Keeping it Down
Bigger houses and smaller sites have meant that the space around and between our homes is decreasing. Yet noise levels are rising for a variety of reasons, such as increased traffic or bigger and better entertainment systems. Luckily, however, you don’t need to walk around on eggshells even if your walls are paper-thin, as soundproofing materials, which will drastically reduce the amount of internal and external noise transmission, are becoming easier to source and install.
Acoustic control can be installed in the roof, walls or under the floorboards, carpet or tiles and effectively subdues noise from traffic and aircraft, the neighbour’s dog or the other neighbour’s teenage son’s sub-woofer.
With the market currently flooded with acoustic control offerings from a variety of building product manufacturers, it can be hard to know which way to look for the best solution.
Double-glazed windows are widely recognised as providing effective insulation against noise as well as extreme temperatures. When it comes to your walls, there is now a wide range of soundproofing plasterboards available. Here are some types to consider:
Gyprock Soundchek is 10mm thick plasterboard with sound reflective and absorptive properties, surrounded with heavy duty liner boards. Soundchek comes in two levels of sound resistance; the first makes conversations inaudible and significantly lowers other sounds, while the next makes loud sounds such as music very hard to hear.
Barrierboard is a plasterboard composite that can reduce noise levels by up to 75 per cent. It is made up of two sheets of varying thicknesses that are separated by an insulating layer. The panels can be fixed straight on to common walls without having to make many changes to architraves or doorway construction.
Boral SoundSTOP was designed to be used in high-performance acoustic wall and ceiling systems, reducing sound to the extent that loud voices are only heard as a murmur on the other side. If greater sound blocking is required, another layer of SoundSTOP can be added to one side of the wall.
To block out sounds more efficiently when using plasterboard, the soundproofing should be combined with roof and wall insulation, solid core doors and door seals, while carpeting and soft furnishings can help to dampen sound.