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Soundproofing... What Is It?

There are many people today that are interested in sound proofing. This can be either for one room, or an entire home or building. Some people want it to drown out the noise of the city. Other people want it so they can't hear the sounds of their home theater or music room. Some people just need it to block out the sounds of their noisy neighbors. Whatever your reasons may be, sound proofing can be the answer to a quieter environment.

But what exactly is sound proofing? Sound proofing is a way of using certain materials to either block sound waves from entering or to absorb sound waves reflecting in a room or location. Sound waves (noise) are measured in decibels (dB). An example: A whisper is 20 decibels, normal conversation is 60 decibels, city traffic is 80 decibels, and a lawn mower or leaf blower is 103 decibels. Guess how high decibels from a jet are? Sound proofing materials are measure by how much sound they block or insulate. This is called the sound transmission class or STC.

The higher the STC rating, the less sound that can be transmitted through it. An example: a standard wall has an STC rating of 20 to 25. This means that you can still hear normal speech through any standard wall. If you want the sound of someone talking to be barley a murmur, you would need a wall with an STC rating of at least 42. There are many sound proofing materials available for purchase. Sound proofing foam is one of the least expensive ways to go. Sound proofing barriers made with vinyl are quite popular and very effective. Sound isolation clips can be placed between walls and floors. You can also by sound barrier carpet inlays to block sound through separate floor levels. There is even a sound proofing paint now available.

The prices for sound proofing materials can vary. You first need to decipher how big of an area you want to get sound proofed. You then need to decide what kind of noise you need to block. All of these factors combined will help you determine how much you are going to spend. Now that you know a bit about sound proofing, you can almost consider yourself an expert! Well, maybe not. But you can now determine what your sound proofing needs are and you should have a bit of understanding about the nature of sound proofing! ęCopyright 2005 Gavin Sanderson. This article may be republished as long as this section is included and all links are left live.


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