Archive for the ‘Soundproofing Mistakes’ Category

New San Diego FBI Headquarters Opens

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

CBS8 in San Diego reported the opening of the new FBI headquarters in the same city. The building, if you check out the article and attached video, looks really nice. The new facility has been open for about 2-3 months now. The stunning 250,000 foot building features a gorgeous courtyard as well as a gym.

The part that tickled me, though, was the glib remark the writer made about the soundproofing. Apparently things in the old office were so bad they had actually glued panels of carpet to the walls.

Just as a reminder – we covered that back in June of 2009 with – Soundproofing Mistakes – Carpet on the Walls.

I have to be honest, though. I can’t blame them for trying. When sound is a concern, you can start to feel a little desperate. FBI agents have stressful jobs and I’m sure that anyone coming back to the office after working a case would pay a dear price for some peace and quiet.

I’m just glad to see they got a new building before they resorted to hay bales or dark paint!

Soundproofing Mistakes: Launching an Offensive

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Are your neighbors the source of your sound control problems? If so, you may feel aggravated and angry every time you see (or hear) them and you may spend a lot of time sitting around trying to think of a way to get even with them.

Huge mistake.

Despite what you may believe, your neighbors may not be aware that the levels of noise they create are bothersome to you. Your best bet is to approach your neighbors, in a friendly manner, and talk to them about the situation. Maybe your neighbor doesn’t realize that his teenage son’s bedroom (and radio) are right across from your own. Perhaps he simply doesn’t realize that his dog hangs out in the part of the yard closest to your home at night.

The best bet is a polite discussion. You neighbor may be able to make a change that solves your problem without a lot of time, money, or the implementation of an expensive sound proofing project.

Soundproofing Mistakes: Hay Bales

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Alright – this is the last soundproofing mistake we’re going to cover – at least for a while. What’s the mistake, you ask? Using hay bales to create a soundproofing unit.

To be fair, hay bales actually really do make great sound deadening barriers. The problem is that they’re really better for outdoor use and pose quite a number of problems if used inside.

They’re flammable, they’re more than likely not up to building code, and they’re easy to steal – for starters. If you or anyone in your household suffers from allergies the hay bales are sure to set you off on a sneezing spree. Oh – and hay bales are usually dirty. Even if you cover them in plastic they’re going to make quite a mess.

Why you’d choose to use a hay bale to insulate your home, we have no idea. It may seem economical at the time but we guarantee you’ll regret the decision. Find something a bit more hygienic, ok?

Soundproofing Mistakes – Carpet on the Walls

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Here’s another soundproofing mistake/myth for you to consider.

Should you, or should you not, attempt to soundproof a room by attaching carpet to the walls?

The answer is a resounding NO. First of all, the carpet won’t make much difference when it comes to the level of sound capable of entering the room. It may help the acoustic absorbency, or the amount of sound the leaves the room, but why would you want to settle for something that only solves 50% of the problem (and, honestly, looks pretty terrible).

The problem you will have with carpet is similar to the problem you will have if you attempt to nail a mattress to your wall. In the end, it’ll deteriorate, look bad, and may even begin to smell bad.

Don’t waste your time on materials that won’t get the job done. Get yourself the right materials and build yourself a sound barrier that will last.

Soundproofing Mistakes – Dark Paint

Monday, June 8th, 2009

A while back we stumbled upon an article where a woman admitted that she had used dark paint on the walls in the room she wanted to soundproof. She truly believed that the darker the paint the better the chances of sound being absorbed and/or not being able to pass through the walls. I wish I had been the salesperson selling her paint that day – he probably made a pretty penny.

Apparently this is a pretty common misconception when it comes to soundproofing, so let’s take the time to clarify this point right now. The color of the paint you put on your walls will have absolutely no impact – zip, zero, zilch – on the amount of sound that enters the room.

You’ll need to instead focus on installing insulation, applying acoustical caulk, or taking some other type of soundproofing measure. Don’t get drawn in by the hype and – most important – save your money so that you can buy a color of paint you might actually enjoy looking at every day!

Soundproofing Mistakes – Old Mattresses

Friday, June 5th, 2009

We’re not 100% sure why people think this technique works but please (pretty please) do not attempt to soundproof your room by nailing old mattresses to the walls. This concept is wrong for a whole host of reasons.

Yes, you read that correctly. Some people literally take old mattresses and nail them to the walls thinking they’re adding insulation. This would work if you were able to seal the mattresses together so that there were no seams, spaces, or open edges – but we’re not even sure that’s possible with the best soundproofing caulk on earth.

Besides, mattresses stink. They’re old for a reason. Throw them away. Why would you want to nail your dingy used mattress to the wall? If, by chance, you live in a place where this is your only option – go for it. But seriously, folks, if anyone tells you this is the way to go we suggest you turn and run in the other direction. Find a better sound proofing expert and do so quickly!

Soundproofing Mistakes – Using Foam Rubber

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Individuals who are attempting to soundproof their homes often look for the most cost effective ways of doing so. For some this means bypassing traditional sound proofing materials and attempting to get the job done with more commonly found items.

One of our favorite soundproofing mistakes is the use of foam rubber. By foam rubber we mean the type of stuff manufacturers use to make thin rubber mattresses. The idea, in reality, isn’t all that bad – but when the foam starts to go bad (especially if you use it on a floor) you’ll suddenly realize that foam rubber isn’t as durable (or soundproof) as you thought.

It’s better to use a formal soundproofing material like a mass loaded vinyl product. This type of material is designed for soundproofing, won’t rot with time, and actually costs just as much or less than the foam rubber you were considering!

Soundproofing Mistakes: Installing Egg Crates

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

We’re going to take some time to look at some of the most common mistakes people make when they attempt to soundproof their homes. One of the biggest (and most amusing to us) is the use of egg crates or cardboard egg holder style materials.

Egg crates are good for one thing and one thing alone – holding eggs. Egg crate material is not made to act as a sound barrier. Egg crates are made out of a lightweight material that is good for protecting eggs from the elements. This material is “holy,” meaning sound can easily pass through it in many places even though it appears to be solid.

Do not waste your time, money, or energy searching for large quantities of egg crate material. The time you spend hunting it down and attempting to install it will be time spent in vain.

And, to make matters worse, installing egg crates might even make your noise problems worse!

Just don’t do it!