Building anything type of brand new construction is a very exciting time. People are hoping to enjoy a lot of years out of any kind of new construction, so getting everything right the first time is essential.
One thing that can prove to be pretty costly and a considerable nuisance overall if it is ignored is soundproofing new construction. There are a few basics that everyone needs to keep in mind, and a little work will go a long way towards the better overall sound.
In this article, we take a look at soundproofing all parts of the new construction. From the floor to the ceilings, covering all aspects is crucial to keep sounds from coming in, or leaking out.
A lot of new construction starts with floors, so this is the first part that needs attention for soundproofing. Airborne sounds and impact noise can make floors problematic, so keep in mind that there are a few different methods to keep sounds under control.
Putting a floor underlayment down is an excellent option for anyone looking to maximize soundproofing as much as possible. There are many different options out there, and it can be installed under existing floors as well. It is a perfect solution for new construction because it can be put underneath the actual flooring without taking up too much extra time.
Before putting down any type of subfloor, use products such as gasket tape and noise proofing compounds to decrease some of the impact noise. This is just another step that is much easier to take care of before jumping into the rest of the soundproofing techniques.
Some people will put two layers of subfloor to use as an underlayment to provide even more soundproofing. Sandwiching the two layers with a noise proofing compound like Green Glue in between makes the most sense. It is automatically going to make floors sound so much better right from the beginning, which will add value in the long run.
Once the subfloor layers are installed, that is when it is time to put the actual floor over everything. The installation process is no different than if there was no subflooring. It just might add a little bit of thickness overall.
There are different types of material out there that make less of noise than others. For example, many people like the look of wood floors, but they can get pretty noisy once they start to age.
All the creaking and rubbing against each other throws some people off. Something like cement and tile does not make as much noise when walking around, but they can lead to a bit more of an echo if not appropriately treated.
Having an underlayment underneath any type of floor out there is an advantage. It gives people more opportunities to go with the kind of flooring they want, rather than settling.
If this is an area that really needs to be as quiet as possible, the flooring material is just another layer that will be covered eventually anyway.
Carpeting and Rugs
For those taking soundproofing very seriously, carpeting and rugs are essential for any type of set up. Once the flooring is installed, there is an underlayment for the carpet, and then the carpet itself.
It might seem excessive for some people to have so much soundproofing material underneath the floor, and on top of the floor, but it is something that a lot of people have counted on throughout the years.
Something like mass loaded vinyl underneath carpeting is a perfect solution overall, but it just needs not to be too thick that it gets in the way.
The carpet and rug material does not matter too much, even though some people swear by having a very thick carpet to handle sound.
It is true that a thicker fiber is going to provide a little more soundproofing value, but not so much that people need to go with something they do not find comfortable.
With a proper underlayment underneath the carpet, a person can get whatever type of fiber they want since they will be walking on it.
2. Soundproofing Unfinished Walls
Once the flooring is squared away, the walls might be the most important part of soundproofing any new construction. It is the first thing that people look at when they have to deal with sound issues, even if they are not the problem. Indeed, having soundproof walls helps tremendously, but it is just as essential to have a well-rounded area as well.
Soundproofing options for walls are plentiful, and it is always worth doing a little bit of extra work, in the beginning, to avoid some of the temporary fixes later on.
There is nothing wrong with adding something after with new construction, but most people are trying to rely on more hidden factors if they are starting from scratch.
Making make sure to put insulation between the studs and fill everything up as much as possible. Insulation is pretty flexible, so getting a fairly tight fit should kill sound considerably.
Insulation is so easy to install that some people will add more after the construction is completed. This might be a perfect option for people who do not know precisely how much soundproofing they will end up needing.
Resilient Sound Clips
This is not the only time that resilient sound clips (Amazon) will be recommended when it comes to soundproofing new construction. By putting resilient sound clips on the studs in the wall, a person can control a lot of sounds. The best thing is, everything is completely hidden once the outer wall goes up.
It might be one of the most complicated processes covered in this article, so do not be afraid to get a professional to help with resilient sound clips. They are very valuable for those who might have particularly noisy areas, so taking the extra time to have it installed works out.
Treating Tricky Areas
Walls are pretty easy to treat in certain areas, but then they become a bit more complicated when working around electrical boxes, tough angles, and so much more. Do not ignore soundproofing this area, because it can end up being a pretty vulnerable spot later on.
For electrical outlets and other smaller problematic areas, try to find a way to seal them up quickly with something designed specifically for them. Whether they are putty pads out there or boxes that enclose everything, it is pretty easy to have it all treated without wasting too much time.
