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Soundproofing Your New Orleans Home


Soundproofing  is broken down into two areas: noise reduction (stopping the noise) and noise absorption (changing the noise).  These are achieved by different applications. I will approach this issue by separating floor, walls, and ceilings; there may be some overlap.  Measuring of soundproofing is usually indicated by an NRC value. (Noise Reduction Control)  .45 NRC is less sound absorbing than .75 NRC.

  1. Floors

    • Carpet is a good noise absorption; one can put cork or neoprene underneath the carpet and carpet pad to further muffle the sound. This is good to do if you live above someone and want to reduce noise you make.
  2. Walls

    • The best way to soundproof a room is a double layer of sheetrock, known as a resilient channel.  This can be done a couple of ways: placing metal tracks along the wall and hanging another sheet of rock. The metal tracks are put on neoprene pads or siliconed creating a cavity and noise barrier for apartments next to each other.
    • Spray foam does little for sound proofing, but what does well is sprayed-on cellulose.  Don’t forget to seal your outlet holes.
    • Sound Board is similar to a sheet of rock, only hard foam, and is placed between the stud wall and sheetrock.
    • Lead lined sheetrock, but is costly at 125 to 250 a sheet.
    • Windows; replacing your single pane with dual pane window units with a soundproof element.  Not all dual pane window units have soundproofing.
    • Fabric wrapped Acoustical Panels are used in movie theaters and public areas. These boards have noise-absorbing foam are hung on existing walls.
  3. Ceilings

    • Sugarcane Panels are made from the stalks of sugar cane bound together into a panel.  The panel has a high NA value and can be spray painted up to 6 times with non-bridging paint; good for public places.
    • Acoustical Tiles; there is a hierarchy here, all panels are not created equal.  Please look at the NRC (Noise Reduction Control) value to see how much soundproofing you want to achieve.