Soundproofing in a timber house

From this article you will learn:

  • What are the myths about soundproofing walls in a wooden house
  • What types of noise are
  • What materials are used to soundproof the walls in a wooden house
  • How to soundproof walls in a wooden house

Many people dream of having their own wooden house or a cottage made of SIP panels. Imagination immediately draws an idyll of silence and tranquility away from the city hustle and bustle of neighbors, playgrounds, car parks, which are familiar to residents of apartment buildings. Unexpectedly, this idyll is broken by the noise of a highway, a railway or an industrial enterprise located next to a cottage village. Suddenly it becomes noticeable that hail, rain, wind and other natural phenomena also create noise. In the article we will talk about what should be the sound insulation of walls in a wooden house, we will consider in detail how effective such insulation is.

3 Common Myths About Soundproofing

Myth #1: There is no difference between sound insulation and sound absorption.

Facts: sound absorption is a decrease in the vibrations of a reflected sound wave when interacting with an obstacle (wall, ceiling, partition, floor of a house or apartment). Sound absorption occurs due to the transition of sound wave energy into heat, vibration of the materials of the walls, floor, ceiling or partitions of the apartment.

The sound absorption value is determined by the average value in the frequency range from 250 to 4000 Hz, denoted using a dimensionless sound absorption coefficient. The value of this coefficient varies from 0 to 1 (sound absorption increases as the value of the coefficient approaches 1).

Soundproofing – reducing the sound level when a sound wave passes through an obstacle (for example, walls or the floor of a room).

With the help of the airborne sound insulation index Rw (this is an integral value, used for the frequency range from 100 to 3000 Hz exclusively for assessing household noise), it is possible to evaluate the sound insulation efficiency of the building envelope used (ceiling, floor, walls, partition of a wooden house or apartment), and with the help of the reduced impact noise index under the floor Lnw – the effectiveness of the sound insulation device for the floors of a wooden house or apartment. Both values ​​are calculated and measured in decibels (dB).

The soundproofing properties of the construction of a wooden house or apartment are the better, the greater the coefficient Rw, the lower the coefficient Lnw.

Myth No. 2. The quality of the sound insulation of the building envelope is the better, the higher the value of the airborne sound insulation index Rw.

Facts: the sound insulation index of airborne noise Rw (walls, floors, ceilings, wooden partitions of a house, living quarters of an apartment), as mentioned above, characterizes only household noise (such as spoken language, TV, radio). The degree of sound insulation of walls and floors of a dwelling directly depends on the value of Rw: the larger the value of the coefficient, the higher it is (relative to household sounds).

The existing method for calculating the sound insulation index Rw does not take into account a number of household noises from modern technology and engineering equipment (for example, a home theater, a fan, an air conditioner, a pump).

Myth No. 3. You can place noisy engineering equipment in any part of the building, because thanks to a wide range of modern materials, you can always isolate it from residential premises and organize effective sound insulation.

Facts: in fact, the competent location of noisy engineering equipment is one of the most important tasks that arises even at the stage of preparing the architectural and planning solution for the building. The designer selects (calculates) the optimal conditions for the microclimate of residential premises (including the noise level in the premises to create a comfortable acoustic environment, which should not exceed the normative indicators).

High-quality constructions and vibration-insulating materials for soundproofing walls, floors, ceilings and partitions of a dwelling can be very expensive. At the same time, it is not always possible to reduce the level of acoustic impact of engineering equipment (Rw index in the entire sound frequency range) to standard values, even with the use of modern soundproofing technologies.

What you need to know about soundproofing walls in a wooden house

When using wood as a building material, remember that it conducts sound very well. A wooden house has a large number of resonant frequencies, at which the sound will be amplified several times. This characteristic of wood is widely used in the creation of musical instruments, as well as resonant panels for concert halls.

A wooden house, due to resonance, will be filled with a variety of extraneous sounds that will not allow the owners to enjoy the silence. Therefore, it is important to ensure reliable sound insulation at the construction stage, using a wide range of modern materials.

