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Noise Reduction

Reduce & Dampen Noise with Acoustical Sound-Reducing Drywall

The materials you choose to construct your home can have a significant impact on your comfort levels. By choosing the right drywall, you can block sound from areas of your home to reduce disruptions to your family.

Sound-reducing drywall has the ability to limit the spread of noise, making it an ideal option for rooms that need to block out sound This quiet drywall can help a baby sleep in a nursery, contain the surround-sound of an in-home movie theater, or help you focus when working in a home office. It is a popular choice for single-family homes as well as living spaces with shared walls, like condos or townhomes, or public areas like hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and schools.  

In order to pick the best drywall for soundproofing, it helps to understand how sound travels and how acoustical drywall blocks it. Sound is measured in decibels (dB), which report how loud a noise is. The hum of your refrigerator is around 40 dB while a motorcycle produces a road around 95 dB.

Noise-reducing drywall products are rated on transmission loss, or the number of decibels that are blocked by a wall. Sound waves are absorbed by the wall, limiting what you hear on the other side. Construction materials companies use a rating system called Sound Transmission Class levels, or STC, to determine how effective a product is at blocking noise or creating transmission loss.

What is sound transmission class (STC)? 
STC is a measure of how well a wall or building partition reduces sound from traveling through the building. STC is the standard of measure in the US for how well a buildings' interior walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and exterior walls reduce sound from traveling. Outside the US there are various standards of measure to achieve the same rating. In Canada, ASTC is the standard used.

What is apparent sound transmission class (ASTC)? 
ASTC includes the contributions from flanking transmission of sound and therefore is a better descriptor of the acoustic performance of the building. The ASTC rating between dwelling units must be 47 or greater for compliance with the 2015 NBCC.

At CertainTeed, we use an acoustic gypsum board to create sound dampening drywall. Our SilentFX® QuickCut™ product is made with two dense gypsum cores separated by a layer of viscoelastic polymer, which blocks out interior noise. With an STC rating of 50 or higher when installed properly, this option is ideal for systems requiring high STC performance. 

Does Sound Reducing Drywall Work?

There are many factors that contribute to the soundproof nature of a house. While walls play a significant role in blocking noise, soundwaves can travel under doors, through ductwork, and around an open floor plan. The levels of noise in your house are also determined by your design tastes, as sound will get absorbed by soft surfaces like carpet but will reverberate off of hard surfaces like tile.

Additionally, STC ratings do not factor in low-frequency bass, which is often the source of many sound problems.

As you shop around for the best soundproof drywall, look for acoustic drywall that blocks out noise but also provides additional benefits to your home and family. At CertainTeed, our product is enclosed in a 100% recycled moisture and mold resistant face and back paper layer which protects your walls and flooring. It is a durable board that accepts most types of paints, texture, and wall covering materials. Even if you aren’t able to completely soundproof your home with noise-absorbing drywall, you can still dampen sounds and limit the spread of noises from one room to the next.

Along with sound-dampening drywall, CertainTeed offers a variety of other drywall and gypsum board products that can improve the construction of your house. Learn more about the materials we sell so you can determine which ones are right for your home.

Learn more about how to reduce noise in any room.