How do I sound proof a room?

Sound travels through air and it travels through the solid building materials that make up the structure of your room; i.e. the floor, ceiling and walls.

So first step, you need an air tight room.

However, you need air to breathe. So you need a ventilation system to get air into and out of the room, whilst at the same time reducing the sound transmitted through that ventilation system. For some ideas, we suggest you look at Ventilation Silencer - October 2010 

Next problem, you need to be able to get in and out of the room, so you need to make the door air tight. We suggest you look at Double Door Noise Lock - October 2010

You'll also need to ensure that all joins, wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-wall, and wall-to-ceiling are airtight using a product like Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant

Next step, you need to reduce the sound transmitted through the structure of your room; especially applicable to low frequency sound.

Adding mass helps. Note, however that to reduce sound transmitted by about 10dB, you have to quadruple the number of plasterboard layers on your wall. That's 4 layers on plasterboard on the inside of the stud and 4 layers on the outside; and, similar for the ceiling and floor.

Damping significantly reduces how much the wall, ceiling and floor resonates; the vibrations you feel when you put your hand on a surface near a loud sound source. You can significantly reduce the sound transmitted through the wall with damping; this is where Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound comes in. We suggest you watch the slide presentation to see how it works

Decoupling is valuable. Using double or staggered stud walls will reduce the sound transmitted through the studs. Green Glue Noiseproofing Clips will reduce the sound transmitted from the plasterboard to the stud. Decoupling also improves the effect of added mass, especially at low frequencies. 

Finally, absorption gives just a little more performance. You should add some fibreglass or polyester insulation to the cavity behind your walls, ceiling and floors as it helps to reduce the sound transmitted via air from the internal surface to the external surface. But note, it does very little on it's own.



Which sound proofing foam is best

This is a very common enquiry.

However, foam doesn't stop sound from passing through it, and will not significantly reduce sound escaping from a room. 

Learn more about soundproofing a room.

Enough foam will noticeably reduce the echo in a room, and improve the listening experience in the room 

Learn more about room acoustics.



How do we fix our noisy school hall?

We are often asked fix our noisy school hall without a huge budget?

What is worse? A school hall that's so noisy it can't be used for assemblies, music, drama, or phys-ed. Or, spending $30,000 on acoustic treatment that doesn't work.

Well we think both are just as bad and yet both can be easily avoided.

Using relatively simple acoustic measurements together with the Australian Standard 2107:2000 it is possible to determine what type and quantity of acoustic treatment is required.

We have a simple low cost system that is is designed to show you the most cost effective way of making your hall fully usable.



Why does it sound so bad in the board room?

Boardrooms and meeting rooms are commonly plagued by poor privacy and bad sound. They have lots of glass and hard flat surfaces, along with elements that defeat soundproofing like return-air door grilles, poor or non existent door seals, thin glass, uninsulated walls etc….

Are your meetings private? If you can hear the people outside it’s distracting, BUT... do you realise they can hear you too? Read about how to fix it...

Can you hear people in audio and video conferences? Whether it’s a local meeting or an A/V conference, SPEECH MUST BE CLEAR for it to work. Read about the basics...

It may seem painfully obvious that the object of talking to someone is for them to hear you, and hopefully understand you, but this simple and critical relationship is often defeated by the bad acoustics of the room.

Boardrooms are generally used for important meetings where people need to communicate effectively, privately, and with a minimum of distraction. For this to work (in fact, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a boardroom, meeting room, conference room or an office being used for a meeting), bad acoustics can make or break the entire meeting.