Let’s try to keep it quiet!

November 18, 2009

Testing for STC

Filed under: — admin @ 5:45 am

No matter what type of soundproofing project you plan to embark on you’ll want to learn a little bit about the common phrases and tests used on large soundproofing projects, especially if you live or work in an area where you stand a chance of violating a noise ordinance if your soundproofing project isn’t done correctly.

STC stands for sound transmission class. The STC of a building determines how easy it is to hear sound through a barrier, like a wall, floor, or ceiling. There are 6 main classifications for STC and they fall into the following ranges:

  • 20 – 25 is a very poor STC. Even low speech can be heard through the sound barrier
  • 25 – 30 is considered poor because normal speech can usually be heard
  • 30 – 35 is considered fair. Someone would have to speak loudly to be heard
  • 35 – 40 is believed to be good. You can hear loud speech through a barrier but you can’t understand it.
  • 40 – 50 is very good, whereas you can faintly hear that loud speech exists
  • 50 – 60 is considered excellent and with this rating you can barely hear loud sounds through a barrier

So what do these numbers mean to you? A couple of things. The first is that the better your soundproofing materials and technique the higher your STC rating will be. The higher your STC rating, the less likely you are to disturb your neighbors or break any of the aforementioned ordinances if you have a home theater or recording studio in your home or business establishment.

So what are some ways of ensuring your STC is relatively high? Use high-quality soundproofing materials, like Green Glue, acoustical caulk, and gasket tape when soundproofing a room. Make sure that the materials you are using can block low sounds (like bass drums or male voices) as well as higher pitched sounds (like female voices or telephone rings).

Take a trip around the outside of your home or building and listen to the sounds within. While a professional sound consultant can tell you what STC level you are at for certain, you should be able to get a general idea of where you stand by listening to the sounds you hear yourself. What STC level does the room you need to soundproof earn right now?

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