To provide ideal acoustics in an area, you need the right insulation for sound control. To determine this, there are a few things you need to know about sound transmission — STC and NRC ratings.
- STC (Sound Transmission Class) ratings represent the ability of an assembly to reduce sound decibel levels transferred through walls, ceilings and floors.
- The NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) value represents the percent of sound directed at the surface that is absorbed by the fiberglass acoustic insulation.
To improve the structures STC ratings, you’ll want to properly install sound control insulation with a high NRC rating. The higher the NRC rating, the better the sound absorption.
Installing Insulation for Sound Control
Sound control insulation provides excellent acoustic benefits — but did you know some products can offer thermal benefits as well? Proper insulation can help maintain noise levels and indoor temperatures which can even help lower your heating and cooling bills. To gain the best results, here are the places to consider insulating to control sound.
In the Home
Whether it’s the garbage truck outside or the tv from the next room, you may experience some unwanted sounds flooding your home. The goal is to reduce the amount of sound transmission as a way to increase overall home comfort. So how can you achieve this? Here are areas to focus on.
- Windows and doors: If your windows or doors are loose and rattling, the vibration may actually be increasing the sound waves. Air sealing these areas can help reduce the amount of vibration.
- Walls: Adding insulation between studs in your walls can minimize room-to-room sound transmission. It’s best to do this when the house is being built or remodeled. For existing walls that aren’t uncovered, you can use blowing insulation to achieve desired results.
- Appliances, pipes and ducts: Most equipment will create some level of noise during operation. Adding sound control insulation around them can help reduce unwanted noise transfer.
Whether it’s an office or a mall, areas that see heavier traffic are often accompanied by excessive noise. Architects or engineers creating these spaces will want to determine how they can best incorporate insulation for sound control, creating a more comfortable environment for everyone. To do so, they’ll want to consider the purpose of the space.
- Audio spaces: Think about theaters, auditoriums, sound studios or dance studios. These are all spaces that require high-volume music or audio. Insulating for sound here is less about reducing the amount of noise from getting in, but preventing it from getting out. Acoustical insulation boards are often used on walls and ceilings of these areas to absorb the sound, reducing transmission.
- Public concourses: The hustle and bustle of people in public areas like malls becomes excessively noisy. Proper insulation can be used on walls and ceilings of these areas to absorb the sound, reducing transmission.
- Areas of work or learning: Offices and classrooms are spaces that require concentration. Unwanted noise can be distracting. Sound control insulation within walls and mid-floors can reduce room-to-room sound transmission. Also consider areas within the room that could be insulated. Many offices utilize desk dividers to help absorb excess noise.
- HVAC, pipe and equipment: These can often become noisy when operating. Adding insulation to these areas can help absorb additional operational noises.