When planning the soundproofing of a wooden house, it must be taken into account that the noise level must comply with the permissible requirements. For residential premises, the maximum permissible daytime noise level should not exceed 40 dB, and at night – 30 dB. To measure this indicator, specialized devices are used – sound level meters. If the noise level exceeds the upper permissible value, then it is uncomfortable to be in a residential area. When the value of the indicator reaches 120 dB, it becomes dangerous for the hearing organs.

When planning the soundproofing of a wooden house, the following sound levels should be considered:

  • whisper – 20 dB;
  • quiet speech – 40 dB;
  • the noise of a passing car – about 80 dB;
  • music player – about 90-100 dB;
  • fireworks and firecrackers – up to 130 dB.

Before designing measures for the organization of sound insulation, it is necessary to determine the main sources and types of noise that will affect the overall noise level in the premises of a wooden house. There are several types of external noise.

Acoustic. They are random oscillations of the particles of the medium – acoustic waves, in this case propagating through the air. Sources of such noise can be: speech, switched on audio equipment (players, tape recorders, amplifiers, radio tape recorders, TV), a running car engine, animal voices.

Drums. This type of noise is transmitted through solid bodies that absorb shock or vibration. Sound propagates quite well over considerable distances. Sources of such noise can be: a working hammer drill, hammer blows, footsteps or trampling, falling objects, a train moving along rails.

Combined. A combination of acoustic and percussive noise. For example, a perforator is a source of two types of noise: when it is directly impacted on the wall in the form of frequent blows, it creates impact noise, and the working engine of the tool creates acoustic noise.

When organizing the soundproofing of the walls of a wooden house, it is important to clearly know: nearby noise sources; type of noise from which it is necessary to isolate the living space; sound level (its volume).

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Suitable materials for soundproofing walls in a wooden house

When choosing how to soundproof the walls in a wooden house, it is necessary to be guided by the accepted architectural and planning decisions. The line of soundproof products for walls is represented by a wide range of modern materials from various manufacturers. Thus, it is always possible to select materials with the required characteristics (such as thickness, shape, structure, elasticity or rigidity).

The range of materials for soundproofing walls in a wooden private house is represented by the following types:

  • sewn mats;
  • plates;
  • rolls;
  • liquid (applied in liquid form by spraying).

The choice of material will depend on the design of the walls of a wooden house. For a frame-type wall, it is assumed that the internal cavity between the two outer panels is filled with a sound absorber (if we consider a three-layer structure, then the sound insulation will be its middle part).

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The type of wall insulation is chosen based on data on noise sources:

  1. Special sound-absorbing wall tiles can also be used as a decorative covering. In the event that it is necessary to organize additional soundproofing of the walls in a wooden house, the choice of the optimal solution will also depend on the category of the room.
  2. External decorative wall coverings (cork wallpaper, felt, fabric or carpet coverings).
  3. Foamed polyethylene, polyurethane foam. It is used when the thickness of the wall extension is limited.
  4. Styrofoam or mineral wool. They are used in cases where the cost of the material for soundproofing walls is important.
  5. Ecowool. She can blow out the adjoining walls to ceilings, as well as to the roof in the attic.

Soundproofing floors, ceilings and walls in a wooden house

The approach to the organization of sound insulation should be comprehensive and affect all planes of a wooden house (both vertical and horizontal). This is due to the fact that most of the impact and structural noise is well transmitted from one element of the house structure to another, and extraneous sounds easily penetrate walls, floors, ceilings, hidden partitions and panels.

  • load-bearing walls

To organize soundproofing of load-bearing walls in a wooden house from the inside, it is preferable to use materials with a small thickness (natural cork and polyethylene foam). If you choose a thick insulator, then you reduce the size of the rooms and, accordingly, the usable area of ​​​​the house.

If the budget for the construction of a wooden house is limited, then you will have to use inexpensive and proven materials (mineral or stone wool, polystyrene), they are thick and significantly reduce the footage of the premises. Drywall is also suitable for these purposes, which has an optimal ratio of thickness and cost of a building sheet.

