Soundproof Foam From Home Depot Will Not Soundproof Your Room Either
Soundproof foam is a foam material designed to dampen sound or control sound waves from transmitting out of or into an environment.
In reality, soundproof foam has been the most misunderstood item for many people. This is because of the sound absorbing properties of foams.
If you’ve been searching the internet for soundproofing products, you are not getting any. Most of the foam products you come across are likely to be acoustic foams. Foam audiophiles use to treat their studios for music mixing, recording or home theaters.
Acoustic Treatment And Soundproofing Are 2 Entirely Different Concept
If you are looking for products to solve a noise problem, then you should not be looking at acoustic treatment products. They are just the wrong product for soundproofing.
Acoustic treatment and soundproofing are 2 different subject matters, they are of different class.
What you should be looking for are sound barriers. They are usually not a standalone product or a single piece of equipment. They are part of a structural plan, a design in totality. The goal is to block off sound from transmitting from one space to another.
You just can’t buy one off the shelves, then put it up on the wall and expect to stop sound transmission. Soundproofing is much more complicated than acoustic treatment. It involves some structural planning and tedious trial and error. It’s a subject for another day.
Soundproofing In General
Soundproofing, to an extend involves re-constructing the room for complete isolation. You may think of a room within a room. Where the inner or protected room gets insulated against all forms of sound vibration.
Generally for existing residential properties, it is not practical to expect a complete block-off. Usually a noise reduction to an acceptable level is achievable.
So don’t head down to Home Depot or Lowes to pick up a couple of “soundproof foam” thinking your problem will be over. You are likely to get even more frustrated. When the soundproof foam did almost nothing to block your neighbor’s kids screaming or late night conversation.
Soundproof Foam Is Only An Integral Part Of Soundproofing
Acoustic foam or soundproof foam alone will not make any successful soundproofing. You should view soundproofing as an integrated system. Where several components and techniques combine to make a complete soundproofing project.
Starting from identifying the sound source and potential leak areas. It takes some careful planning and execution.
A typical soundproofing job may include re-installing of the various facilities. They include electrical outlets, windows, doors, layering of floors, walls and ceilings.
The installation takes place in phases. With each step of the way, each part is tested, adapted and improved. This is to ensure that sound is well controlled to the desired level until completion.
There are no one single method to adopt in soundproofing. This is because every case is unique. And there are just too many variables that render it unpredictable. So before any planning could begin, a site survey is inevitable.
Although there is an industry standard in soundproofing, the Sound Transmission Class (STC), is far from ideal to rely on in most real world cases. Experience in this area is what make or break your soundproofing success.
Do You Really Need Soundproofing?
Maybe The Ambience is Just Not Right.
Some time it’s the room acoustic that is playing tricks on you.
Ever wonder why in a downtown office with so many people in it, you don’t feel that noisy? Good room acoustic could well be the answer.
Maybe that’s what you are after. You can consider acoustic treatment for your home, instead of soundproofing. With proper acoustic treatment, the room ambience can be improved.
And it’s a lot less expensive than soundproofing.
In an untreated room, with all the hard walls and ceilings, sound wave gets bounce around. It takes a while before it could finally subside. But if there are many activities in the room, sound will take even longer to subside.
That’s why you feel noisy, because you are like hearing everything twice or more.
So now you can take your favorite soundproofing foams to work. These acoustic foams will stop the sound waves from bouncing off walls and ceiling.
Put them up onto any bare walls and ceilings, you should feel the difference right away. Or even better, mix some diffusers with those sound absorbers for better acoustics.
Diffusers are another type of acoustic panels. It’s purpose is to disperse sound into different directions. So that those sound waves don’t bounce back directly at you. And it can make a small room sound bigger.
You can experiment with a few panels. Shift them around to get the best acoustic, or simply to your liking. You can fill up an entire wall with these acoustic panels if you like.
You will appreciate the ambience now with the acoustic treatment. You can enjoy your music better. Even with your favorite heavy metal music at full blast, the feel is great. Not noisy.
Is There a Less Expensive Way To Soundproofing?
It depends on the severity of your case, or your acceptance level.
If total confidentiality and privacy is your top priority. Or you are a light sleeper that the distant traffic noise will make you sit up all night. Then professional help is not an option.
Otherwise, you go with some DIY installations in your room. That will reduce sound level to some extend.
Soundproof window is a popular item for reducing noise level from external sound source. But they can be expensive if you replace them totally (including the frames) with new ones.
But you can choose soundproof windows from soundproofwindows.com*. You do not have to replace the window frame, they add another window to your existing one. So you can have some savings there.
According to their claim, the installation is easy and fast. If you are handy enough you can even do the installation yourself with little help. And most of all, their windows are STC rated to a good soundproof level. But don’t take their words for it, ask them for the independent STC test report.
There are other improvements you can make to your existing windows. By using soundproof window foam or sealant to seal up the window edges to reduce noise level. But you may not get better results than with soundproof windows this way.
You can also install soundproof curtains or drapes over the windows. This will add another layer of insulation to help further reduce the noise level.
Use the soundproof spray foam or sealant on all edges of the walls, doors and electrical outlets. Any openings or air-gaps that may cause sound to permeate through, apply sealant.
Last but not least, put up soundproof foams on walls and ceilings. This should at least improve the room ambience. Sometime the noise from within is just as distracting.
*We are not affiliated nor associated with Soundproof Wndows, Inc. Use your best judgement when contacting them for your soundproofing needs.