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Soundproofing with Acoustic Insulation

Last Updated Apr 21, 2010 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

Insulation is vital in homes to make them more resistant against the extremes of hot and cold, but did you know that you can use insulation to make homes quieter and stop the transmission of noise? This is called acoustic insulation and here’s what you need to know.

What is Acoustic Insulation?

Acoustic insulation is simply a product that stops the transfer of noise (see acoustic insulation product brochures for options). It will stop internal noise from leaking into other rooms, and similarly stop external noise from entering the home. Acoustic insulation can be installed in internal or external walls, in ceilings, or between stories in multi storey homes. Essentially it makes your home a more comfortable, quiet place to be. One example would be using acoustic insulation in a home theatre so that the noise doesn’t travel through to bedrooms when watching a movie while the kids are asleep.

You can buy insulation solely for its acoustic properties or buy insulation that has both thermal and acoustic qualities. Be aware that some insulation is for thermal insulation only and does not have any soundproofing qualities. Acoustic insulation is generally denser than thermal insulation, which gives it its soundproofing.

Measuring the Performance of Acoustic Insulation

Acoustic insulation can have an R value, which relates to how well it thermally insulates the home, but you should be aware that the R value has nothing to do with its acoustic properties. You will need to install additional thermal insulation if your acoustic insulation does not meet the minimum requirements. The soundproofing qualities of a particular material are measured using Weighted Sound Reduction Index (Rw). This is a single number rating, and the higher the Rw number, the better the performance of the material.

Materials Used for Acoustic Insulation

Acoustic insulation can be made from different materials so it is a matter of talking to a supplier and finding the one that best suits your needs. Acoustic insulation is commonly made from polyester, glasswool or rockwool but other materials may be used. It comes in batt or blanket form most commonly.

More information

If you would like more information on the types of insulations available and things to consider when insulating your home then visit our insulation feature.

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