For many, a home theater is the epitome of luxury in a home. It is a great place for family and friends to gather, have a great time, relax, and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Putting a home theater together is a project that even the most inexperienced do-it-yourselfer can take on. However, soundproofing the space can be a bit tricky, if you don’t know what the job entails. Here are some guidelines for how to create a soundproof home theater:
Learn the fundamentals of soundproofing. Before you take on any soundproofing project, it is important that you understand some basic concepts and terminology. Otherwise, you will have a difficult (if not impossible) time planning your project and purchasing your materials. First, you should know that sound is measured in decibels (dB). The soundproofing products you look at will be graded according to the dB blockage level they provide. Additionally, there is a rating – in numerals – for level of sound reduction, called the Sound Transmission Class (STC). The higher the STC, the better the soundproofing. However, you may be able to get away with a lower STC for your project. Search the web for the dB level for the sounds you intend to block, and then compare those numbers to the STC rating.
Ascertain the level and type of soundproofing you need. As you know, different environments require different types of soundproofing materials, and the types you need will be determined by your specific circumstances. Once you are aware of the level of sound you need to block, you can compare soundproofing materials. Generally speaking, a standard home theater requires an STC rating of 40 (80 dB of sound); however, if your environment has excess sound (nearby train tracks or heavy construction, for example), then you may require more soundproofing. There are three different types of soundproofing: blocking noise from the outside, keeping noise in, and improving the sound quality of the soundproofed environment. You will need to purchase materials that are specifically designed for the type of soundproofing you plan on doing.
Purchase the appropriate materials for your project. The variety of soundproofing materials differs not only in soundproofing type and ability, but also in application. For example, some products must be laid underneath floors or behind walls, while others can be installed on top of your existing building materials. Consider the specific circumstances of your project and then purchase materials that are well suited to your needs. Your choices include sound barrier sheets, studio foam, green glue, acoustic ceiling tiles, insulation, acoustic wall panels, and more.
As you can see, soundproofing a home theater requires that you have a basic understanding of how sound is blocked, as well as some knowledge of materials available to you on the market. Follow these guidelines to create a soundproofed space that is perfect for your needs.
About the Author: Raphael Bluemel and his family are considering creating a soundproof theater. They’ve reviewed the use of the RSIC clip, green glue, and several other materials and are creating a plan to overhaul their entire basement.