Let’s try to keep it quiet!

September 10, 2014

How Decoupling Works – Part 1

Filed under: Soundproofing Elements — Deborah Dera @ 7:53 am

What are the correct methods of decoupling and hands on installing? Let’s check out first how decoupling works.

Sounds will travel through an uninterrupted path. Have you ever tapped a metal rod and felt the vibrations at the other end? Most structures are attached at some point, creating a soundproofing dilemma.

A typical wood stud wall is created with insulation in the walls followed by attaching drywall to the studs with screws. The insulation doesn’t really absorb sound, but if it did, it would only do so for the open areas in the room that have insulation in the walls. There is still space in the walls — where the studs are located and the drywall is connected — with no insulation at all.

Decoupling is noise reduction by the process of breaking that connection of walls and is usually accomplished by separated drywall from the wall or ceiling joists. In soundproofing lingo, this will be called a “floating wall” or a “floating ceiling.”

You can use standard resilient channels for a simple decoupling effect. The biggest drawback to this, though, is called “shot circuit.” This occurs when the screw or other fastener goes through the channel and right into the stud.

If you ever watch drywall installation onto resilient channel, you can see this shot circuit with your naked eye. It is estimated that there are more than 16 shot circuits in a standard 4×8 sheet.

Where does the term “resilient channel” come from? The resilience that is attained by a wall when it is mounted onto channels is the basis for the term. In short, this means that if we are able to give some flexibility and bounce to a wall, we can gain a tremendous amount of noise reduction. Keep in mind that a rigid structure or wall is more prone to vibration. Vibration allows sound to transfer much more easily.

Keep checking back here as we will be talking more about soundproofing and offering tips and tricks to help you quiet things down in your home.

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