Does foam Reduce Sound?
Foam is a common material used in construction of both residential and commercial buildings. It’s often used to seal gaps around windows, doors, and other openings where air may be able to enter. But does foam reduce sound?
In this blog post we will explore the different ways that foam can be applied for soundproofing and ultimately answer if it reduces noise or not!
The short answer is it will help reduce noise but it will not stop the noise. So, if you’re looking to prevent sound from travelling through floors, ceilings or even a party wall, you need to consider a different option.
Acoustic Foam tiles & Egg Box Foam.
Let’s start with the most common type of foam sound insulation – the egg box or foam tiles you usually see in home studios.
These types of products are great for reducing echo and reverberation in a similar way that most fabrics would reduce sound, by soaking it up and or absorbing it.
However, they won’t prevent sound from transferring through a party wall or neighbouring rooms, it will simply stop the sound from amplifying.
The best way to reduce sound travelling through a party wall or other rooms is to increase the thickness of your soundproofing.
Or as the trade would say… add mass!
Most lightweight foam underlay products will make little difference to airborne noise reduction and the performance will depend on where you install it and the type of surface it’s laid over.
You also need to consider the floor finish (link). If you decide to use carpet, you will get different results than if you use hardwood flooring.
One instrumental way to reduce noise is by creating an airtight seal between two surfaces such as walls, ceilings and floors which are in close proximity.
This means creating a seal between the gaps in your floor, walls and ceilings.
One of the biggest factors in determining how good a solution will be is the type of floor structure that is being isolated.
High mass structures will perform better than lightweight structures.
A better Solution for floors
There is a soundproof underlay solution for all types of floors, this includes ceramic materials such as tiles or even stone.
A great product for reducing impact noise under hard floor types would be a durable hard rubber underlay
If you would like to reduce footfall impact noise between domestic properties, you could consider an acoustic felt underlay
For a fill range of underlay materials that are suitable for different structures – you can find out more here: Soundproof Underlay
A better solution for walls
Adding mass to your walls could mean using various materials that have been treated for noise reduction.
Soundproof fitters would typically advise creating a frame decoupled from your existing party wall. This frame would be made from steel, timber or both.
For steel frames, you should consider sound dissipating products such as Resilient Bars.
Depending on the depth of the frame, an acoustic mineral wool slab [link} at your chosen thickness can be installed to fill the gap.
Like most stud walls, the area would then be completed with plasterboard, but instead you have the option to add a multipanel soundboard which is a lot more dense and can be used to reduce flanking noise too.