Before starting the soundproofing of load-bearing walls, it is necessary to diagnose their inner surface for flaws (cracks, chips, crevices, backlashes) that need to be eliminated. In the event that a wooden house has already been built, then before installing noise absorbers, it is necessary to dismantle the sockets and arrange a local blockade for sound waves in the holes formed, filling them with foam plastic or fiberglass. All through openings leading into the room (for example, pipeline outlets) must be sealed with elastic sealants.

Installation of sound insulation is carried out using special wooden or metal galvanized profiles. To prevent the mounting structure from becoming a conductor for sound, it is mounted vertically to the ceiling and floor, avoiding fastening to walls. The insulation material is tightly laid between the profiles. Then, drywall sheets are installed on top of the filled crate, the seams and attachment points are covered with a layer of putty. Thus, the rough finish of the walls with sound insulation ends.

  • Internal partitions

Usually the internal partitions of a wooden house are made of thin wood. Therefore, they conduct both heat and sound very well. If high-quality sound insulation is not organized in the house, then the owners will hear almost everything, even the quietest sounds (creaks, rustles, steps, etc.) in any room.

To reduce the noise level in the room, it is necessary either to sheathe the partitions on both sides with drywall, or to install a three-layer structure consisting of external panels (chipboard or fiberboard) and a filler made of soundproof material. You can make your own sound-absorbing partitions. For this, various soundproofing materials are used (for example, volcanic basalt slabs) or ready-made solutions with a crate.

When choosing soundproofing for a floor, it is worth stopping at materials that absorb not only acoustic, but also impact noise. In this case, pay attention to the structure of the material: if it is dense, it will be better to absorb sound (for example, if a child runs on the second floor, this will not be heard on the first floor). If you are planning to organize a warm floor, then you should know that not all soundproofing materials can be heated.

Soundproofing the floor of a wooden house can be made of such modern materials as dense types of mineral and glass wool, polystyrene. For “floating” floors, expanded polystyrene (EPS) is used – in bulk or tile form. This material is weakly adjacent to the structural elements of the house, which is the reason for its maximum soundproofing effect.

Less commonly, crushed and heat-treated volcanic glass – expanded perlite – is used to soundproof the floor in a wooden house. The material can have different characteristics: fraction size and, accordingly, bulk density from 40 to 500 kg per cubic meter. Thus, it is possible to choose the necessary fraction of the material for different floors of the building.

Under the floor of the bedroom floor and under the floor covering of the attic, it is important to prevent the appearance of sound bridges – small cavities that form when wooden elements touch each other. Sound waves, thanks to such cavities, are easily carried around the house. Therefore, damping materials are placed between the floor beams and floor joists. There is no need to fasten logs and beams together. Materials providing sound insulation are tightly laid between them, then the logs are covered from above with foamed polyethylene in some cases.

To soundproof the ceiling in wooden houses, special products (gaskets) are used, which are installed at the intersection of structural elements. They dampen sound waves and impact noise. Since the lattice structure increases the rigidity of the structure and increases the level of sound absorption, the ceiling joists are installed in the form of a lattice. In addition, the floors between floors are filled with sand and expanded clay, filling is done only on a polyethylene film laid on Texound membrane materials, Izotex panels, etc.

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The advantages of a wooden house over stone buildings attract more and more people to such buildings. An environmentally friendly, warm and comfortable house that retains heat for a long time is an indicator of the refined taste and a certain wealth of its owner. In addition, a wooden house is not electrified, and dust is practically not collected in it. However, soundproofing is always necessary for a comfortable stay.

What is soundproofing for?

Along with a lot of advantages, wood is an excellent conductor of sound, and the structure of it has many resonant frequencies, at which the sound is amplified several times. This property of wood products is used in the creation of musical instruments, the manufacture of special resonant panels for concert halls.

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However, in a built wooden house, a huge number of sounds amplified by resonance, and even those that are simply transmitted through the walls without amplification, will cause a lot of trouble to the owners who want to relax in silence. That is why the construction of wooden houses must take into account the need for soundproofing with the use of modern materials.

