Industry News

Five Ways NOT to Soundproof Your Home

There comes a time when you realize you need to soundproof a room. It may be a basement you’re converting into a media room, a spare bedroom you want to turn into a studio, or a nursery you want to make quiet. Whatever the reason, many make the mistake of taking on a “do it yourself” soundproofing project with the hopes of saving money, only to find themselves in trouble down the line.

Most do-it-yourself soundproofing projects cost people more money in the long run. Many assume soundproofing is a simple task. They fail to understand how much research and testing it has taken to develop the science of soundproofing. Some of the more glaring errors people have made are perfect examples are how NOT to soundproof your home. These include:

Empty Egg Cartons
Yes, people have gathered up dozens of empty egg cartons and fastened them to their walls, assuming the shape will somehow absorb sound because they look like those cool, wavy walls you see in recording studios and radio stations. Nope. Doesn’t work like that. Egg cartons are made of completely different materials than the acoustical foam used in sound booths. In fact, the egg cartons may amplify some sounds or cause sound distortion. Regardless, the result won’t be pretty – or soundproof.

Bedding
Mattresses and pillows seem to be a particular favorite of garage bands and attic workshops, but you’re asking for trouble if you start nailing mattresses to your walls or stuffing pillows into every available crevice, inside cabinets, and under sinks. For one thing, mattresses and pillows attract mold, mildew, and dust. You are asking for a full-blown allergy attack at the least and serious illness at worst. The stuffing is just too hard to keep clean and dry – and it’s far too inviting for vermin. A singer of one garage band passed out when a frisky little mouse chewed through the mattress on the wall then dropped into the singer’s hair. Yikes.

Filling Your Walls
People are creative. Many people think the more “stuff” there is between them and the neighbors, the better for soundproofing. But if you hate listening to every discussion and telephone call, filling the space between your walls isn’t the answer. People have put everything from packing peanuts to sawdust in the space between their walls. Bad idea – wood actually conducts sound quite well. And if you put something in the walls that isn’t up to code, you’re creating a fire hazard.

Suddenly those pesky neighbors don’t seem so bad, do they?

Flooring on Your Walls and Ceiling
You’ve probably heard that soft materials absorb more sound, so carpet is better than tile or hardwood floors. This doesn’t mean you should carpet your walls and ceiling - but plenty of people have tried.

It’s another way to stir up a lot of sneeze-inducing dust and give your room the unfortunate look of a 1970’s, low-budget roller rink. Unfortunately, carpeting your walls and ceiling does little to soundproof your space. Next.

Foam Rubber
Yes, foam rubber is another material people throw up on their walls, and no, it doesn’t work any better than carpet or mattresses to deaden sound. We can’t stress this enough – unless the material is specifically engineered to absorb sound, it won’t work. Period. Some people think foam rubber works on walls because putting foam rubber under their washer or dryer absorbs the sound of these machines. It sounds fine in theory, but foam rubber only muffles sound when the source of noise is in direct contact with the rubber – it does nothing to stop sound from traveling through the air. Plus, after a few years, the gummy, sticky rubber on your walls will start to crumble.

These are the big mistakes – but there are certainly others not mentioned here. Take care and be smart. When you are ready to soundproof a room in your home, contact a professional and invest in proper soundproofing materials. Nothing less will do – and a job poorly executed will cost you a lot more in the end. For those who still feel inclined to DIY, all we can say is “Good luck.”

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  Press Contact

Nora DePalma
Building Profits PR for Supress Products
678-642-5075
ndepalma@building-profits.com
 

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