With Hotel travelers leaving and checking hotel reviews on the web it has become of utmost importance for hotels to give their guests a pleasurable relaxing stay. Cleanliness, friendly staff, new decor and lately a quiet room has become the standards that guests look out for. Indeed, of all the complaints that guests have about hotels, noise continues to top the list, according to a recent guest satisfaction survey by J. D. Power and Associates (See this NYT Article and readers comments)
Hotels sometimes do not realize the importance of applying sound control between rooms, hallways and floors during the construction process. Once the beautiful hotel is finished and the noise complaints start coming in it is frustrating and very difficult, not to mention expensive to correct the problems.
Some Hotel owners rely on the architectural plans, however those are usually out dated using old techniques (e.g insulation and soundboard) or newer materials that have not been field proven. Meaning that a company can show STC ratings of a product however it requires a real soundproofing professional to be able to discern just how these tests were run and how much these materials actually helped out. (Remember that architects cannot be expected to be experts on every product in the building process, with thousands of components being used in the construction process they have to rely heavily on manufacturers data).
There are many pro active Hotel Owners/Builders who do their own research. We have worked with many of them. From the Four Points in Niagara to the Las Vegas Suites in Panama, From the Marriott in Massachusetts to the Pelham in Louisiana and many more. Every building and every existing structure requires its own analysis and solution. First we will present you with a straight to the point "How To" on new construction soundproofing for hotels and then we will delve into more details.
- Floors - For a wood built structure. Use two Subfloors during framing (on the deck, before framing of the walls begin) with Green Glue Damping Compound applied between the 2 layers. This is one of the best techniques you can do for controlling sound between floors.
- Ceilings - On The ceiling below use resilient sound clips like Whisper Clips with Hat Channel and hang 2 layers of drywall on the channels (luxury hotels should add another layer of Green Glue between these 2 layers).
- Walls between rooms/hallways - Consider framing a double wall (completely not touching each other) between all rooms. If cost or space is an issue than use resilient sound clips on one side of the wall. Cover all outlets with an acoustical pad. Fill the cavity with Thick Fiberglass insulation, use 2 layers of 5/8" thick drywall on both sides with Green Glue Damping Compound in between the layers. Seal the perimeter of the walls with acoustical caulk. (you will be spending half the money and getting a much better soundproof wall using this method).
- Walls to the outside - Insulation, double drywall with Green Glue in between.
- Doors - One of the biggest problems. Install solid core heavy doors. Seal around door frame before door moldings are installed. An Automatic Door Bottom and proper Door Gaskets is a must to stop sound from rooms to hallways.
- Windows - Not as important unless the hotel faces a busy road. You can install 2 sets of windows one in front of the other leaving as large an air space between them as possible. Install double pane windows with laminate glass. windows should be sealed properly before moldings are put up. You can have a window covering that guest can close on their own.