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What Is the Triple Leaf Effect and How Does It Affect Sound?

August 21, 2020

If you’re looking into soundproofing walls, floors and ceilings for a commercial or at-home DIY project, you’ve likely seen the “triple leaf effect” mentioned. But what exactly is it, and how does it affect soundproofing?

What Causes the Triple Leaf Effect?

When people talk about a “leaf” in a wall, they’re referring to a solid layer of drywall. A single leaf wall has one sheet of drywall with no air cavity, while a double leaf wall has two leaves of drywall with one air cavity between them. A triple leaf wall has three leaves with two air cavities between them.

You might assume that the triple leaf wall would be ideal for soundproofing because there’s more solid mass for sound to penetrate. Because the air cavities between the drywall leaves are small, however, they actually make it easier for sound to travel — especially sound at lower frequencies.

Why Is the Triple Leaf Effect Bad for Sound?

The practice of leaving air space between drywall leaves is known as decoupling, and it’s meant to make it more difficult for sound to pass through walls. Decoupling works best when the air cavities between the leaves are large for better sound absorption. The small air cavities typically found in triple leaf walls act like springs for sound and create resonance. Resonance must be as low as possible for effective soundproofing, and to achieve low resonance, you need a deep air space with a large mass on either side.

At any given size and mass, triple leaf walls will always have a higher resonance point than double leaf walls. As a result, you’ll always get a lower level of sound isolation with triple leaf walls, particularly at lower frequencies.

How Can I Avoid the Triple Leaf Effect?

When you’re soundproofing your walls, avoid the triple leaf design, which typically involves smaller spaces and drywall leaves that are more lightweight. The double leaf design is the most effective for soundproofing, so choose it whenever possible.

Contact Soundproof Cow for All Your Soundproofing Needs

At Soundproof Cow, we make it easy for you to find exactly what you require to complete your soundproofing projects. Whether you need to soundproof a door or an entire building, we can help. We have everything from acoustic sound panels to sound isolation systems to acoustic foam and many other products and solutions for DIY and commercial soundproofing. Choose us for our:

  • Free acoustics analysis: We will inspect your space and provide you with a free acoustics analysis with solution recommendations.
  • “No Bull” discounts: We offer high-quality, American-made products at prices you can afford. Look for our “No Bull” stamp of approval to find products with the deepest discounts.
  • 100% customer satisfaction guarantee: When you shop with us, you can trust that you’ll receive the very best products and customer service. If you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase, we’ll do everything we can to make it right.

For more information about how we can moooove you toward the sound you want, contact us today.