With so many different types of soundproofing materials, some of them get overlooked. There are obvious options for people to choose from, but SONOpan is picking up steam as a great competitor!
We take a closer look at this venerable solution that’s been around since 1946, and whether or not it lives up to the high expectations.
People are always looking for ways to soundproof efficiently and cost-effectively, so having a good idea of what’s out there makes sense.
What is SONOpan?
SONOpan is a Canadian company that offers soundproofing panels for residential and commercial buildings. Made from 100% recycled wood, It is safe and environmentally friendly for all types of soundproofing solutions.
In a world with high expectations and a lot of promises from companies, SONOpan has scored well over the decades while on the market.
Using Noise STOP Technology, it’s both versatile and affordable for the vast majority of shoppers.
Does SONOpan Absorb Sound?
The biggest selling feature of SONOpan is their trademarked Noise STOP Technology. It can absorb a variety of sound frequencies. It’s one of the only solutions that can handle low bass frequencies below 125 Hz.
It all works because of small impressions made in each panel to create an uneven density with the panels. With so many different densities, it can absorb different sound waves throughout time.
While it’s not the thickest soundproofing material out there, most people appreciate the level of flexibility and overall easiness of installation. There’s also the opportunity to put multiple layers down if needed.
What are the Major Positives When Using SONOpan?
Beyond what is covered above, there are a few other positives to using SONOpan. Anyone who is environmentally conscious will love the fact that it is made of 100% recycled wood.
This includes 60% post-consumer recycled materials, and 40% post-industrial recycled material. This ensures that there is no additional waste to using these panels.
Producing the panels is also eco-friendly. They avoid using formaldehyde or volatile organic compounds when they are producing the panels.
These extra steps felt necessary to the company when they first started, and it’s one of their core values.
These panels qualify towards LEED points, which is great news for many. It also has solid thermal performance, coming in at R 2.45. Having some of these added bonuses puts SONOpan over some of the other soundproofing solutions out there.
Finally, most people are very happy to see just how inexpensive the panels are. Not having to spend a lot of money on soundproofing material is a huge step in the right direction especially with everything else going up in price.
When this type of technology first hit the market, a lot of companies were charging more than they should.
Price has calmed down a bit, and SONOpan is doing what it can to keep prices down as well. Since 1946, they’ve always been one of the most cost-efficient solutions available.
The panels are 100% safe to use, and are free of any glue or chemicals that can cause harm. Being able to do anything with the construction that doesn’t require an extra layer of protection is always going to be great. Being made with natural materials always helps.
How Do You Use SONOpan?
The panels produced by SONOpan work the same way as other soundproofing solutions out there. They can be used in the basement, homes, washrooms, bedrooms, flooring, business setups, and so much more.
Having one panel on a single side of a wall will soundproof noise traveling in both directions. However, it’s always recommended to install SONOpan on both sides of a wall to do a better job and maintain a sound barrier and full coverage.
Most will end up using SONOpan as part of a bigger soundproofing project. For example, combining SONOpan panels with quality insulation and drywall will result in much better soundproofing overall.
Using them alone makes a bigger difference than nothing at all, but most won’t be satisfied with just one level of soundproofing for whatever space they are working on.
Keep in mind that SONOpan is for indoor use only. It is not going to hold up in the element since it is 100% wood.
For any insulation questions in general, it’s best to go with a professional for assistance if possible. It’s pretty easy to hang SONOpan without professional help, but some people don’t want to run the risk of doing any damage.
Can You Glue SONOpan?
During insulation, the best way to attach SONOpan to the wall is to use glue directly. It can also be attached to a gypsum board or masonry wall if a person wants. It won’t compromise the panel in any way.
Most other soundproofing solutions also do this same type of setup on purpose to make it easier for do-it-yourself projects.
By having a glue already part of the panel, it eliminates the need for most to have to require a professional assistant.
Do You Need A Resilient Channel With SONOpan?
A resilient channel is not necessary with SONOpan. People who own a house probably want to go with SONOpan and 1/2” of drywall.
However, the goal is to contain everything a little bit more, so adding a resilient channel or isolation clips can help, especially if you’re wanting to soundproof low frequency noises. Otherwise, I would forget about the Resilient Channel!
The versatility of SONOpan is something that makes it pretty easy to implement with soundproofing.
Not having a stick to one solution is beneficial. Since the glue sticks to most surfaces, there should be no issues placing it in tricky situations.
How Do You Drywall Over a SONOpan?
Placing drywall over SONOpan is recommended to help with dampening sound transmission. The heavier the drywall, the better off people will be when it comes to hearing results.
That’s why it’s always recommended to go with a 5/8″ drywall and not your standard 1/2″ drywall. Adding an additional layer of drywall also helps with mass.
If the room is already finished, there’s a way to retrofit SONOpan between existing drywall and a new layer of drywall.
It might take a little bit longer to get everything set up and operating as it should, but most people are willing to put in the extra work if it improves performance.
If drywall and a single layer of SONOpan are not working as effectively as one might like, there’s always the option of doubling up on panels to improve performance.
The first layer will always be the most important, but each additional layer is going to add more to the mix.
Is SONOpan Fire Rated?
The construction of SONOpan panels is very similar to the construction of a home. SONOpan is UL-approved when installed as directed by the architect.
This can be a little bit tricky for people to figure out if they have never tested for fires or looked into it in the past.
The best thing to keep in mind is that these panels protect anyone from a fire if it breaks out. However, it doesn’t contribute to fires starting in any way.
What Other Soundproofing Methods Work?
Not interested in using SONOpan as a solution? Whether a person is looking for a different solution, or they simply can’t find SONOpan readily available, there are other options out there to try out.
SilentFX, Soundbreak XP, and other general options are also out there from different brands. Pay attention to all the different details to see which one makes the most sense for your soundproofing project and budget.
STC value is always going to be a great indicator for comparing different assemblies. They are all usually pretty close to each other, so it’s hard to pick a clear-cut winner. Most do end up siding with SONOpan because they have been around for so long.
Beyond very similar products, there are also other various soundproofing solutions out there. From mass loaded vinyl to soundproofing spray, there’s something for all types of problems.
Everyone has a different setup, and what might work for one person is not going to be great enough for the other.
Always keep in mind that multiple soundproofing techniques can be used in the same area to help with the overall effectiveness.
In the end, it’s all about getting the best sound possible, and SONOpan is relatively inexpensive, other options added on are possible.
A lot of people will compare this to Green Glue, but SONOpan is the less expensive option.
Not only that, but it’s easier to install with just a single sheet of drywall. At the end of the day, it also has a higher STC rating than Green Glue, making it the superior option.
Most people who talk about Green Glue love it because of its versatility, but SONOpan takes it to another level.
Final Thoughts on SONOpan
Is SONOpan a perfect solution for every single sound issue out there? No, it has its faults just like many other solutions out there.
However, it’s one of those well-rounded choices one can make if they are trying to stay under budget and see change pretty quickly.
It deserves mention at the top of the list for anyone trying to make improvements in a timely manner. They should last a long time, and people will be able to see changes happen in no time.
The more panels to attach, the better off effectiveness will be.