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carpet underlays for soundproofing

Misconceptions About Soundproofing and Carpet Underlay

The search term carpet underlay for soundproofing is wrong on many fronts. First, there is no such thing as soundproofing. With sound, nothing is “proofed”. There are no absolutes when it comes to noise. Noise is mitigated or managed. It is never eliminated completely. Searching for a carpet underlay for soundproofing will not provide you a solution to your noise transmission issue without knowing the source of the noise and how loud the energy is.

All noise must be quantified and qualified. You must know every frequency of the noise issue along with its magnitude or how strong the noise is. Searching for carpet underlay for soundproofing without knowing what noise issues you are having is guessing and guessing with noise is both foolish and expensive.

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Understanding Noise: Frequency and Amplitude

All noise is composed of frequency and amplitude. The frequency is the term for where that sound is located on our human hearing spectrum. Is it a low frequency noise, middle where voice is or is it high frequency? We must identify where the noise is located in our human hearing range in order to treat it properly without wasting time, space, and dollars, we must know how strong each frequency is.

The strength or amplitude of the noise being transmitted will determine the density of the material required to treat that frequency and amplitude of issue To mitigate noise transmission, we must build a barrier. A barrier is a structure that is located between the receiver (us) and the noise source (garbage) truck.

carpet underlay for soundproofing

Importance of Measuring Noise Before Treatment

Every material type along with the construction methodology of those materials is critical to any barrier design. Every material type selected has a frequency and amplitude assigned to it. This is why it is so critical to measure the noise of the enemy, so we know how thick to build our castle walls, what materials we will use in these walls along with the proper construction methodology to deal with the noise issues.

When taming noise transmission issues with proper barrier design and construction, your goal will be to spend as least as possible to achieve the quietest room possible. With noise, you don’t want to spend one dollar more than you have to since all barrier designs are a permanent construction fix. Once the barrier is installed it stays with the building. You never get that money back.

Low-Frequency Barrier Technology
Low-Frequency Barrier Technology

Effective Barrier Design for Noise Mitigation

If we are searching for carpet underlay for soundproofing, we must first measure the noise that we are being disturbed by. We will assign a frequency and amplitude to the noise. The frequency is where the noise energy is located on our human hearing spectrum. The amplitude or strength is a measurement of how strong that frequency of energy is.

A lower frequency energy generating noise source such as a garbage truck is different from dealing with voice transmission from room to room within an office building. Lower frequency energy barrier design requires more materials with greater densities or weights than would be required to stop the sound of voice from room to room.

sound barrier design

Material Selection and Construction Methodology

You can not guess with noise issues. You must always measure the noise. It’s like that old carpenter adage where they say measure twice cut once. With numbers you know what frequency the noise is at and how strong it is. These numbers will determine what materials you will need and how to assemble those materials. Noise transmission is vibrational acoustics.

The barrier design chosen for all noise frequency and amplitude issues is to use a “sandwich”. approach. You use a series of layers of materials whose density and position within the sandwich is determined by the frequency and amplitude of the noise numbers. At Acoustic Fields, we can assist you with the noise measurement process.

Dennis Foley

I am an acoustic engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the business. My technology has been used in Electric Lady Land Studios, Sony Music of New York, Cello Music and Films founded by Mark Levinson, and Saltmines Studios in Mesa, Arizona, along with hundreds of others.

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