Sound Transmission Reduction

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 14 seconds

Sound transmission characteristics

As a professional remodeler,Levco is asked to fix many kinds of house problems. Over the years this is where much of the challenge and joy comes form for us. Discovering clever ways to solve the problems gives a sense of accomplishment that inspires us to be creative. Here is how we approached and ultimately solved our latest challenge.

Where to begin?

I began with a definition: Sound is defined as a vibration in an elastic medium, that is, any material (air, water, physical object) that returns to its normal state after being deflected by an outside force such as a sound vibration.

The more elastic a substance, the better it can conduct sound. Lead, for instance, is very inelastic and therefore a poor sound conductor. Steel, on the other hand, is highly elastic, making it an excellent conductor of sound. Sound travels not only in a straight path from its source but also bounces off partitions, bends around barriers and squeezes through small openings, all of which can allow noise to reach surprisingly far beyond its point of origin.

Do the research first

Floor ceiling assembly

When ever we approach situations that are technical and we want to accomplish a certain goal such as sound reduction we do the research. Occasionally a supplier or vendor is as far as we need to go . The internet has been amazing too.

We usually end up with a few options, narrowing down the options has to do with finding the balance between cost vs value, time, and quality. Once a plan is agreed upon we simply use the materials with the manufacturers suggested installation techniques so that we can stand behind our work.

In this case, sound transmissions between upper and lower apartments is the problem. There are building code requirements that address fire and sound for new construction, but this home was built in the early 1900’s. Our research turned up many products available claiming to reduce transmissions dramatically, like sound blankets and Quietrock , the materials we chose were readily available, easy to install, promised good results, and relatively inexpensive. USG

Securing the Rock to RC-1

the manufacturer of Drywall and Resilient Channel has provided us with drawings, test results, and materials to accomplish the best practices that we are following.

In most applications the wall or ceiling surface diaphragm (e.g. drywall panels) contacts the framing members and provides an uninterrupted path for sound travel.

Our goal is to interrupted by mounting the surface diaphragm to resilient channels RC-1 attached to the ceiling joists perpendicularly and placing sound insulation inside the partition cavity then installing 5/8 ” drywall (to create a one hour fire wall) making sure not to screw into the joists.

Decoupling sounds sad

This process called decoupling was our plan to fix this ceiling and floor assembly to reduce sound transmission. Although we do not have acoustic testing equipment to prove it, nor the option of using several products to compare results, our crude testing IE: loud radio, yelling, and stomping tests satisfy everyone that we improved the situation dramatically and our fix was very successful.

Bonus Round Questions?

  1. What are some other cool sound reduction things you have tried?
  2. Tell me a sound reduction success story and explain your strategies.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.

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