A Quiet Life with Noise Mitigation

Unwanted noise in your home can interfere with daily life, and your ability to feel relaxed and calm is affected, let alone being able to sleep or have a normal conversation in noisy areas.

Noise can lead to fatigue, irritability and stress, so it’s important to think about how you will manage noise in your home, when renovating, building or decorating.

Some of the obvious culprits for noise in a home are;

  • Too many open spaces- The use of too many open spaces with limited zoning is a real issue in open plan designs. It can look great on a floorplan, but large open plan retreats and other living areas with no doors, means noise will travel up and down stairs and run up and down hallways of a home. The use of doors is critical for noise mitigation, but also to create privacy and cosy spaces. How a home is laid out is also important in terms of bedrooms zoned away from living spaces and laundries being close to kitchens rather than close to bedrooms.
  • Hard Flooring- Having a home with only hard flooring can create lots of echo and noise that bounces around with nowhere to go. Having a combination of surfaces will allow some noise to be absorbed. There needs to be a good proportion of soft furnishings such as curtains, rugs, upholstered furniture and carpet, to absorb noise and balance the use of hard surfaces. This combination is also conducive to create a more relaxed, inviting and calm space to be in.
  • Timber stairs – The transfer of noise up and down stairs that are not carpeted is a big culprit. Not only the noise of shoes on stairs, but also the noise travelling up and down the void.

The good news is that there are different ways to minimise the transfer of noise throughout the home.

Sound insulation at the design stage of your home is one way to deal with noise transferring between floors and between rooms, but what else can you do?

  • Carpet is a great insulator for temperature control and noise mitigation all at the same time. Ensure you have a high-quality underlay for your carpet to enhance the noise absorbing properties. Carpet is excellent for stairs to mitigate the transfer of noise between floors, but also the actual noise of going up and down stairs.
  • Window coverings add an additional layer of soft furnishing to a room, so treatments with fabric are particularly good for absorbing noise (think Romans blinds and Curtains, and lined versions are even better). As a double act curtains have thermal properties to retain heat in winter and block heat in summer.
  • Double glazed windows minimise the transfer of outside noise to inside, making a huge difference for creating a quiet home, especially if you live on a busy road. These act as excellent insulators, so keep your home warm in winter saving energy on artificial heating.
  • Internal insulation with the use of solid core doors (instead of hollow core) and sound-proofing between floors with the use of products such as Hebel is a great start for noise reduction. Sound insulating between rooms will also make a difference, particularly between bedrooms and bathrooms and adjoined bedrooms.
  • Use doors and avoid open-plan retreats at the top of stairs. Avoid studies, second living areas and other rooms without doors as doors are key to mitigate noise transfer between spaces. It also allows for privacy and adds to the flexibility of the rooms.
  • The use of rugs is particularly useful on hard floors, where noise tends to bounce around a room. Rugs will assist with absorbing noise, and they zone a space, so again perform multiple functions.
  • Acoustic art, wall panels and acoustic light fittings are a great way to absorb noise. They are often used in commercial settings, but are now making their way into residential environments. They look great and serve a great purpose too.

To maximise relaxation and a sense of peace and calm, it’s important that bedrooms are zoned off from the main living areas of the home. They need to be quiet places to retreat to. While it is rare to have a completely quite space in houses, optimal control of noise can be achieved with a properly zoned and planned floor plan. As I always say to my clients, FLOORPLAN IS KING!

There’s no point having a home that looks fantastic if the experience of living in it is spoiled by poor home sound insulation.

Have one of our team look over your plans and give you peace of mind that your floor plans have been designed with your future lifestyle in mind.

Contact us to discuss how much or how little you may need us to help.

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