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Soundproofing 101: Noise Control

Updated: May 2, 2023

Builders and contractors: if you take client satisfaction seriously, then soundproofing the homes, multi-housing units, and business spaces you construct/renovate is a must. Noise reduction is a standard in building codes across the country. And it is also one of the simplest and most cost-effective sound absorbing methods of offering your clients better privacy, more comfort, and an improved quality of life. 

Interested in learning about noise control but not sure where to start? This quick overview is for you.

Understanding Decibels

You have almost certainly heard the term decibels (dB), which is used to measure sound levels objectively. Here’s a simple guide explaining what decibel measurements mean in the real world:

10 dB - Your own breathing

30 dB - Quiet conversation

50 dB - Normal home conversation

70 dB - Cocktail party

90 dB - Lawn mower

110 dB - Live music

Sound Transmission Class

The science behind sound reduction can be rather complex, but it doesn’t take a Ph.D. in

acoustic engineering to understand the basics. Sound Transmission Class (STC) is the most important term to learn -- this roughly measures decibel reduction. A wall with an STC rating of 45, for example, will make your neighbor’s everyday conversation quieter than the sound of your own breath. Here are a few more real-world examples of STC:

STC 25 - Normal conversation can be both heard and understood

STC 40 - Loud speech can be heard as an unintelligible murmur

STC 50 - Only very loud sounds (drum set, stereos) can be faintly heard

STC 60 - Excellent soundproofing that mutes nearly all daily noises

Meeting and Exceeding STC Code

In today’s increasingly close and connected world, achieving good STC ratings is crucial. This is precisely why builders and contractors should be concerned that the average 2x6 insulated stud wall with 5/8” GWB both sides achieve an STC rating of just 39. Building codes across the country establish minimum STC ratings of 50, which means that you may be leaving your business vulnerable to client dissatisfaction and/or fines and penalties.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure -- which is why we recommend investing in noise reduction from the start. Our Hush Frame Raft connectors are a cost-efficient and highly effective sound deadening solution that can reduce sound by up to 80%. Utilizing HushFrame’s Raft connector on the STC 39 wall mentioned above, for example, can boost the STC rating to a stellar 56. And these wood-friendly, highly durable devices only add 1 inch to the depth of a wall. For more information on how the HushFrame can help you reach your soundproofing goals, check out the HushFrame FAQ or contact us today! 

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