Let’s try to keep it quiet!

May 23, 2009

Soundproofing After Construction

Filed under: — admin @ 5:28 am

So you built or purchased a house and now have a need for a soundproof room. Maybe you have a teenager in need of his or her own space – or a baby who needs a quiet place to rest. Is the washer or dryer insanely loud, or would you like to fulfill your dream of having your own recording studio in the house?

Regardless of your reasoning, it’s important for you to recognize that soundproofing a room in a home that has already been constructed is sometimes a bit more difficult than soundproofing a room as it is being built. It will take more time, will cost more, and may not be quite as effective but if you are dedicated to the project no one will ever know the difference. You have three options to choose from.

Removing the Drywall

Start your project by conducting a survey of the area you want to improve. Your first step will be to remove the drywall from the wall you want to soundproof, so you’ll need to choose which side of the wall to remove. It’s important to choose the side that will give you the most space to work with but at the same time you’ll want to cause as little damage to your house as possible.

Once the wall is removed you can install any of a number of soundproofing materials. You may opt to fill the wall with fiberglass insulation or, in many cases, use a substance such a Green Glue to cover the area. Don’t be afraid to apply gasket tape to the joints inside the wall while you’re there as well. Once you have installed the insulation you’ll need to add a new layer of drywall and seal any cracks with some sort of acoustic caulk.

Cut Holes in the Drywall

Maybe removing a wall completely is too much work or inconvenience for you. If this is the case you may be better off simply cutting some holes in the drywall near the ceiling inside the room you need to soundproof.

Once you’ve cut the holes in the drywall you’ll need to purchase either expandable foam or a cellulose base insulation. The store where you purchase the material should be able to rent you a machine you can use to blow the material into the wall. When you’re finished you’ll only have to patch and repair the holes you made instead of replacing the drywall altogether.

Hang Wall Coverings

Perhaps removing or cutting through your drywall isn’t exactly what you had in mind when it comes to soundproofing your home. If this is the case you may want to look into adding wall coverings over top of the walls you have already. Wall coverings come in the form of panels, matting, drapes, and even vibration barriers.

You will, of course, pay more for wall coverings because they’re “finished” to look nice inside your room. Sometimes, however, the price is worth the convenience.

Deciding to soundproof a room in a completely constructed home is not a difficult task and will still have a significant impact on the STC of the room you choose to treat. You need to carefully assess your situation and have patience. In the end you’ll be glad you made the choice to soundproof your condo.

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