In this article we delve into the proper methods of decoupling and the hands on installing. We will begin with an introduction to how decoupling works. Sound travels through any uninterrupted path . Think about tapping a metal rod and feeling the vibrations at the other end.This creates a soundproofing dilemma being that most structures are attached at some point. consider the typical wood stud wall after putting insulation in the walls you then screw the drywall into the studs. Even if for arguments sake we will say that the insulation will absorb all the sound (which is not really the case) that is only good for the open areas in the bay that have insulation. However there is still a connection of drywall to stud to drywall with no insulation in between. In walks one of our five steps in noise reduction “decoupling”, which is the process of breaking the connection of the walls, usually accomplished by separating the drywall from the wall or ceiling joists.
Enter the decoupling process. Decoupling is the process of separating the drywall from the joists. That can be done either on the walls or ceilings, which is named in the soundproofing lingo a “Floating Wall” or a “Floating Ceiling”. For a simple decoupling effect you can use standard resilient channels. There is one major drawback to this which is called “short circuit” this occurs when the fastener (screw) goes through the channel and into the stud. Anyone watching the installation of drywall onto resilient channel will be able to see this with his naked eye. It is estimated that there are over 16 shot circuits in an 4×8 sheet. Additionally there is a very important sound proofing principle that needs to be pointed out that most people are unaware off. That is the advantage of resilience that a wall attains when it is mounted onto channels. Thus the term resilient Channels. That means that if we can give some flexibility and bounce to a wall we will gain a tremendous amount of noise reduction properties. The reason for that being that the more rigid a building membrane is the easier it vibrates and the easier the sound gets passed on. Stay tuned for a continuation of this and other soundproofing articles.