Dealing with noise in your home, whether it’s from traffic or noisy neighbours, can be a significant concern. In England alone, there’s a complaint about noisy neighbours for every 160 people, and 20% of the population live in areas with harmful traffic noise levels.

If you’re among those affected, you’ll appreciate knowing how to soundproof your space and restore some tranquillity to your living environment. To help you out, KLG Rutland has put together this guide.

Understanding How Sound Travels

Soundproofing a room is akin to waterproofing a boat’s hull—any small gap can undermine your efforts. Sound waves, with their different pitches and frequencies, can travel long distances, diffract around corners, and penetrate through tiny openings.

High-pitched noises like children’s voices or the yapping of small dogs can be particularly piercing, while lower frequencies, like the hum of a motorway or bass thuds, travel even further. 

Can A Room Ever Be Completely Soundproof?

It’s impossible to ever make a room in your home entirely soundproof, but it is possible to significantly reduce noise.

The ‘world’s quietest room,’ an anechoic chamber built by Microsoft, absorbs all sound waves, but even there, the overwhelming silence can only be endured for a short time.

For practical purposes, our goal is to reduce noise to a comfortable level rather than eliminate it completely.

Identifying the Source of Noise

Before you can effectively soundproof, determine where the noise is coming from and its type. Sound can travel through air or objects, and its path of travel can help you decide on the best soundproofing strategy.

Identifying sound leaks from air bricks, chimneys, ventilation systems, and particularly windows is crucial as these are common entry points for noise.

Popular Methods of Soundproofing At Home

There are several techniques you could use to reduce noise at home:

  • Sound Absorption: Soft materials absorb sound wave energy, reducing noise.
  • Sound Damping: Reduces sound wave oscillation, lowering noise frequency.
  • Decoupling: Breaking the contact between objects to stop vibrations and enhance soundproofing.
  • Adding Mass: Heavy objects absorb sound waves, preventing them from passing through.
  • Distance: Increasing distance from the noise source reduces its intensity, though it’s less practical in a fixed home environment.

Using Noise Reduction Windows To Soundproof Your Home

Technological advancements in windows mean that you can now add noise-reduction windows to your property, which will help with soundproofing. Additionally, triple-glazing offers better noise reduction than standard double.

Noise Reduction windows from KLG Rutland reduce decibel levels penetrating from outside into your home by up to 40 decibels. To put that into context, that reduces the sound levels of a noisy street to that of a library.

Click here for more information on our noise reduction windows.

Specific Soundproofing Strategies

Traffic Noise

To shield against traffic noise, focus on sealing gaps where sound enters. Upgrading window seals, using acoustic caulk, and considering noise-reducing window solutions like secondary glazing or specialised acoustic glass can make a substantial difference.

As stated above, adding noise reduction windows to your home can reduce traffic noise down to a library – clearly a very effective soundproofing strategy for your home.

Noisy Neighbours

Noise from neighbours can be mitigated by:

  • For gardens and outside areas: Follow the traffic noise advice above.
  • For adjoining walls: Enhance wall density with cavity wall insulation, soundproof panels, or constructing a stud wall filled with sound-absorbing materials like rock wool.
  • For ceilings and floors: In multi-story buildings, address impact noise from above by fitting acoustic boards or creating a dropped ceiling with insulation to reduce sound transmission.

DIY Soundproofing Tips

For immediate improvements to your home soundproofing, following these handy tips:

  • Furniture Arrangement: Large furniture pieces like bookshelves against walls can significantly dampen sound.
  • Soft Furnishings and Rugs: Fill rooms with soft furnishings to absorb sound. Thick curtains, rugs, and even plush sofas can help.
  • Window Treatments: Use sound-dampening curtains and consider window inserts or films for an extra layer of sound insulation.
  • Fixing Gaps: Seal any gaps around doors, windows, and floorboards with acoustic caulk to prevent sound leaks.

In Summary

While achieving complete silence is unrealistic, strategically applying these soundproofing methods can vastly improve the tranquillity of your home. Remember, a combination of approaches—addressing both air and structure-borne noises—will provide the best results.

If noise reduction is critical for your comfort, consider professional solutions like noise-reducing windows and comprehensive insulation techniques to create a serene home environment.