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Do I simply add mass to Soundproof Walls and Floors?

Posted in Soundproofing & Sound Testing on Aug 08, 2018

In today's open plan living the need for sound insulation has become increasingly important. There are many complex elements that are involved in the soundproofing of a building. All of these elements work together to help reduce noise and vibrations. Although adding mass is one of these important elements, there are many other factors which are also incredibly important. Below we explore the importance of decoupling, absorption, damping and mass, and how they all play a key role in helping to isolate sound in buildings. 

The importance of absorption 

Sound absorbing materials play a vital role in providing sound insulation to a room. The problem with modern homes is there is often trapped air within the wall cavity, and it is this air that resonates and makes a noise, or helps to amplify noise. Wall cavities are responsible for carrying noise across one wall through to a joining room. One useful material to insert into the wall cavity to help solve this problem is fibreglass, as this will help to absorb any sound. Other choices include wool, cellulose, and even recycled cotton. 

The first step is decoupling 

Decoupling should be the very first step in soundproofing any room. A simple definition of decoupling is that of separating objects, and in terms of soundproofing, this means isolating sound between floors, ceilings and walls. Sound travels from floor to ceiling, as there is a natural pathway that allows the sound to travel. Decoupling breaks this chain. Some decoupling methods include the use of soundproofing clips, a resilient channel, staggered and double studs walls. 

Damping reduces sound resonance 

Damping is the process used to reduce any sound resonance within a room. This is done in combination with absorption and redirection. Very often damping is achieved during the construction of buildings with the installation of dead walls, as they do not vibrate. It is this vibration that increases noise levels within a room. Installing thick doors can also help to aid with the damping of a room. Damping won't be very beneficial by itself, but it is effective when absorption is used within the structure of the walls. 

Adding mass 

Finally, we come full circle and back to the importance of adding mass. There are two important factors to consider when adding mass. That of what type of material to use and where it should be placed. In terms of insulating sound in buildings, then this is done primarily through the use of adding plywood, cement board and drywood to walls. The idea here is to make the walls as heavy and thick as possible. Although adding mass to both walls and ceilings will decrease sound vibration, it will not stop bass sounds from being heard. 

It should also be noted that adding mass to any room is a good way to provide insulation, making the room more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. 

Conclusion 

There are four components that help to provide sound insulation in buildings. Decoupling, absorption, damping and adding mass. All help to isolate sound with mass playing a vital role.

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- Paul Hastings

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

30th May, 2017

I engaged Nova at the outset of my project (which I recommend you do) to assist with providing a detailed material specification and installation guidance. There was always someone available to help with practical enquiries and advice...

- C.G. Henry

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29th Nov, 2017

I had Adam come round to a property which i thought was beyond repair. He gave sound advice with exact details of what needed to be carried out in the most cost effective manner. Once the works were carried out he returned, tested it...

- Andrew Youngson

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

6th Dec, 2017

I have worked with the team at nova on a number of projects and have always been very helpful and competitively priced. Highly recommend this company for any sound test and report.

- Carol Chaplin

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

14th Jun, 2017

Excellent service, engineer was very informative and helpful.  Good customer service being able to speak to knowledgeable people on the telephone when making inquires about the procedure involved for the sound testing of our property...

- Bun Bar

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

2nd Dec, 2015

Good efficient service. Recommend it to all.

Bright Construction UK Ltd

- Gavin Boby

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

9th Nov, 2015

Very attentive and friendly service, keen to serve the client, and absolutely not about dragging the case out for fees - will work to save the client fees, and understand the practicalities of the case and the opposition that applications...

- Ejaz Shah

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9th Nov, 2016

Adam was very attentive and very professional answered all my questions and returned all calls the engineer arrived at the time agreed and again explained everything before carrying out the test , and we received our report within couple...

- Charles OKell

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23rd Feb, 2017

Its a tricky area and you need the right support, Paul Robinson  brought Adam's team to the table and we'll be working together again in future for sure.