The walls might have a few tricky areas, but nothing as tricky as doors and windows. These are very vulnerable areas for people who are putting up any
type of new construction. They have been causing soundproofing issues for years and years, and it is not going away any time soon.
Doors are probably the biggest problem with new construction, simply because there is no way to achieve a full seal without a little bit of creativity. Having a door sweep is going to close a little bit of the gap, but there are still those smaller spots for air to get through on the side of the door.
To treat those areas, look into some type of sealant that works when the door is completely closed. There is even the option of using something after new construction, providing a little bit of extra coverage once the door is closed. By having something like that on permanently, it can hinder how the door performs.
Spend the extra bit of money to get double or triple pane windows will go along way for soundproofing. There is also the opportunity to go with soundproof glass, and it is not that much harder to install compared to other options out there.
Brand new windows are going to have issues as far as cracks are concerned, and they can be completely fitted so that there are no gaps either. Installing windows, and doors for that matter, should be done professionally to avoid any issues that might pop up.
To finish off any new construction, the ceiling needs properly treated so that sound is perfect inside. Sound waves can pretty quickly travel through a ceiling that is not constructed correctly, and that will frustrate anyone who has spent so much money on new construction.
Ceilings in new construction have a few options for people who want to make sure that sound is not leaking too much. Each one is not all that expensive, so it comes down to what might work best in a setup.
Acoustic Compound and Drywall
If the new construction needs ultimate sound control, using a combination of additional drywall and Green Glue might be the way to go. It is a pretty simple process, as the Green Glue goes on the drywall and underneath the flooring above.
Remember, in a lot of cases, the ceiling is also the flooring for another level. A lot of the same processes are used here as they were with the flooring, but just from a different angle.
Drywall will be a great barrier for anyone looking to have a permanent solution for soundproofing. There are a lot of people who maybe do not want to add an extra layer like that, but it is ultimately worth it in the end.
Adding insulation to feel any type of cavity between layers of the ceiling is something worth looking into. Insulation is pretty inexpensive, and it could help with soundproofing, controlling temperature, and so much more.
Insulation is something that has been used and new construction for quite some time. The material now is a lot lighter, safer, and more valuable from a soundproofing perspective.
This is all good news overall for people who want to make sure that they are not wasting too much time and energy on a pretty old solution.
Resilient sound clips
Installing resilient sound clips might seem pretty tough to someone who has never done it before, but they go on pretty smoothly when used for ceilings.
The goal here is to have some space so that sound is controllable all times. A lot of people might be hesitant to install clips just because they are not completely sure how they work, but there are plenty of insulation guys out there for people who want to go that route.
Professionals will also recommend using resilient sound clips if possible. It makes a lot more sense with new construction because everything can be set up to be as efficient as possible. When fixing something older, there might not be as much of an opportunity to install resilient sound clips without doing some additional prep work before.
This might not be an exact soundproofing solution for new construction, but it needs to be used in the ceiling, and everywhere else for that matter.
Try to caulk the entire perimeter (source) so that there is no sound getting through any of the spaces whatsoever. There could be some vulnerable areas in a ceiling, even with brand new construction. Make sure to look around and close those gaps.
Is acoustic caulk going to provide that much more value from my soundproofing perspective compared to regular caulk? Believe it or not, it does make a pretty big difference. Every little bit helps, and it provides a bit more value than the alternatives.
Other Soundproofing Methods in New Construction?
As great as soundproofing methods work with new construction, there is still a need to spend extra money on other soundproofing methods to help out as well. This is inevitable, especially if a room is needing treatment to stay unusually quiet for recording purposes.
Working with a clean slate provides a lot of advantages, and new construction can be tailored exactly so that everything fits in nicely.
For example, think about where acoustic panels might be installed in a room before even going through with the construction. The benefit is that an entire area can be designed with soundproofing in mind, and that makes adding new things that much easier.
Is It Worth The Extra Money To Soundproof New Construction?
Taking care of soundproofing early on with new construction makes a lot more sense than going back and trying to treat everything retroactively. It does not cost that much more, and it is part of the construction process in the first place.
There are so many people out there who are becoming smarter and smarter when it comes to soundproofing, and they understand just how important it is in general.
Very few people end up building something new and then wishing that they could hear more going on outside. Usually, the complaints are because things are a little too loud, so treating things early on in the process makes a lot more sense.
More often than not, there are going to be some issues that pop up after new construction when it comes to sound. It does not take that much extra effort to do some small fixes, especially if the bigger fixes are treated in the beginning.