General Question

JLeslie's avatar

If I want to dampen sound in my bedroom, do I put sound proofing in the bedroom or the family room?

Asked by JLeslie (65521points) 1 week ago from iPhone

I know there are sound proofing panels and artwork, and let’s say the noise is made in the kitchen and family room, do I put the panels in the living space or the bedroom to help the bedroom be quieter?

What products do you recommend to dampen the decibels in a house?

I like cork, but if I paint it will it nix the acoustic dampening quality?

Is canvas art as good as what they label as acoustic dampening art?

What else can you tell me or recommend?

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24 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Which room is the source of the sound?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Put a second wall between the rooms or add panels in family room to absorb sound.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso The source is the family room.

gorillapaws's avatar

I saw a video on soundproofing a long time ago and remember being impressed. I found it again. It’s possible there are newer/better products/techniques available now, but these seemed helpful and informative. I’ve never done any of this though so I can’t vouch for it personally. Best of luck.

filmfann's avatar

In radio stations, they put carpet or acoustical ceiling tiles on the walls of the room they want quieted.

Kraigmo's avatar

If the bedroom is the room you wanna make quieter… use dampeners in that very room as the priority. But then also do them in other rooms to reduce the noise even further

snowberry's avatar

One thing you may not have considered is vibration from the bass. Heavy bass takes sound to a whole new level, and while many people love the bone-shaking feel of heavy bass, it sure isn’t fun to experience if you are trying to sleep.

Good luck with that portion of your project. I’ve never figured out how to eliminate that from my environment with the exception of saying, “Hey out there! TURN IT DOWN ALREADY!”

Forever_Free's avatar

It really helps to know what the sound is that you are trying to reduce. Different frequencies have different techniques.

JLeslie's avatar

@Forever_Free Kitchen noise and TV noise. My husband is a light sleeper.

Interestingly, I bought earplugs a few months ago for zumba class and daily if it’s too loud. The ones I bought are supposed to be good to still be able to talk at a concert and not distort sound. They actually don’t muffle singing enough for me, but they do seem to reduce the music. I think I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel protective enough. Then I saw a famous singer on TV who lost his hearing for music. He can hear people talk (I think he uses hearing aids) but can’t hear music, I hadn’t realized how specific it could be. I don’t understand how those earplugs work.

@filmfann I thought about rugs, I used to hook rugs when I was a kid.

Forever_Free's avatar

Is the TV Wall mounted or table mounted? Changing to location can be helpful. Also you can get speakers that can put the audio on a table beside the listener. I use Home Pods connected to my TV. Bluetooth connected enables you to move them anywhere for TV or Music Audio from your phone.
Mass-loaded vinyl and acoustic panels can fit behind a wall-mounted TV.
There are also Audio settings on the TV Menu that you can adjust to help. Some settings remove the bass specifically to adjust for these kinds of things.

Kitchen noises are a bit different. Those are sharper sounds like glasses, dishware, pots pans, dishwasher. It also depends on the flooring there as these are high traffic.
A rubber underlayment can be helpful, but that is done at time of build. Rugs on the floors can help foot traffic noises. It also is a large echo space typically. Wall hangings of more photo’s or Felting can deaden the echo dramatically.

There is a field of sound and acoustic engineering that fits in this umbrella. I recall building a call center years ago and everything from the floor, ceiling tiles, workspace walls can make a huge difference. The upcharge on acoustic rated items is tremendous but does wonders.

I grew up in a larger household and my bedroom was next to the kitchen. I worked 3rd shift in college and would come home for sleep prior to classes just as my 4 other siblings were getting breakfast before school. I learned to sleep with a pillow wrapped over my head. To this very day I will wrap a pillow over my head to block any noise or morning light if I need to sleep longer. It’s like being a turtle.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

White noise, my wife runs a room AC unit even if the compressor is not active most of the time. I can get up and work in the morning and it does not bother her.

kevbo1's avatar

Likely the cheapest solution will be earplugs and a white noise machine. You’ll want to pick the white noise setting that’s the same frequency as the offending noise, and put the machine in the bedroom or possibly just outside the door.

I thought earplugs would not work for me because of my tinnitus, but they do. There are -34dB earplugs that, for some reason, are significantly better than the standard -33dB ones.

if you bother with adding material to youf house, put it at the source or between the source and the bedroom.

JLeslie's avatar

@kevbo1 Where do you get -34db earplugs? I haven’t come across earplugs with that much sound dampening.

kevbo1's avatar

I was on my phone earlier, otherwise, I would have linked. These ones

Another route is noise canceling/white noise earbuds.

SnipSnip's avatar

We needed to paint the room where we wanted to reduce noise from the den so we just added another piece of sheetrock to that wall. It only had one electrical outlet and no crown mold so it was an easy change The room was a ½ inch or so smaller but was much quieter. This was at a home from years ago. I lived in a townhouse for many years and the common wall had double sheetrock on each side…...four pieces between houses. I could play my piano and my neighbor heard nothing.

kevbo1's avatar

The double sheet rock is often bonded with Green Glue.

JLeslie's avatar

@SnipSnip Interesting. Are you sure it didn’t have some sort of fire proofing inbetween? I grew up in a townhouse and never heard my neighbors on either side, but I think it was more than just sheet rock or even double sheet rock. I always thought it had some sort of fireproofing and/or insulation.

Smashley's avatar

It costs 50 cents to insulate your ears with earplugs.

Sound comes from many directions, including vibrations in walls and framing. The best way to soundproof a particular space is to put the soundproofing as close as possible to the space you wish to make quiet.

JLeslie's avatar

Finally watched and read all of the links jellies provided to me. One of the problems in my house is my husband hates closing doors, so obviously sound will travel from room to room. This had me thinking that dampening the sound and any echo in the room the sound happens might be useful. I just wasn’t sure how it really works best.

@gorillapaws Thanks for finding the video. I learned a lot from it. Not everything in it applies to my situation, our pipes are in the cement floor mostly, except for air conditioning ducts, and I guess that would carry sound according to him, which I had never thought about. We can’t change that, this guy sounds like he’s in Canada, and possibly only has heating. As far as insulation, I think there is insulation in my attic, but I don’t think there is insulation between rooms. I’m pretty sure only exterior walls have insulation. I like that in the video he’s realistic about how much sound you will still hear.

@kevbo1 I had no idea something like that existed.

gorillapaws's avatar

@JLeslie Glad you found it helpful! I can’t even remember how or why I found it in the first place but I filed it away in my brain under “this may be useful some day” and I’m glad it was.

Pandora's avatar

I am sensitive to sound and like my bedroom door open as well. I sleep with my air purifier on. It works like white noise. It helps to focus on the sound it makes till you fall asleep. It may take him a while to get adjusted but eventually, he will find it hard to not sleep with it on. My husband is a snorer so I found this helped me not notice the sounds that he makes. Does he ever fall asleep with the tv on? If he does then this should work. I imagine with the door open sound will still travel to the room. I also find the quieter the house is the more I can hear. Like the a/c coming on or just weird house noises.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I might try the air purifier, but I an a little resistant to the idea. He does not fall asleep with the TV on except for naps. It’s actually a quibble between us because I like to fall asleep with the TV and he wants total quiet. Where we live it is dead silent at night. We don’t even have the AC handler inside the house it’s in the garage (very common in FL) so we don’t hear it go off and on and the compressor is on the other side of the house.

I know people who use white noise, and then they have trouble sleeping without it.

SnipSnip's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I’m sure. The house I have now is concrete and and single sheetrock on either side of the blocks handles the noise pretty well. But not as well as the four layers of sheetrock.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Gotcha.

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