Why Soundproof Drywall Is An Excellent Investment

Home Recording Studio

When it comes to sound absorption, not all surfaces are made equal. In spite of its many admirable qualities, standard drywall is not especially conducive to soundproofing -- a reality that can prove problematic in a number of residential and commercial contexts. When determining whether soundproofing is necessary, it is important to consider the available budget for a project and the intended use of the completed structure.

How Does Soundproofing Work?

The primary goal of any soundproof surface, be it a ceiling or wall partitions, is to absorb noise. Often referred to asdamping, the noise absorption process involves the addition of several layers to a given surface. Additionally, points of disconnection may be incorporated so as to lessen the impact of sound waves. Ultimately, a functional soundproofed surface should obstruct the path of sound waves, allowing them to be absorbed by the soundproofed surfaces before traveling to other rooms. 

Effective Soundproofing Methods

Recording studios are perfect for soundproofingDrywall, although a cost efficient and versatile building material, is not particularly soundproof on its own. However, a variety of techniques can be utilized to increase the sound absorption of otherwise ordinary drywall. Sandwiching is a popular soundproofing method, with drywall or cement forming the outside layers and visco-elastic polymer placed in the center. Polymer is an incredibly effective soundproofing material and, as such, its addition to gypsum drywall allows a single layer of treated drywall to enjoy the soundproofing abilities of eight ordinary drywall panels. 

In some contexts, contractors may choose to avoid polymer in hopes of cutting costs. Although polymer is widely regarded as the most effective soundproofing treatment, other techniques may also have a dampening effect on sound waves. For example, acoustical wallpaper, attached with a basic adhesive, is a cost-effective solution for thin walls. Likewise, resilient channels minimize sound wave travel by separating drywall from ceilings and thereby incorporating the concept of disconnection -- through decoupling, the drywall surface can be prevented from touching the ceiling, which, in turn, prevents the transfer of sound to other rooms.

Situations Calling For Soundproofed Drywall

Soundproofing is certainly an admirable quality in drywall, but it may not be necessary in every context. Engineers, designers and building contractors need to weigh the estimated cost of soundproofing measures against the potential benefits. When completing this process, it is important to keep the intended use of the structure in mind, as well as the allotted budget for the project. 

Soundproof RoomThe need for soundproofing may be most evident while constructing residential structures designed to house dozens of individuals. Although heavy soundproofing is not a necessity for single-family homes, its presence is important in apartment buildings, senior housing, college dormitories and condominiums. In these types of structures, the ability to hear the activities of neighbors can quickly prove problematic. Likewise, soundproofing measures must be taken in hotels, motels, resorts and other accommodations so as to ensure enjoyable stays for all paying guests.

In addition to residential structures, a number of commercial locations may also require soundproofing measures. This is particularly in strip malls or other settings in which several occupants may lease spaces adjacent to one another. Dance studios, movie theaters and recording studios and other locations prone to excessive noise creation In these context may require the use of multiple soundproofing techniques in order to prevent sound waves from traveling to adjacent businesses. 

In recent years, businesses have been increasingly apt to demand soundproof facilities for their office employees. Thus, basic soundproofing measures such as decoupling or polymer-infused drywall may be required. For businesses obtaining short-term leases, semi-permanent solutions such as resilient channels and acoustical wallpaper may prove a better investment than polymer construction. 

Noise pollution has become of increasing concern in both commercial and residential contexts, and as such, soundproof drywall and other noise reducing solutions are in high demand. Balancing the benefits of soundproofing with the potential for added costs can be difficult, but is more than possible if the intended use of a given structure is made clear long before the construction process begins.

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Photo credit: .mich. / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.