How to Make a Homemade Acoustic Insulator

Constant noise can become a problem. To mitigate it, here are some simple, do-it-yourself alternatives you can make at home.
How to Make a Homemade Acoustic Insulator

Last update: 03 July, 2021

A homemade acoustic insulator is very helpful, as noise is a common nuisance everywhere.

In fact, noise pollution exists, and more so in urbanized areas. Whether it’s the neighbor, the noise from the street, the sound of machinery, or because you don’t want to hear what’s going on in your room, you must be wondering how to make homemade sound insulation.

Soundproofing refers to preventing a sound from leaving or entering a place, decreasing the noise in a certain area and isolated with different materials.

Before we start, let’s be clear that there are homemade acoustic insulators and acoustic conditioners, which aren’t the same thing. To condition, a place from the acoustic point of view is to do it so that in the enclosure the sound sounds good.

Let’s take a closer look.

Different acoustic insulators on the market

Acoustic insulators are materials used to reduce the noise that enters a room from the outside.

Sound is transmitted by vibrations moving through the air. Sound waves travel and collide with a barrier of some kind, preventing sound from entering a space. This can be done with sound absorption or noise reduction.

We can achieve noise reduction by putting space between rooms, so the sound has more room to dissipate.

The case of noise absorption is damping. The energy of the sound wave is converted to heat in the insulation, suppressing echoes and reverberation. By reverberation, we mean sound reflections in a room.

A woman suffering from noise pollution
Noise from busy streets can become unbearable for work and study.

Pyramid-shaped foam rubber sound insulator

This type of insulation is what we get in recording and theater studios. It consists of foam plates with different densities and thicknesses.

You should place the one you need depending on the space you need to soundproof. What it does is absorb noise and avoid reverberation.

Foam agglomerates

It’s a foam agglomerate that you can use to reduce noise from any direction. They’re acoustic foam boards that can be placed on ceilings and walls.

They also serve as thermal insulation. They come in different thicknesses and densities.

Aluminum insulation

Aluminum is a material with high conductivity, so in addition to being an acoustic insulator, it’s also thermal. It consists of several layers of aluminum and polyethylene, although it can also include polyester.

Rock wool

The rock wool panel has an insulating core and two rigid outer layers. The material is composed of volcanic rock. Therefore, it provides thermal and acoustic insulation, flame retardant properties and prevents the development of microorganisms.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is composed of silica sand, sodium carbonate, and limestone. These materials are heated to 1500 degrees Celsius. This is when the filaments emerge and intertwine to form it.

As an acoustic insulator, it helps to reduce airborne noise, reverberation, the sound coming from the outside, and the sound produced inside the house.

Soundproofing paint

It’s a type of paint that you can use on any surface which is good for any normal paint. It works only with noise levels up to 52 decibels, although you should ask the seller how much the one you’re going to buy covers.

How to make a homemade acoustic insulator

If you don’t have enough money to make a mineral wool installation work, you can also apply some tricks to stop the noise using a homemade acoustic insulator.

All following the principle that the thicker the material, the more it insulates. What’s actually done is to put acoustic barriers or structures that function as devices that mitigate the sounds.

Carpets, curtains, and upholstery as homemade acoustic insulators

This is an easy method to insulate the house from noise. You can install a very thick carpet that will be an obstacle so that the sound doesn’t pass through and bounce off the floors.

Curtains and upholstery made of thick fabrics such as velvet, very thick linen, and corduroy will help. Also, this is an inexpensive way if you live in a building and the neighbor downstairs makes a lot of noise.

Bookshelves

Another inexpensive way to reduce noise is to put bottom shelves on the walls. If they contain books, they’ll muffle the sound. You can also place cabinets or furniture on the walls. In addition, other barriers can be mirrors and pictures.

Window conditioning

Windows are sound conductors par excellence. In fact, by their own vibration, they generate noise. This is usually a common problem in homes in urban areas.

Specialists recommend changing to windows with more acoustically efficient glass or installing double glazing. To avoid vibration, elastic supports can be placed in the frame.

To soundproof a window at home there are several options. The first is to use a heavy curtain that acts as a barrier.

You should also pay attention to cracks and joints, sealing with polyurethane foam or silicone if the space is small. You should do this step first with the outside of the window and then with the inside. If there are joints in the glass, they should be sealed with rubber weatherstripping.

A woman looking out her window
Windows transmit outside sound, but also generate it with their own vibration, which must be reduced.

False ceiling homemade acoustic insulator

The false ceiling consists of the installation of a ceiling 10 centimeters away from the original one to create an air chamber to absorb the noise. The installation usually isn’t too expensive; it’s all a matter of looking for quotes.

A homemade acoustic insulator can bring peace of mind

Remember that what will insulate you from noise will be the thickness of the materials, so using egg cartons for soundproofing is a myth, since it’s a very thin substance that won’t meet the objective.

To apply any remodeling to your home you should rely on your trusted builder or resort to little tricks that’ll save you a few bucks. In some cases, it’s just a matter of trying and seeing if it’s really the right thing to do. In conclusion, it’s worth the effort to sleep, work or study peacefully.

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  • GUÍA TÉCNICA PARA AISLAMIENTO ACÚSTICO Y DISEÑO Y CONFIGURACIÓN DE SISTEMAS DE REFUERZO SONORO PARA ESTABLECIMIENTOS. Convenio de Asociación No. 124 De 2015, Celebrado entre la Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca –CVC- Y La Universidad De San Buenaventura Medellín.