise Reduction Coefficient shows the way a product absorbs sounds.
NRC works from 0-1, with 1 as the most effective. These ratings are perfect for describing the effectiveness of a panel or curtain.
The average cost for a wall of soundproof insulation ranges from $1,000 to-2,500.
Generally, different factors determine the cost of each type of insulation. Most importantly, the size of the insulation area affects the price majorly.
Furthermore, factors like aesthetics and design can increase the price. When there’s a need for a renovation, the cost also increases.
So, it would help to decide what’s essential and desirable. For example, a music studio must install complete soundproofing hence a larger budget.
But, if you need just the silence from a barking dog, a small budget would be suitable.
Installation is another vital factor in choosing the ideal type of soundproof insulation. Here’s how.
If you are not the handy type, panels and curtains are comfortable choices. Still, if you like to DIY, you can take out the drywall and install soundproof insulation.
Overall, insulator panels and boards are the most effortless to install. The soundproof paint is also straightforward but effective on top of other types.
Furthermore, the most challenging is the wall insulation methods. But they are very effective if there’s an ongoing project.
Generally, the best soundproofing materials need effortless installation. Yet, some types of insulation use specialized equipment or techniques.
Additional features make the best soundproof insulation stand out from the rest. The extra features can top up the convenience or even the cost. For instance;
- Insulation: The best soundproofing materials have an insulation role. Insulation minimizes the high need for air-conditioning or heat in a space. In older homes without insulation, mineral wool would help reduce the utility bills.
- Light control: Some types of soundproofing like panels and curtains control light. Here’s how. Panels limit the light from reflecting in the room while the curtains block light from coming in.
- Moisture control: Flooring underlayment also avoids moisture from soaking up on the floor.
- Fire resistance: Mineral wool also acts as fire-resistant. Plus, some brands can endure extreme temperatures of 1,000 degrees Celsius.
Which Is The Best Material To Absorb Sound?
The best material to absorb sound is fiberglass and blown-in cellulose. Aside from outstanding durability, both materials have excellent performance.
They feature desired noise-reducing properties that homeowners are now seeking.
What Can I Put On Walls To Absorb Sound?
You can put thick blankets, quilts, and tapestries to your walls for sound absorption.
Generally, any soft material helps, but the thicker ones absorb more sound.
How Long Do You Need To Soundproof A Room?
It takes about a week to soundproof a room. But, it depends on the size of the job. For instance, an ordinary wall of 10 x 8 won’t take long.
The best soundproof insulation for a home requires adding quality and suitable materials. Aside from maintaining good sound levels, the insulation also balances the home’s temperature.
Remember, some types of noise are hard to solve, especially if you share a wall, floor, or ceiling with a neighbor. It would be expensive to demolish and install soundproof insulation.
In such cases, the best way would be to approach your neighbor with your complaints. If you have a positive relationship, it would be easier to achieve reduced noise and peace.
Above all, enjoy the silence.