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What Is Decoupling?

December 06, 2019

When it comes to the science of soundproofing, decoupling is an important concept to know. Decoupling is the process of separating two parts of a wall for the purpose of inhibiting vibration transmission and blocking loud noises from traveling across the wall.

Noise occurs when sound waves hit a solid object, like a wall. This vibratory sound easily transfers between connected objects. If sound waves hit one side of a wall, they have no trouble traveling to the other side and creating unwanted noise.

How to Decouple a Wall

Ways to Decouple a Wall

Decoupling a wall helps reduce the amount of sound that travels across walls in your building. Most walls are constructed by connecting two pieces of drywall by a single stud. In these cases, any vibratory noise travels through the stud to the other side.

In a decoupled or staggered stud wall, each piece of drywall connects to the wall material with its own stud. The studs do not connect, so the vibratory noise does not have a conduit to travel through the wall. Instead, it travels through its own stud and stops at the interior wall material.

To improve the soundproofing properties of your construction, you want your walls to be decoupled. The three most popular options for decoupling a wall include:

  • Create a double stud wall: Build one single-stud wall, allow for a space and then put another single stud wall next to it. This is a highly effective method, as the air gap makes it nearly impossible for vibratory noise to pass between the walls.
  • Configure a staggered stud wall: Use a wider sill plate and stagger the studs so none of the studs touch both sides of the wall.
  • Use resilient clips and a hat channel: This method helps absorb any vibrations directed at the drywall.

To block both high-frequency and low-frequency sounds, we recommend adding mass to the wall to improve its sound dampening ability. Adding the right soundproofing insulation or other soundproofing materials to the interior will help protect you from noise.

Get Your Free Acoustic Analysis From Soundproof Cow

Whether you want to soundproof your home or a new construction, rely on the team at Soundproof Cow. We make it easy to shop for acoustic panels, acoustic decoupling materials, soundproofing foam and other solutions with complete confidence. That’s because we are committed to 100% customer satisfaction – if something isn’t right, we’ll fix it.

To get started, request a free acoustic analysis and we’ll send you a detailed report about your space with solutions tailored to your needs. Have a few more questions about decoupling? Feel free to contact us today!