Top 10 Domestic Noise Reduction Methods

Expert advice from Sound Reduction Systems

Sound Reduction Systems Ltd (SRS) have been assisting customers with domestic noise reduction problems for 40 years and have a wealth of expertise in the field.  We manufacture high performance acoustic solutions for walls, floors, and ceilings within the home and have an industry leading Institute of Acoustics registered technical team on hand to offer practical advice.

We understand the effects that having noisy neighbours can have on health and wellbeing and have been helping customers tackle domestic noise problems for over 40 years.  SRS have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field.  In this article, we have outlined 10 straightforward noise reduction techniques that can be used to improve domestic soundproofing.

For information about how SRS can help with noise reduction in your home, please read our guides on domestic sound proofing products

Noise Reduction Techniques

The Most Effective Noise Reduction Methods for Your Home


1. Independent Acoustic Wall Linings

Where maximum sound insulation performance is required then this will always be achieved in practice by using a timber or metal stud that is completely isolated from the wall that is being upgraded.  SRS have a fully tested specification for our Maxiboard acoustic building board installed onto an independent 50mm deep metal stud frame.  An independent wall lining system offers the advantage of extremely high sound insulation performance but will unfortunately eat into the room a little more than a resilient bar or direct to wall solution.

2. Resilient Bar Systems

Resilient bars help to decouple heavy acoustic linings from wall or ceiling structures and allow maximum sound insulation performance to be achieved for a given addition of mass/weight.  SRS Maxi Resilient Bars are a 30mm deep top hat profile and offer practical advantages over more conventional resilient bars that are secured on one side.  Maxi Resilient Bars have a wide face to fix into and cannot be squashed flat during installation. Maxi Resilient Bars also minimise the risk of a fixing going through the bar and into the wall behind which would create bridging paths and reduce performance.  The vast majority of SRS’s Part E compliant acoustic wall and ceiling specifications utilise Maxi Resilient Bars and our Maxiboard acoustic building board.

3. Specialist Acoustic Building Boards

SRS Maxiboard is a heavy 17mm thick acoustic building board, constructed from a lamination of three different types of specialist building materials.  The mass loaded vinyl central layer of Maxiboard is sandwiched between two rigid board layers to achieve a performance benefit from constrained layer damping.  This gives Maxiboard improved low frequency sound insulation performance compared with conventional building materials such as plasterboard. Building the damping layer into the Maxiboard means that no other no other damping sheets are required as part of the overall soundproofing specification.

4. Direct to Wall Soundproofing Boards

Where space is an absolute premium and the customer requires a low-profile cost-effective product that is easy to install directly to a masonry wall, SRS recommend Acousticboard 4.  At only 30mm in thickness and secured to the wall using hammer-fixings Acousticboard 4 won’t eat into the room significantly, can be installed by any competent DIYer, and will provide a clearly noticeable reduction in noise coming through from the neighbours.

5. Isolated Ceilings

Acoustic isolation is a fundamental part of any effective acoustic ceiling specification.  Our Maxi 60 and Maxi Dropped Ceiling specifications both use our Maxi Resilient Bars to decouple the Maxiboard from the floor structure above.  The acoustic isolation provided by resilient bars means that is no direct connection between the linings and the building structure, meaning the transmission of vibration and sound energy is greatly reduced.  Our Maxi 60 ceiling system is just over 60mm in thickness, should meet the sound insulation requirements of Building Regulations Part E, and has a 60-minute fire rating.

6. Resilient Acoustic Flooring Products

Adding a resilient acoustic underlay product to your floor can be a relatively simple way of achieving a fantastic improvement in sound insulation performance.  For over 25 years SRS Acoustilay has led the way in the proprietary acoustic underlay market and still continues to set the standard for product quality, ease of installation and sound reduction potential.

All Acoustilay versions significantly reduce the transmission of impact noises such as footsteps, dropped items and moving furniture.  The heavier grades of Acoustilay 8 and 15 are also able to reduce airborne noises such as television, music and speech due to their high mass.

Acoustilay is 100% sourced and manufactured in the UK using recyclable content. It is supplied in 1200mm x 1200mm sheets, in thicknesses of 10mm, 12mm and 15mm to suit a variety of soundproofing objectives.

7. Floating Floor Systems

Acoustic Flooring floor systems are usually constructed from a rigid board with a resilient acoustic layer foam or felt layer beneath.  SRS Maxideck and Maxipanel 28 are two examples of this kind of product.  In both cases the high surface mass of the board results in an upgrade to airborne sound insulation performance whilst the resilient acoustic felt layer of both products cuts down on the transmission of vibration and impact noise.  Maxideck is also constructed from a laminate of rigid board materials and a core layer of mass loaded vinyl, meaning that a constrained layer damping benefit is achieve using this product.

8. Acoustic Ceiling Hangers

Acoustic ceiling hangers come in many forms, but all types can be used to isolate an acoustic ceiling lining, such as our Maxiboard, from the structure above.

Maxiboard is most commonly installed on SRS Maxi Resilient Bars in ceiling applications, but we also have a fully tested specification with Maxiboard installed beneath British Gypsum Casoline MF ceilings.  As part of the MF specification, it is recommend to use acoustic strap hangers and acoustic brackets for maximum performance.

9. Acoustic Cavity Infill Products

Any effective soundproofing specification should include an acoustically absorptive cavity infill such as our Maxi Slab high density acoustic mineral wool product.  Maxi Slab inserted within a floor, wall or ceiling cavity will aid the decay of sound within the void and reduce the effect of cavity resonance during sound insulation performance testing.  It is important to note that for domestic noise problems a cavity infill product is rarely the solution in isolation and should be team with other products such as Maxiboard and Acoustilay for best results.

10. Acoustic Socket and Service Backboxes

A commonly used analogy is that when it comes to the transmission of sound it behaves quite like water and will exploit any weaknesses within the partition structure.  One weakness that is commonly found within walls and partitions is the presence of sockets and switches.  In order to reduce transmission through sockets and switches SRS recommend the use of our Acoustic Socket and Service Backboxes as well as ensuring that fittings are staggered to ensure a convoluted transmission path.  SRS Acoustic Socket and Service boxes are designed in line with the guidance of Robust Details for service penetration treatment.

For more information about domestic noise control techniques, please contact Sound Reduction Systems.

For details on how to purchase domestic soundproofing products please see here: How to Buy Acoustic Products

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Our professional, Institute of Acoustics registered technical department is on hand to give advice on all of our high performance acoustic products.  We're delighted to offer advice on any noise problem, be it a sound insulation or sound absorption issue.

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