A new construction project is always an exciting time. Whether you’re building a new home, store or something else, you’ll be able to look at the finished project and take pride in what you’ve created.
Once you complete your construction project, you don’t want to discover after the fact that your neighbors can hear everything that happens inside your building. Whether it be business discussions, music or casual conversation, they might hear it and file a noise complaint.
Fortunately, there’s a simple way to avoid this issue — soundproof the building. Soundproofing your building during the construction phase helps keep sounds inside so they won’t bother the neighbors.
Benefits of Soundproofing During Construction Phase
There are several benefits to soundproofing a building during the construction phase. Firstly, it’s more efficient and cost-effective to soundproof as you’re building. Soundproofing after the building is done may require cutting open the walls, pulling up the floors or otherwise undoing your work in order to lay soundproofing material. When you soundproof during the construction phase, you’re able to work as you go and finish with the building.
Secondly, soundproofing during the construction phase allows you to design and update your soundproofing plan as you build. If your building will have many windows, for example, you can plan in advance to compensate when you soundproof the ceiling and floors.
How to Soundproof Your Building
Now that you know the benefits of soundproofing during the construction phase, you may be eager to start. There are three different points from which you can soundproof the building — the ceiling, the floor and the walls. Each point has different methods of soundproofing which work together to minimize the sound that escapes from the room.
Ceiling Soundproofing During New Construction
Soundproofing the ceiling is particularly important if your building will have multiple functional stories. Soundproofing your ceiling will prevent upper-level occupants from bothering residents on lower floors. There are several steps involved in soundproofing a ceiling:
- Insulation: A thick layer of insulation helps regulate your building’s internal temperature and muffle sounds. You can achieve this effect with standard insulation materials, such as fiberglass or mineral wool. You can also purchase special sound-canceling insulation for even greater soundproofing. Whatever material you choose, make sure it’s snugly packed between the ceiling joists.
- Sound barrier: Sound barriers create a layer between the insulation and the ceiling layer, helping to disperse sound.
- Sound clips: Sound clips prop up the ceiling layer over the insulation and sound barriers, further dispersing sounds before they can travel through the ceiling. Vibration isolation clips will also help deaden sounds on impact.
Floor Soundproofing During New Construction
Much like ceiling soundproofing, soundproofing a floor is important if your building has multiple functional stories. Soundproofing your floors will prevent you from bothering lower-floor occupants. There are several methods for soundproofing your floors:
- Underlayment: A floor underlayment is a layer of material placed under the floor. Similar to insulation placed in walls or ceilings, the purpose of this material is to dampen sounds. Underlayment can be laid during construction, though you can also place it under pre-existing floors. While there are several different types of underlayment, one of the best choices is two layers of subfloor with a noise-canceling compound sandwiched between them.
- Joist isolators: You can place joint isolators under your floor during construction. These materials isolate sounds and deaden them before they travel through your floors.
- Materials: Different flooring materials cancel sound better than others. For example, you may like the look of hardwood floors, but they become warped and creaky over time. Choosing your flooring material with soundproofing in mind can help cut down on soundproofing costs further down the line. Note that underlayments can cut down on the age-induced noise increase that comes with some floor types.
- Rugs: If you’re serious about soundproofing your floors, rugs or carpeting are a must-have. While thick fibers are better at blocking out sounds, any material will work to an extent, especially when paired with other soundproofing methods.
Wall Soundproofing During New Construction
Soundproofing the walls is most important if you have close neighbors. It’ll prevent them from hearing your noises and help you avoid hearing their own. However, walls can also be among the most difficult parts of the house to soundproof due to entry points like doors and windows. Keep these tips in mind when soundproofing your walls:
- Insulation: A thick layer of insulation around the wall joists can help to muffle the sounds that pass through. You can get a traditional insulator, such as fiberglass, or use a specially designed sound-canceling insulation material. Make sure your walls are thickly lined and fill all unnecessary spaces to maximize your soundproofing.
- Wall clips: Sound clips placed inside the wall during construction can help control sounds. Installing them on your own can be complicated, so consider seeking professional help to do so.
- Electrical outlets: There are several natural weak spots in walls where errant sounds can pass through, including electrical outlets. While sealing up the entire outlet isn’t an option, you can partially seal them with specially made boxes or putty pads.
- Doors: Doors are another place where sounds can leak through your walls. Soundproofing a door can be difficult, as sealing it completely would make it impossible to open. However, you can make sure the door is made of a sturdy, sound-blocking material, and use door sliders or other removable sealers to minimize sounds.
- Windows: Windows present another soundproofing challenge. While you can simply choose to include fewer windows in your walls while building, this choice may make spaces feel more cramped. To soundproof windows, use a thick, strong glass that helps block out sounds or specially soundproofed glass.
Purchase Soundproofing Materials
Soundproofing a building during the construction process is an efficient way to minimize the sounds coming from your building. You’re able to create and update your soundproofing plan as you go. With new construction soundproofing, you’ll be able to finish the soundproofing with the rest of the project, saving you the trouble of installing new materials once you’ve completed the building.
If you need materials to soundproof your construction project, choose Soundproof Cow. We offer a solutions-based approach to soundproofing and acoustics, ensuring that you can find the right products for your project. Browse our online shop and see what products work best for you, or contact us today to sign up for our newsletter!