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  • Resilient bars for soundproofing (Why we don’t use them anymore)

Resilient bars for soundproofing (Why we don’t use them anymore)

What are resilient bars?

Resilient bars, or res bars as they are more commonly known are thin galvanised steel channels that allow a secure fixing of plasterboard or other types of boarding to timber joints while improving the acoustic insulation of walls or ceilings. When installed correctly, they can improve the soundproofing of a room against impact and airborne noise by decoupling a wall or ceiling from the main structure.

Are res bars worth it?

Res bars are very common in the construction industry to improve acoustic performance in soundproofing walls and soundproofing ceilings by creating separation and suspending the mass away from the structure. They are usually chosen for their relatively cheap market price per m2 and promise of increased performance in both airborne and impact sound.

To make you aware of the potential issues and additional costs res bars can leave with a project, we have provided some critical points to review before proceeding with this method.

Whether you are soundproofing your home, a recording studio, an office or even a general events space, iKoustic want to make sure the project is right every time by specifying and supplying our MuteClip® system as the alternative to res bars. You can read about the MuteClip Systems benefits below.

 

  • When attaching the screws into the plasterboard, it is easy to fix through the res bar and into a stud or the brick and block work, leaving a direct path of sound to travel through the screw and compromising the overall performance.
  • If the res bar is extended too far and has contact with the adjacent surfaces, this will cause the wall or ceiling to be short-circuited, leaving a direct path of connection for the sound to travel back through - compromising performance.
  • If the res bar is installed the wrong way up, the weight of the Acoustic Plasterboard and any other attachments will cause the wall to push closer to the stud work rather than further away, leaving the wall short-circuited.
  • Exceeding the weight capacity by adding too much product to the bar will cause the wall to sag, leaving the mass in hard contact with the flooring resulting in poor performance.

If the screws are over tightened into the wall, this can pull the bar in, causing it to bend and warp. The soundproofing would then need to be removed, along with the bars and replaced (also now leaving a potentially unusable plasterboard that would need replacing).

When investigating previous projects which appear to be failing Building Regulations or unexpected poor results, we have found res bars fixed in the above methods lead to inferior performance.

With the incorrections above, this could leave a significant performance dip of around 10dB in some cases and remember – 10dB is a 50% loss in performance of perceived loudness (so with the 10dB reduction you would recognise this as being halved).

If the wall is left to deteriorate over time with this incorrect installation, this could pass Part E Building Regulations as a starter and over time decrease in performance by making hard contact with the flooring, leading to costly remedial works being passed over to the contractor who carried out the work.

How does the MuteClip® and channel work?

The MuteClip® and channel work by screwing through the centre of the clip onto your existing wall or ceiling build up then installing the MuteClip® Channel into the jaws of the isolation clip. You then attach your plasterboard layers and acoustic membrane to the suspended grid of channels. There is significantly less risk of installing the MuteClip® system incorrectly, which is very common with comparable systems such as resilient bars.

MuteClip® (acoustic isolation clip) is a dual density sound isolation clip or acoustic hanger designed to reduce a broader range of frequencies, a mini-shock absorber that decouples rigid plasterboard layers, dampening the vibration in between those two layers.

MuteClip® can be used to soundproof any space where you have layers of mass on a wall or ceiling: stud frames, masonry walls, concrete ceiling, metal stud, brick wall, concrete soffit, timber joists.

You must use a MuteClip® in conjunction with a MuteClip® Channel. The MuteClip® Channel is your fixing point for your layers of mass (typically acoustic plasterboard and acoustic membrane) these are attached to your channel and your channel is decoupled from the structure with the use of a MuteClip®, this creates a high performing acoustic system/partition.

If you would like to hear more about our MuteClip® and channel systems, please give us a call and speak to one of our highly knowledgeable experts!

Can you use the MuteClip® channel on the walls?

Yes, you can! And our MuteClip® System has performed above Part E Building Regulations time and time again, and with no error in installation. Please see our ‘How to soundproof a wall - MuteClip®’ installation video  to see exactly how it’s done, or alternately give us a call and one of our team can talk you through the process.

 

The engineered design of the MuteClip® and MuteClip® Channel has led to a full proof soundproofing system which is near on impossible to fix incorrectly for the following reasons.

 

  • With a simple spacing configuration, you only require one screw per MuteClip®, and this can be fitted direct to brick and block work, metal framework and timber stud work
  • The MuteClip® Channel easily clips into the MuteClip®, this means that there is an increased suspension from the rubber mounting within the clip
  • Materials are fitted then on to the Channel which then all your self-tapping screws will sit within the cavity
  • When fastening Acoustic Plasterboard, it would not be possible to overtighten because of the above point, it would not meet anything – nor would the MuteClip® Channel buckle.

When considering Wall and Ceiling Soundproofing there are a few basic principles you need to be aware of when looking to achieve the best possible result. Initially, you will need to increase the mass of the partition to begin noticing a reduction in airborne noise, but to yield the best reduction for high levels of airborne noise, as well as impact noise, you will want to consider creating separation from the structure to by implementing our MuteClip® and Channel System direct to stud or brick and block walls. You can improve this further by applying it to a separate stud frame.

The MuteClip® System also provides increased performance in low frequencies over the performance of Resilient Bars.

Resilient bars for ceilings.

Our go to and superior alternative to using res bars on a ceiling would be to use our MuteClip® Double system for projects that require a ceiling soundproofing solution that provides high acoustic performance and is also space conscious with only a 75mm loss of space. It creates fewer points of contact with joist ceilings using our MuteClip® and the MuteClip® Channel l which affixes to the MuteClip® and the new soundproof ceiling which is composed of two layers of dense Acoustic Plasterboard 15mm and Tecsound suspended away from the ceiling joist. What this ultimately results in is a vastly improved reduction of airborne noise, especially in the more problematic lower to middle-lower frequencies, as well as reducing immediate vibrations.

 

Please see our guide  on how to soundproof a ceiling which has a whole load of frequently asked questions covered so you can be confident in the preparation and installation of any of our ceiling soundproofing solutions.
 

How do you install the MuteClip® channel system?

The best way to see how our MuteClip® channel system is installed is by watching our detailed installation video which you can find here.

Depending on the area or surface you are looking to treat, our MuteClip® Channel comes in 3 lengths, 1.5m, 1.85m and 2.4m and is only compatible with our MuteClip®, the reason for this is that the design maintains a return lip to hold substantially more weight as the MuteClip® clasps onto this.

The MuteClip® Channel is part of iKoustic's MuteRange - these are products that been subjected to stringent testing in both laboratory and real-world environments providing the best possible solution for the purpose with a result you can trust.

Our helpful guides cover every aspect of MuteClip® channel installation, you will find this link  takes you to a variety of soundproofing situations that can be treated with our channel systems and help you find the peace and quiet you need.

For any further questions or to talk through your project with our experienced team here please give us a call or drop us a message on our live chat and we will endeavour to do the best we can to help.