How Sound Insulation Can Make Your Home a Quieter Place to Live

Noises such as neighbors mowing the lawn, kids playing and loud music can make it difficult to relax in your home. Outside noises such as dogs barking, airplanes and nearby traffic can also disturb your home life. Good sound insulation reduces these noisy interruptions and makes your home a quieter place to live.

The two main types of sound insulation are absorption and dampening. Absorption involves using acoustically “dead” materials that are very dense and heavy so they cannot vibrate and transmit acoustic energy. Dampening, on the other hand, involves sealing and absorbing acoustic energy through gaps and cracks that would normally let sound leak.

Insulating Against Noise: Understanding Sound Insulation

Most sound insulation products are rated according to the amount of noise they prevent from passing through walls and floors, with a number called a Sound Transmission Class (STC). This rating indicates how much a particular construction material reduces the transfer of airborne sound. It is measured over a range of frequencies, so it is important to select the right product for your needs.

For acoustic insulation in new buildings, the best choice is mineral wool. This is made up of a series of small, interlocking, cylindrical fibers that have the effect of a sponge and are very effective at blocking acoustic energy.

Another natural alternative to mineral wool is cork, which has a natural ability to block acoustic energy. This is due to the phellem layer of the cork oak tree’s bark tissue, which is fire proof, elastic and impermeable.