If you are living in a house with a basement, you understand the potential that it offers. However, it will be a challenge to dampen all of the sounds that may be frequently heard through the walls and floors of any basement.
A basement can be a lot of things. It can be allocated as a storage space. But it can also be converted as a home office, a home gym, a hobby room, a bedroom, or just a place where you, your friends or other family members may spend free time.
However you decide to use the space, you can do so and enjoy the space as much as you want. There is one thing that may constantly bother you, nonetheless –noise.
It does not matter whether the sound comes from the floors above, or the sound travels from the basement and into the upper living spaces, you may wonder what can be done to help dampen both interior and exterior sounds.
Before you consider the options for the best soundproofing material available for a basement, there are some things that you may need to consider.
Types of Sound
You need to soundproof a space to deaden noise or block off passing sound waves. Before you do so, you will need to specify the type of sound that you intend to eliminate. Consider these types of sound: airborne and airborne noise transmission.
Airborne noise is transmitted from everything that you hear around you – people talking at a distance, the sound coming from the TV set, the radio playing on the background, the kids playing in the next room, and so on. The sounds created by these examples reverberate as soundwaves, which are transferred to another object, creating another series of vibration and goes on to pass through air, water, even solid elements as long as they bounce off from one medium to another.
These airborne sounds create airborne noise through the process of transmission from one medium to another.
The airborne sound can also create impact noise, which results when sound travels through a solid element or medium. For instance, people walking to and from the sala to the dining room or to the bedroom or to any other part of the house. The soundwaves generated when two solid elements collide or come into contact, are known as impact noise or structure-borne noise.
Soundproofing A Basement
Once you have determined the type of noise that you need to minimize, you can then identify the soundproofing strategies.
Insulating a room is an effective way to limit sound transfer. It can help dampen the noise that may pass through the surrounding walls and floors.
Using drywall is also an option. This creates greater mass, which can also lessen the volume of soundwaves that may be transferred through walls and ceiling. And when looking for the right drywall to use, consider a denser drywall since it offers better soundproofing capabilities.
Acoustic Foam Tiles
Installing acoustic foam tiles can also make a space feel a lot quieter since they help minimize reverberations, hence reduce the transfer of soundwaves or the resulting sound (or noise, depending on how you perceive it).
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
MLVC can be installed on walls and ceilings of the basement and can be an effective way to reduce both airborne and structure-borne noise.
Caulk or seal gaps to ensure that there are no gaps in windows, ceilings and walls to block off unwanted sounds.
Carpets and Rugs
Placing rugs and carpets will also help cut down the sound level that may pass through the boundaries of your basement.
Soundproof drapes are also proven effective in minimizing sound transfer and is a cost-efficient solution as well. They can both absorb or deflect sound waves, hence dampening the sound that will be heard within the space.
The basement provides a lot of flexibility to the homeowner. To maximize the benefits that it offers, you can use any of the options mentioned.
Your personal preferences, the cost of the materials, your budget for the project, the ease of application, are some of the factors that will help you determine which of the options available to go with. Opt for one that will provide the most benefits for you and for the space as well.