We asked Greg Greenwald, founder of LEVEL Acoustics
, a Manhattan-based firm specializing in room acoustics and sound separation, to share five user-friendly tips designed to help soundproof any home. Silent nights, right this way.
1. To improve sound separation between rooms, install steel wall studs instead of wood ones. Be sure to include batt insulation, and avoid back-to-back wall outlets.
2. Doors are common leakage points for sound. Installing perimeter gasketing and a sweep will go a long way toward your future tranquility for a relatively minimal expense.
3. "I've worked on many yards and pool areas where noisy traffic has ruined an otherwise relaxing experience," says Greenwald. "Luckily, many fountains emit sound in the same frequency range as passing cars and can effectively mask road noise."
4. For spaces that are especially reverberant (due to high ceilings or abundant hard surfaces), introduce textiles such as heavy drapes, carpeting, and upholstered furniture. Thick-pile rugs not only cozify a room, but can greatly reduce footfall noise.
5. Most specialized soundproofing materials are only effective when installed by an expert, and are designed to address isolated problems. Products like mass-loaded vinyl and expensive insulation are rarely worth the cost when compared to simply doubling up on drywall or staggering wall studs.