Home & Decor (Malaysia) - - Soundproof­ing -

The most sig­nif­i­cant con­duits of sound be­tween you and the out­side en­vi­ron­ment are your walls and ceil­ings. To sound­proof them, you would need to in­crease their den­sity. Un­like the brick walls of the past, mod­ern walls are built with other com­po­nents such as struc­tural ele­ments, in­su­la­tion, and dry­wall or plas­ter­board. Sound­proof­ing a space in­volves in­creas­ing the den­sity of the in­su­la­tion in the wall.

A com­mon wall in­su­la­tion ma­te­rial is min­eral wool. Also known as rock wool, min­eral wool is fir­ere­sis­tant and nec­es­sary for the heat in­su­la­tion of the home. Added within the wall, it re­duces sound pen­e­tra­tion by three to five deci­bels. (Gen­er­ally, the vol­ume of heavy traf­fic is about 85 deci­bels, while a nor­mal con­ver­sa­tion mea­sures about 60 deci­bels.) Un­for­tu­nately, min­eral wool tends to de­gen­er­ate over time as it is made of a nat­u­ral ma­te­rial.

An al­ter­na­tive to min­eral wool is polyuretha­ne foam. Amos Tadete, prod­uct con­sul­tant at JD Acous­tic, rec­om­mends Vi­cy­cle from US com­pany Vi­cous­tic. Vi­cy­cle is made from re­cy­cled polyuretha­ne foam and varies in thick­ness from three to six cen­time­tres. It can be used for both heat in­su­la­tion and the re­duc­tion of air­borne noise. In com­par­i­son to min­eral wool, Vi­cy­cle can re­duce sound pen­e­tra­tion by up to six deci­bels and will not de­gen­er­ate.

While Vi­cy­cle is more com­monly used in the con­struc­tion phase of a home, you can sound­proof an ex­ist­ing wall too. An­other Vi­cous­tic of­fer­ing, the ISO Blan­ket, re­duces sound pen­e­tra­tion by up to 17 deci­bels. At four cen­time­tres in thick­ness, it can be added over your wall with ex­ist­ing rock wool or Vi­cy­cle with­out adding too much bulk. Vi­cous­tic prod­ucts are avail­able at JD Acous­tic.

Selina Tay, founder and prin­ci­pal de­signer at Col­lec­tive De­signs, rec­om­mends build­ing a false ceil­ing with in­su­la­tion on the in­side to keep noise from up­stairs fil­ter­ing down­wards.

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