Sound Attenuation

Many homeowners are unaware that insulation can offer a “soundproofing” benefit. We tend to use the terms sound transmission control or sound attenuation since they are more accurate.

To control the transmission of sound, there are many insulation options, and each material offers its own pros and cons. At the same time, these specialized insulation products also help prevent drafts and energy loss.

  • Fiberglass Batts — Besides providing resistance to heat flow, fiberglass absorbs sound vibrations within wall cavities.
  • Rockwool Batts — Made of basalt (a volcanic rock) and limestone, rockwool batts provide acoustic absorption and fire resistance that is ideal for home theaters and commercial applications.
  • Blown-in Insulation (cellulose or fiberglass) — Because blown-in insulation creates a tight fit in each stud cavity, it seals around the outlets, pipes, and other openings and creates a dense filling that is an excellent sound barrier.
  • Spray Foam Insulation – Open cell spray foam is an excellent way to reduce sound transmission. The foam forms a custom-fit seal in each cavity, and the low density of open cell foam is very sound absorbent.

As you can see, there are many different options to help soundproof a space. Here are some surprising and little-known facts about insulation for noise reduction.

Sound Attenuation with Mineral Wool Insulation

The use of rigid panel mineral wool, also known as Rockwool, is recommended for soundproofing a room. They can also be purchased in softer batts as opposed to rigid panels. Rockwool is sold in sizes for use with ceilings, floors, and residential interior walls. This type of insulation can be purchased in a high-performance type or a multi-purpose type.

High-Performance Mineral Wool

High-performance mineral wool offers some of the best low and high-frequency ratings and is considered to be extremely cost-effective. Most brands use natural stone fibers, also making this product fire, water, and moisture-resistant. Although its main purpose is soundproofing.

Multi-Purpose Mineral Wool

Multi-purpose mineral wool is slightly lower in ratings for sound absorption, however, they have better thermal insulation capabilities. A multi-purpose mineral wool insulation can be placed on the inside and on top of standard thermal insulation in order to protect from unwanted sound. This type of mineral wool product is a lower-cost product that is also soft and flexible. It can be purchased in different sound absorption capabilities, some for low frequency and some for high frequency.

Sound Attenuation with Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation performs basically the same as mineral wool when it comes to soundproofing. It also comes in a similar thickness, yet costs more. This is because fiberglass is better at insulating than mineral wool. While fiberglass insulation may cost more, it serves two purposes.

Sound Attenuation with Cotton

For smaller projects, homeowners or builders may want to consider cotton soundproofing. This option is affordable and performs well. Cotton materials are soft and need the support of a frame or other covering. Those building their own acoustic panels or other smaller projects will want to use cotton soundproofing materials.

Learn More

To improve the comfort and privacy in your home, please contact TruTeam for recommendations on how to reduce noise transfer.

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