Sound insulation – AKA acoustic insulation – is a specialised type of insulation that is designed to reduce the transfer of noise inside and outside your home.
Sound insulation can be used to prevent transfer of –
- Airborne sounds such as voices, airplanes or traffic
- Impact noises such as footsteps or vibrating appliances
Sound insulation batts will also provide a level of thermal performance for better temperature regulation inside the home. Check the R-Value of the product to determine how well it resists the transfer of heat.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about what sound insulation is. Including – how acoustic insulation works, why it’s different from thermal insulation and whether you need it for your home.
How Does Sound Insulation Work?
Sound waves travel through the air. As they hit a surface they are either reflected or absorbed. Hard, smooth surfaces tend to reflect sound best, creating a noisy environment. Materials that are good at absorbing and blocking sound waves can help you create a more quiet and peaceful indoor environment.
Sound insulation has been specially designed to absorb sound waves and reduce the transfer of noise. It is thicker and more dense than regular thermal insulation, making it an excellent choice for soundproofing your home.
Soundproofing vs Sound Absorption
Soundproofing refers to blocking sound so that it can’t travel from room to room. On the other hand, sound absorption refers to stopping sound from bouncing around a room.
Acoustic insulation batts can be used to soundproof an entire home or particular rooms within the home such as a theatre, the bathroom or bedrooms. When acoustic batts are installed in the internal walls of a home, they will help reduce noise transfer between rooms. Acoustic batts between floors of a double storey home can help keep the downstairs environment quiet and peaceful.
For commercial spaces, schools and offices, products such as Quietspace by Autex are designed to control sound levels. These interior acoustic products are installed on the walls or ceilings to help minimise reverberated noise and background echo.
Sound Insulation vs Thermal Insulation
If you are considering insulating your home, you might be wondering what’s the difference between thermal and acoustic insulation.
The primary purpose of thermal insulation is to reduce the transfer of heat to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Thermal insulation can reduce your reliance on artificial heating and cooling and therefore save you money on your electricity bill.
While thermal insulation batts will have some acoustic benefits, sound insulation batts are specially designed to reduce the transfer of noise. Being thicker and more dense, acoustic insulation batts will help you create a peaceful and private home.
Sound insulation batts also provide the same thermal benefits as traditional thermal insulation. That means you get thermal regulation and sound regulation with the one product. The R-Value of any insulation product will tell you how effective it is at reducing heat transfer. The higher the R-Value, the more potential savings on electricity you can expect.
Best Sound Insulation for Australian Homes
Acoustic insulation batts are one of the most effective ways to soundproof your home. They are most commonly made from glasswool or polyester. Glasswool is made from recycled glass materials while polyester is made from recycled plastic materials.
Polyester tends to be more expensive and has none of the itch factor associated with traditional glasswool products. Many modern glasswool products have improved in their design and are much more pleasant to handle these days.
Some of our most popular sound insulation products include:
- Knauf Earthwool Sound Shield – made from up to 80% recycled glass materials with a renewable bio-based binder. Comes with a 50 year product warranty.
- Fletcher Pink Soundbreak Batts – glasswool batts manufactured in Australia and backed by a homeowner lifetime warranty. Comes with a 70 year product warranty.
- Bradford Soundscreen Insulation – polyester insulation that is low allergenic and approved for use in homes of people with asthma and allergies.
- Greenstuf Polyester Sound Solution – made from at least 50% recycled plastic materials and backed by a durability warranty of 50 years.
Do I Need Sound Insulation in My Home?
The importance of acoustic insulation should not be underestimated. If you are building a new home or renovating your existing home, we recommend you consider installing acoustic insulation.
The best time to install sound insulation batts is during the construction or renovation phase before any floors or wall linings are fixed into place. Consider installing sound insulation in the internal and external walls, ceilings and between floors if you have a multi-storey home.
A comfortable level of noise is part of any home, but excessive and unwanted noise creates a needlessly stressful environment. Acoustic insulation is one of the most effective ways to reduce unwanted noise and create a peaceful home.