Understanding dB and STC Soundproofing

Understanding dB and STC Soundproofing

As the world gets noisier and louder, noise insulation becomes a bigger issue. Whether it’s to keep neighbours happy, enjoy your own home cinema or simply for peace, there are plenty of reasons to soundproof your property. This is why it’s important to understand the complexities around decibels and sound test figures.

A decibel is a measurement of sound intensity on a logarithmic scale. For example, a sound that is db soundproofing is ten times more intense than one that is 70db (although the human ear does not perceive this increase). However, it is essential to note that exposure to sounds above 85dB can cause permanent hearing damage.

Deciphering Decibels: The Science Behind DB Soundproofing

Most people are familiar with the STC (sound transmission class) rating system which gives you an idea of how much sound a wall, floor or ceiling stops. This figure is based on a standard testing procedure where five hammers are dropped from a certain height into a standard concrete floor below. The sound is then recorded with a sound level meter.

The higher the STC number, the better the performance of the barrier. However, the STC only takes into account frequencies up to 125Hz so the performance of walls or floors can be skewed by the use of low or high frequency sound sources.

dB-Bloc is an excellent solution for overcoming this – with a density that can disrupt vibrations between structures, it can decouple and collapse sound waves. Added to a disconnection technique like double walling or staggered stud framing, it can greatly enhance your STC ratings. Of course, any leakage between spaces will eventually decay all results so a fully sealed construction is key.

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