It should be borne in mind that according to the principle of implementation, two main types of sound insulation are distinguished:

  • soundproofing is the implementation of a number of measures to reduce the penetration of sounds from the outside into the living space;
  • sound absorption – taking measures to reduce the passage of sounds from the room to the outside.

When planning soundproofing measures, the permissible noise level requirements should also be taken into account. In particular, for residential premises, the maximum daily level is set at 40 dB, and during the day 30 dB. This level can be measured with the help of special devices – sound level meters. Increasing the level of sounds (noise) above these limits significantly reduces the comfort of staying in the room, and the level of 120 dB is already dangerous for the hearing organs.

When clarifying the factors affecting the noise level in the room, it should be taken into account that:

  • whispering creates a sound level of 20 dB;
  • quiet speech – 40 dB;
  • noise from a passing car – about 80 dB;
  • music player – an average of about 90-100 dB;
  • fireworks and firecrackers – up to 130 dB.

Types of noise

Before planning measures for soundproofing, it is necessary to take into account the main sources of noise and the types of noise from which it is necessary to protect the interior of a wooden house. External noise can be divided into several types.


These are sounds that propagate through the air and are acoustic waves. The sources of such noise can be both the conversations of neighbors and the working audio equipment (players, tape recorders, amplifiers, radio tape recorders, TV), the sounds from the operation of car engines, the voices of animals.


This kind of sound is transmitted quite well and far directly by solid bodies, to which shock or vibration is applied. Such sources include, for example, perforators, hammer blows, the clatter of walking people, the sound of objects falling on the floor, the sound of a train moving along the rails.

Combined noises

This is the presence of noise, both acoustic and percussive. For example, the same perforator creates two types of noise. When the nozzle is exposed to the surface, frequent impacts are created, and from the operation of the perforator engine – acoustic noise

Thus, when carrying out sound insulation, it is necessary to take into account which particular sources of noise are nearby, and from which type of noise it is necessary to isolate the room. In addition, the intensity of the sound (its loudness) should also be taken into account.

Types of sound insulation and its installation

First of all, for effective sound insulation it is necessary to eliminate sound bridges in the room, which occur at the junctions of wooden parts and beams. Sounds are transmitted through these bridges very effectively, in addition, additional resonant frequencies arise in these places, at which the sound is amplified.

When soundproofing rooms, various materials and compositions are used, such as stitched mats, ready-made slabs of various materials, rolled sound insulation, liquid compositions applied by spraying.

The use of one or another material depends on the type of construction of the walls, floor and ceilings of the room. So, in case of a frame design, it is necessary to fill the inner part of the wall with special soundproof materials, and in this case the wall consists of three parts (two outer covered and inner soundproof).

  • In the case of limited thickness between the outer parts of the wall, polyethylene or polyurethane foam is used as a sound and heat insulator.
  • To reduce sound transmission between the wooden parts of the house, sound insulators made of glass wool and other materials are used. They are placed between beams and joists, eliminating direct contact between the wooden parts of the structure. And also, to reduce the level of sound transmission and vibration, the beams are wrapped with special construction felt, and a polypropylene or cork substrate is placed under the floor. Such work is carried out even during the construction of the house, since later it will be difficult to complete them.
  • Very simple, but very effective is flooring in places of emphasis on sound insulators without rigid attachment to the base. Thus, a “floating floor” is obtained, not connected to the rest of the structure. This provides very high quality sound insulation. And the option of fixing floors on damper support springs or brackets is also used, which requires the use of special springs (brackets) designed for a large load. In this case, the load is calculated based on the total weight of the floor with furniture plus the weight of several people (depending on the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe room).
  • To obtain additional interfloor noise and heat insulation between the ceiling and the floor of the next floor, most often expanded clay is poured. It is lightweight yet does its job well. Sometimes sand is also covered, but at the same time it is necessary to significantly increase the overall strength of the structure, given that the total weight of the structure will increase, use stronger materials for the ceiling. In order to reduce the total weight, leaves or dry sawdust are added to the sand.

You can start soundproofing with your own hands, gradually applying certain methods.

