Even if you live in a quiet neighborhood, laundry and dishwashers, hair dryers and even showers can make your house a noisy place. If you work at home, you know how important a quiet environment is, especially when the kids are enjoying that fabulous new home theater. So what’s the best way to keep sound from going where you don’t want it? You can absorb it, block it, break it or isolate it.
Absorption dampens sound waves by converting them into weaker energy. Fiberglass batt insulation inside interior partitions actually converts sound to heat. Carpets, upholstered furniture, and acoustical ceilings also help with sound absorption in large open areas.
Blocking sound requires a barrier with enough mass to stop the air movement caused by airborne sound waves. You can block noise by using acoustical caulk in all gaps, double drywall, concrete walls and even lead sheeting.
Breaking the path of the sound means removing the point of contact between the inside and outside so sound doesn’t reverberate through the structure.
Acoustic wall studs or a layer of foam under flooring allow the inner surface to float and isolate the noise. Even if you’re not building a recording studio in your garage, there are lots of reasons to consider noise control.