Does soundproof insulation work? (Check out Best Brands)

Since most homeowners have spent the past two years living in their houses for longer periods of time owing to the pandemic, many are considering the option of installing some soundproof insulation. But the question that arises is, Does soundproof insulation work?

The answer is Yes! Soundproof Insulation can help minimize the noise in your home from outside as well as between floors and rooms. Any home can benefit from installing insulation for soundproofing, but those who live in cities, busy neighborhoods, or apartment buildings, where noise levels are often much higher, will benefit most. 

Does soundproof insulation work?

Let’s explore how soundproof insulation works, if it can really reduce noise, what pitfalls should be avoided, and much more.

Since many individuals work from home, the noise from outside sources can make it difficult to focus or simply unwind in peace. From neighbors who are also at home all day and make their own noise to kids staying home with their parents, everything contributes to undesired noise. All of these have increased the need for establishing a peaceful environment at home. 

Types of Sound

First, let’s understand the two types of sound that we hear inside a house- airborne and impact. Airborne noises include sounds from the TV, radio, music, and other items inside the house as well as sounds from outside like traffic, conversations, etc.

While examples of impact noise include footsteps and vibrations from large equipment like your washer and dryer. Acoustic insulation aids in dampening impact and airborne noises.

Basics of Soundproof Insulation

There are three types of acoustic insulation and sound control-

  • Diffusion: Diffusion describes the uniform dispersion of sound throughout a specific area.
  • Isolation: Isolation describes how a product/material can prevent the transmission of any sound energy through the material inside walls.

Most often, soundproofing and isolation go hand in hand, and most commonly, fibrous insulation is chosen to help get the best outcomes for isolation. To know more about the recent advances in the field of bio-based soundproofing insulation, check out this detailed study.  

installing spray foam insulation

How Does Soundproof Insulation Work?

Whether it’s a single family home or an apartment building, just about every living space has cavity walls, which means there are two solid layers on each side and there’s a gap in between for some separation. This empty space can either be left alone or we can put insulation into the walls.

cavity wall
cavity wall

Cavity wall comes in many different styles so it’s important to have insulation in some cases than others. For example, a general cavity wall will have two brick walls and some kind of insulation between them. But with the growing demand of prefab homes the need for insulation is also also increasing.

Insulation not only helps maintain uniform temperatures but also helps to reduce noise. To limit the transmission of sound from one location to another, the source of noise is enclosed by a material that establishes a barrier and absorbs vibrations between the source and the neighboring areas.

However, keep in mind that not all types of insulation can minimize noise. For instance, reflective insulation that reflects heat from the sun, like a radiant barrier, is frequently installed in houses in warmer areas. It does not serve as a sound barrier.

Insulation made of cellulose, fiberglass, and foam provides the best soundproof insulation and can be installed on your home’s walls, floors, and ceilings. These insulation materials reduce noise from the outside, noise in your home or building’s rooms, and noise that travels between floors.
A good insulation will trap air escaping out of the room which makes sure that a room stays warm in winter and cool in summers.

Mistakes To Avoid While Soundproofing With Insulation

For some homeowners, installing insulation might be a do-it-yourself project, and it should be done with caution. Mold and condensation could result from improper ventilation, among many issues. Therefore, it is advised to engage a professional, particularly if you are renovating a property with insulation.

Further, it is advised to be careful when purchasing soundproof insulation foam. While foam doesn’t naturally absorb sound like fiber insulation, it can help in noise reduction to a great extent. However, that only applies if you buy open cell soundproof insulation foam, which might be expensive. Foam panels with lower prices can often be similar to something like packing foam, which would have negligible acoustic advantages..

types of insulation
types of insulation

How To Soundproof Without Insulation?

Installing insulation will require cutting into your walls and roof unless you are already renovating or reconstructing. There are several other ways to soundproof your house other than insulation. Let’s discuss some of them.

  • Add Extra Drywall: This noise-canceling method is one of the most efficient ways to silence a space, although it does take a major time and financial investment. Add a second layer of 1-inch-thick drywall over the existing walls and ceiling. Secure the fresh drywall with a dampening compound, available on Amazon, which is a unique sound-deadening caulk for more noise reduction.
  • Use Wall Hangings: Sound is reflected and amplified by hard surfaces like tile, drywall, and plaster. Therefore, it is logical that quiet spaces can be created by soft surfaces that absorb sound. Use moving pads, tapestries, soundproof blankets, or quilts to cover the walls. Any soft material will do, though thicker materials will dampen sound more than thinner ones.

Soundproof insulation panels can be attached to the walls and the ceiling if you don’t mind giving the space an industrial appearance. Superior noise-dampening materials, including cork, dense polyester fiber, and soft foam rubber, are used to create the panels.

  • Add Rugs On The Floor: Hard flooring can also reflect sound, making it bounce off them in addition to walls. The simplest way to reduce noise in a room with a hard surface floor—wood, tile, or laminate—is to place an area rug on the floor. Furthermore, thick rugs are preferable to thin ones.

Best Soundproof Insulation Brands

These are some of the best companies you can purchase soundproof insulation from. Many other companies sell cheap and low grade insulations so please read the review before you buy any product.
1. Owens Corning
You can find insulations like Fiberglass, Mineral Wool, and Foamular XPS insulation on Owens Corning. You can also browse through foams based on the location you need it for for example, Attic Insulation, Floor Insulation, Air Sealing or Basement Insulation.
2. Rockwool Soundproofing Insulation

You will find tons of options here, and they’ve started to put acoustic insulation as well. Thickness options are also available on Rockwool.
3. Johns Manville

They offer some really affordable insulation options but you cannot only rely on their insulation. You’ll need some extra soundproof panels with it.

Conclusion

As long as you are not looking forward to making your house completely soundproof, insulation can provide great results. It can dampen most of the noises coming from outside and also block sound from leaving the room. Numerous insulation products have been developed with sound absorption in mind to keep your home soundproof and warm.