In particular, one should start with careful sealing of all the cracks through which sound passes, with special mastic or putty. The voids made for the installation of electrical switches are filled with mounting foam. Seal the entrances of water and gas pipes to the house using elastic sealants.

In the implementation of interior soundproofing, soundproofing materials are placed in the voids of wall partitions. Often, sound insulation is combined with thermal insulation by using heat-insulating materials lined with drywall.

In general, the sound insulation of walls in a wooden house requires an integrated approach with the elimination of all possible sound conductors in the room. At the same time, the location of air ducts is also taken into account, which, especially made of wood, are excellent conductors of sounds both inside the room between rooms from neighbors, and outside – into the room.

Cork sound insulation has been known for a long time, it was used in the construction of various houses and buildings. For example, on the Black Sea coast in Gagra (the former name of Gagra), a small castle was built especially for the rest of the members of the royal family, in which cork slabs were laid in all walls and doors in order to increase the efficiency of sound insulation. Thus, the sounds from the outside practically do not penetrate into the rooms of this building.

Currently, cork wood panels are also used for interior decoration. Such panels, in addition to excellent appearance, successfully perform the function of soundproofing. Corkwood soundproofing membranes are used not only in home decoration, but also in the construction of professional recording studios, where high-quality soundproofing of the room where sound is recorded is essential for obtaining high-quality sound.

As well as the soundproofing of a wooden structure can be performed using modern special liquid adhesives. At the same time, the quality of sound insulation is at a fairly high level.

Very often, foam, polyurethane and other materials are used for sound insulation, which quite successfully absorb a sound wave, are not subject to corrosion and are very durable.

In addition to carrying out basic soundproofing measures, other ways should be taken into account to slightly reduce the level of noise penetrating into the room.

In particular, this is the replacement of wooden windows with modern double-glazed windows, the installation of high-quality seals on all doors of the house, the installation of upholstered furniture in the room that successfully absorbs sounds, the use of wall carpets when decorating the room, and the outer lining of the walls with soundproof materials.

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It should be noted that if the wooden parts do not fit snugly and there are gaps, their rattling is possible, leading to the appearance of acoustic resonances at different frequencies. This becomes noticeable, for example, when working with high-quality sound equipment. At a certain volume at low frequencies, a kind of hum may occur, which is transmitted throughout the house and interferes with others.

Taking into account all the features and requirements for sound insulation, the use of modern materials will provide comfort and silence, make your stay in a wooden house comfortable.

The video below provides detailed instructions for installing an independent frame soundproofing cladding

Soundproofing a wooden house is one of the main tasks in the construction of country cottages. Solid or glued wood keeps external noise well, the problem is more about roofing, ceilings, partitions.

During the construction of a turnkey wooden house for living, the main requirement is to eliminate the “dacha” disease, when you can hear what is happening on the second floor on the first floor.

Possible problematic points of soundproofing in a wooden house

  1. Outer wall. External sounds do not disturb the tenants if the wall is assembled correctly. Slots and deep cracks dramatically worsen sound insulation in a private house.
  2. Casing box. It is important to fill technological gaps above doors and windows with mineral wool. This is where problems often arise.
  3. Roof. Saving on materials and soundproofing in a private house turns the roof into a drum.
  4. Overlappings. When building houses from glued beams, wooden floors are usually used, which transmit sound well without additional sound insulation.
  5. Partitions. Without a layer of mineral wool, frame walls become a visual demarcation of space, practically losing their soundproofing properties.

Noise distribution options

1. Structural

Sound propagates through building structures. The most problematic option is impact noise: steps, moving furniture, falling objects. Without additional insulation, impact noise freely passes from the main coating to logs, beams, walls, and ceiling material. Such a knock can be heard even in the neighboring rooms of another floor.

2. Air

The propagation of a sound wave through the air is faster and easier. The sound from the next room or from another floor is clearly heard if you leave gaps between the soundproofing plates, crowns or finishing materials.

At the same time, the sound wave acts on the surfaces of walls, floors and ceilings, and passes into a structural version of propagation. The transmission of a sound wave through building structures is not as noticeable as impact noise, but it also contributes to the general background.

