Home | ToolBox | Acoustic Wall Treatments

This is an easy thing to do badly, and you only really get one shot at it. It isn't as simple as just the walls; you should also address doors and ceiling cavities as well.

Without question, your walls should have acoustic insulation in the cavity. Whether Rockwool, fibreglass or polyester the heavier the weight the better the performance.

 

If the wall is going to receive dance or Pilates barres, now is the time to put in reinforcement timbers. End screwed as noggins between the studs 200 x 50mm floor joist timbers makes a handy size. Over this go two layers of 13mm plasterboard fixed in opposing directions.

 

Whilst there is special sound excluding boards on offer most often the high fire rated ones have the same acoustic benefits for less cost. Importantly, and I recommend this, is a layer of an impervious membrane between.

 

The one we use can be found here.

 

The walls are then sealed top and bottom with a flexible sealant such as silicone but better ones are made by Sika and Bostik.

 

Above this in the ceiling cavity, a barium impregnated vinyl should be fixed continuously as a sound curtain between the roof and the ceiling. An example would be wave bar by Pyrotek. This stops the sound travelling up and over into the next room.

None of this is much good though if you don't seal the doors. Sound, like water, will find a way out and with nowhere else to go your doors will become little speakers. Double doors, as used in sound stages, are overkill and certified acoustic doors hideously expensive. In all instances, including the above, jamb seals and sill seals are essential. Make sure the ones you use are of the acoustic variety as weather seals don't quite do it. As a minimum use a solid core door. This may then be improved with a layer of an impervious membrane such as wave bar or quiet wave over which is a layer of 12mm MDF is added. Apply this on both sides. You will need an over length spindle for your lockset when you do this.

 

Again, with the water analogy, you should also consider "absorbing" some of the sounds in the room. Heavy drapes such as 500gsm wool are very beneficial and there are also a range of sound absorbent wall treatments available many of which double as pin boards.

Doing this properly will not be cheap. Ultimately though segregating the sound between your studios will hugely improve the quality of the experience for both dancers and teachers alike.

 

Challenge your supplier(s) with the suggestions I have made here. I would be most interested in their feedback

 

Good Luck! Martin and the team

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