Noise has a very distinct disadvantage – it distracts. This is especially so when you are trying to get work done either at home or in the office. You may be home trying to take a nap, put a baby to sleep or even watch a movie amongst other things. Or you could be at the office and you want to concentrate on work for more productivity.
Maybe you are trying to have a meeting with important clients. Whatever you are trying to do noise is a distraction except of course you are in a stadium, a concert or a construction site where it is the life of the party. See how noise affects productivity in this article.
Most people appreciate having their space to themselves. In most cases, they also want it quiet to enable them to do whatever they want without any form of distractions.
Yes there are different forms of distractions asides noise but it is the major one. Noise can also come in many forms; office chats, traffic from the road, construction work going on nearby, or from people walking or moving about. If you operate a home office, you may experience noise from children playing and shouting, from the TV or the floors above.
Noise does not only come from external sources. It can also be generated from internal sources. Maybe you are the one causing the noise and will not want it to disturb others. This is especially so if you have a studio or a sort of space where several loud activities take place.
Whether you are guarding against external noise coming in or preventing the noise you produce from getting out, what you need to do is to soundproof that space.
There are many ways and different materials for soundproofing a home or office. Your choice should depend on whatever you are trying to achieve. Although basic soundproofing can be done by just anyone, getting a professional to soundproof your space will give you best results. Let’s take a look at a few ways to soundproof both spaces.
Soundproofing A home
A home can be soundproofed for several reasons. It may be due to noise from the neighbors especially if you live in a shared building or you own a home office.
Whether you are using a room in the house or you are using your basement as an office or preventing sounds for other reasons, here are some things to do:
Seal Every Hole and Cracks in the Doors and Walls
One of the very first things to do is to inspect whatever space you are using for holes in the walls, doors, and ceilings. Seal every hole if there are any. It will make your home quieter and you will be glad you did. One of the best materials to use for sealing holes is a fiberglass batt insulation.
Insulate Your Doors
Sealing your outer doors with weather strips help to guard not only against weather and heat loss, but also serves to prevent noise from entering that space. Where possible, replace your internal doors with solid ones as most internal doors are made to be hollow. This helps to reduce the amount of sound that can pass through them.
Insulate Your Walls and Ceilings
Use insulating materials like acoustic panels, mass loaded vinyl, ceiling panels, fiberglass, and viscoelastic foams. They will absorb and help to reduce sounds from passing through and bouncing around.
Soundproof and Insulate Your Windows and Air Vents
Windows and air vents are often overlooked when soundproofing a house though they are some of the greatest culprits in allowing noise to enter into a home. For the windows, it is either you replace them with soundproof windows or use soundproof curtains. To soundproof the air vents, you either block it with a soundproof material or build a sound maze in the vent.
Fix Squeaky Floors
Another source of noise in the home are hardwood floors. When they are old or become loose, they start to squeak. Fix loose ones and replace old ones as soon as possible.
Soundproofing an Office
In soundproofing an office, knowing your goal is quite important. Aside from preventing sounds from entering the office, you will want to prevent sounds from leaving it too. Different methods and materials could be used to reduce noise in the office environment.
If you are soundproofing an office during construction or build-out, it is recommended that you evaluate your business model and needs. Will it be a large open space? Will people have to talk a lot on phones? Do some departments need private office spaces? All these will enable you to determine what is needed and how to go about getting soundproofing done. Also, reach out to soundproof professionals on how to tips that will help you through the process. They will give professional advice on how to construct your space for effective results. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:
• Use materials with high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC). A material with an NRC between .5 and .9 is good. When a material has an NRC of say maybe .5, this means it blocks out 50% of sound. The higher the NRC, the better.
• Install double-pane doors if there is a lot of street noise and you may also use curtains to dampen the noise.
• Place electronics like TV and sound devices in such a way that it does not cause distractions.
If you are soundproofing an existing office space, you need to evaluate the space and see where noise is coming from. You may need to change doors, wall dividers, fill cracks, block holes and finally soundproof it using any or a combination of the following methods:
Using acoustic panels
These panels absorb sounds in large spaces and are great for open office spaces where sound seems to be magnified when bounced around. They can be mounted either on the ceiling, walls or both. One beautiful thing about acoustic panels is that they can be designed in any shape, size or configuration to be more functional, adding aesthetic value to your space.
Using sofas and carpets
Carpets can be placed on the office floors and sofas can be placed in strategic places to absorb sounds. These two will absorb some of the sounds and make the space quieter.
In soundproofing your home or office, the tips shared above constitute just a tip of the iceberg. Getting professionals to do it will not only save you a lot of stress, but it will also ensure you get the best results.