- Ainsley Black

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14th Dec, 2016

Although we had followed the building reg, in terms of sound insulation the property conversion still failed the sound Test. Adam was very helpful and professional and guided us to the point that when it was retested again we passed. Would...

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19th Jun, 2017

Friendly efficient and cost effective service, without complication

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26th Oct, 2017

Very quick service, would recommend to others

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20th Dec, 2016

Excellent service and communication with all the members of staff we had dealings with.  A very professional approach and attitude by all.  An experience that is refreshing within the building sector and a company I could recommend...

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2nd Oct, 2017

Fast turn around and great service, recommended

- Allan Proctor

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21st Sep, 2016

Excellent service by Adam and the team at Nova. The service they delivered was efficient, competitive and I would highly recommend them!

- Carol Richards

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20th Jul, 2016

Having selected Nova Accoustics to perform a sound test on my latest project, I found the whole process completely professional, prompt & efficient .

The phone contact to set up the appointment was extremely  helpful...

- Michael Dickinson

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1st Mar, 2017

Having used Nova Acoustics on several projects, I would not hesitate in recommending this company.

- Steph Openshaw

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7th Sep, 2017

Fantastic service very quick and punctual highly recommended.

- Chris Bullerwell

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

22nd Nov, 2016

Used Nova Acoustics to sound test a property we'd converted in the Newcastle area.

Excellent service from start to finish. Professional, helpful & reliable throughout...highly recommended.

- Andrew Holmes

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23rd Mar, 2017

Really helpful team of people and very quick service, which was greatly appreciated.

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17th Aug, 2016

We are a small design firm and NOVA Acoustics provided very sufficient services to our clients with reasonable price. And they are quick to respond too.  Highly recommended.

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24th Apr, 2017

Very good company, communicated all the way through.  Competitive pricing, I will be using them again in the near future.

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6th Jul, 2017

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5th Oct, 2017

Excellent  service so far and will be contacting them again for their services.

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26th Jul, 2017

Fantastic service from this company at a very reasonable price, would definitely recomend....

- Robert Myers

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27th Apr, 2017

I used Nova acoustics to sound test my basement flat conversion for the building control certificate

And found them to be professional and friendly. The test was done mid afternoon and I had received by six o'clock the same...

- Stephen Shaw

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13th Jul, 2017

Excellent service. Would recommend to anyone needing assistance with matters arising from acoustics and noise.

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29th Jun, 2017

iKoustic have worked with Nova Acoustics for some time now and they are constantly thorough, professional and super helpful in everything they do ... They are certainly our partner of choice ... Rick

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10th Aug, 2017

Prompt, friendly, efficient, professional... would recommend and use again.

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20th Mar, 2017

As most of you reading this message are now probably aware  the difficulty of finding guidance and compliance of the part E building regulations is an arduous task. Well search no more! Adam at Nova Acoustics not only talked me through...

- Kate Whitehead

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27th Jul, 2017

Speedy quote, arranging the testing & report! Seb was really friendly & efficient onsite. Highly recommend!

- David Hope

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26th Sep, 2017

Came promptly at the requested time. Did the work professionally and in good time and provided the required reports so no issues or problems to report.

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27th Jul, 2017

NOVA provided a fast and efficient service. They came to carry out the sound tests on my 8 Bed HMO, which was a change of use from 4 flats. Very friendly and professional service. Mark (Hull)

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4th Oct, 2017

Excellent company, providing a professional service at a competitive price and a quick, hassle free  experience. I would recommend them to anyone.

Simon Phillips  Salisbury Poultry Ltd

- Peter Phillips

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31st Aug, 2017

Excellent service from start to finish.

Highly professional team who where very accommodating to the team on site and worked exceptional well with everyone.

Having worked with other companies within the same...

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31st Oct, 2017

Excellent speedy service, Luigi was very proficient and professional at carrying out his job, a real asset to the company. Thank you Luigi. Kind Regards, Ant Mason

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