Soundproofing technologies for houses made of timber

Sound absorbing building materials

During construction, mineral wool of increased density is usually used. The slabs are placed inside the ceilings, roofing pie and partitions. The material fills the voids inside the building structures, overlapped. Mineral wool partially absorbs sounds, even if no other soundproofing technologies are used.

The main drawback is that with a small thickness, mineral wool “works” only with sounds of high and medium frequencies. Low-frequency noise, shock and vibration overcome such protection almost without loss, so you have to increase the thickness and use additional technologies.

Sound deadening finish

Some materials themselves absorb sound. For example, bituminous roofing or cement-sand tiles eliminate the problem of rumble during rain, and cork floors or walls, carpet and heavy curtains make the room not only more comfortable, but also quieter.

Separation of structures with vibration damping materials

The only way to prevent the transmission of impact noise and vibrations is by separating the materials. For this, special gaskets, membranes, substrates are used. Protection is mounted at all points of contact with the supporting structure.

  • pouring the screed onto a layer of mineral wool with separation from the supporting structure and walls;
  • filling with mineral wool layers in the pie of interfloor overlapping, roofing, partitions.

Separation of materials significantly reduces the structural propagation of sound.

Compliance with construction technology

Soundproofing solutions are laid down at the design stage and are necessarily checked during construction. It is important to monitor the quality of the seams, the observance of the sound insulation laying technology, the use of vibration-damping pads. If all requirements are not met, the quality of sound insulation will certainly decrease.

It is too late to increase protection against extraneous noise in a finished house – you either have to dismantle partitions and ceilings, or actually build another smaller room with an insulated body in each room. Therefore, when ordering the construction of turnkey wooden houses, be sure to discuss sound insulation with the architect.

Examples of soundproofing elements of a house made of timber

1. Noise insulation of floors in a house made of timber

It is on floors that questions most often arise: floors constantly take shock loads, create structural noise.

For high-quality sound insulation, several technologies are used at once:

  • Pouring a screed onto a layer of mineral wool or a “dry screed” with leveling with loose material and laying ready-made slabs.
  • Filling voids with mineral wool in the floor pie.

As a result, it is possible to perform sound insulation at the level of a monolithic slab or higher. The final parameters depend on the chosen technology.

2. Noise insulation of the roof in a house made of glued laminated timber

When assembling a roofing pie, there is already a basic protection – a layer of thermal insulation. In mansard-type houses, additional sound insulation of a house made of timber is not required – it is enough to follow the installation instructions.

The parameters depend on the finish coating:

  • Metal (profiled sheet, metal tile, rebate). The loudest option. The noise level can be reduced by using additional layers of mineral wool.
  • Bituminous (flexible tiles, mineral dressing, fiberglass). The material provides complete tightness and perfectly absorbs impact noise.
  • Piece tile (sand-cement, slate, ceramic). Provides almost complete soundproofing in the rain.

In combination with a layer of mineral wool 25 cm thick, the topcoat forms a reliable protection against extraneous noise. The main thing is to follow the rules for laying materials.

3. Noise insulation of walls and partitions in a wooden house

Impact noise in partitions is rare, so you can do without vibration damping pads, separating the surface from the supporting structure. To soundproof the partitions, it is enough to lay a layer of mineral wool in the technological voids.

When working with internal partitions, it is more important to abandon through outlet outlets, to choose the right interior doors – it is through the air that sound propagates within one floor.

Want to learn more about modern soundproofing? Come to the seminar!

GOOD WOOD regularly holds training seminars: we talk about construction, technologies, materials. Participants receive maximum first-hand information – from foremen, builders, engineers and architects with practical work experience.

Alexander Dubovenko has an author’s certificate for a soundproofing system for interfloor ceilings in wooden houses. Each working project includes unique roof units that provide a high level of sound insulation. Our engineers have something to say on this topic.

You can see ready-made solutions in demonstration houses. Choose a project, come and check on a real object how well the soundproofing is done.

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