General Questions

 

 

Yes, we have installation information that we can provide for our full range of soundproofing products, and our iKoustic Advisors can assist over the telephone during office hours on 01937 588226 or 01937 588122.

If you are a DIY enthusiast, then you should be fine installing most of our products. If you do not have installation instructions, these are available for download from our website. If you are in any doubt about your ability to install a system you have seen on this website, please call our team to discuss BEFORE you order.

You can either contact us via our live chat by clicking on the blue box on the bottom right, click on the 'contact us' page to send us an email or speak to one of the friendly advisors on 01937 588226 or 01937 588122

We offer very competitive discounts on all our products for bulk orders. We also run Special Offers which can often be found on our sale bar on the home page or navigation. For ongoing projects that require amounts beyond our price breakdowns - please call our iKoustic team for more information.

We use several delivery methods and couriers dependant on the size and weight of your order. In many cases, your products will be delivered on a wooden pallet as a kerb-side drop, and you will require a suitably sized space to set this outside your address. The delivery driver will not be able to move goods into your property, so please do make sure you have suitable help. If this is going to be a problem for you, please notify our sales team before you order.

 

 

General Acoustic and Soundproofing Questions

 

 

Soundproofing products act as a barrier to decrease sound leaving or entering a room or workspace. Sound Absorption helps to absorb the sound within a room and assist in reducing room reverberation etc. Absorption does not prevent the sound leaving the space but will reduce it. If you want to soundproof a room, you would need to look at buying soundproofing products. It may also be worthwhile to think about some Sound Absorption inside the room to help reduce the sound before it hits the soundproofing.

A sound barrier is a sound blocker and usually includes insulation with a high mass, which then reduces the amount of sound that can pass through it. A standard domestic door is an excellent example of a noise barrier when it is closed as it reduces the sound of external noise. Sound waves flow like water and air, so it is impracticable to use a sound barrier such as a fence or screen to stop the noise, but they are useful when applied to reduce noise immediately on the other side of them. From distances farther away the noise reduction will be less efficient.

There is no easy answer to this question. You would need to speak to one of our iKoustic team to help you with your noise problem. Our team will be able to calculate the amount of sound absorption material required and the expected reduction in noise levels you expect in reducing the intruding noise pollution.

Acoustic results should always consider the system as a whole for a better picture of the overall reduction, everything is continually tested as a system with the structure in place - we have done our best to showcase these in numerous variations and do our best to update test results accordingly to show the average performance - of course we always advise that they do differ from structure to structure through Flanking Transmission and certain defects in structures. When the results mention a 'reduction' this is when an acoustic test has undergone a before, and after assessment, this is often not the case, and it is usually a post-installation test conducted only for say Part E Building Regulations or other special acoustic requirements.

Figures in the range of 45-60dB would often indicate a post-installation as it includes the system as a whole which is the inclusion of the structure, for example - the brick wall which can its performance alone for sound insulation can range from anywhere between 35-50dB depending on the course (how many layers of brick) air gaps provided between them, and the density. We do our best to point these our on any acoustic tests to give you an indication of results. We would be very wary of any results mentioning a reduction of these kinds of figures without acoustic test data, especially if they lack any pre-test data. 

You will always be subject to Part E Building Regulations when a conversion is being taken from a single dwelling into multiple dwellings, both in concrete and timber structure. Depending on what you require in addition to this, for example, access and fire regulations - this will affect what needs to be placed in all surfaces of soundproofing. It is important to note that even if the properties are split horizontally at floor level with an apartment on the ground floor and one on the first, it may not be only the floors that require soundproofing - walls could well be weak and untreated leading to Flanking Transmission. Some developers try their chance at soundproofing the floor and conducting a test to see how it performs. Others will conduct an acoustic analysis first to see if anything is required and those looking for upgrades across the board will seek to take the property back to the bare bones and soundproof throughout. Contact our highly knowledgeable team to see what would be the best approach, and we can get started on helping you with your conversion - 01937 588 226!

Just like our discussion on the differing display of acoustic results, the 47dB would generally indicate an overall system performance, and reduction is from a before and after assessment. When comparing numbers, most see the higher number and consider this to be the reduction, be wary of this. 10dB as a reduction of perceived loudness is a 50% reduction of noise as an average across frequencies - a significant amount, this does not mean that 20dB is 100% for it is on the logarithmic scale, it is 75% - with higher numbers to achieve, the more difficult it becomes. 47dB as a reduction is incredibly high - again so if you see an acoustic board directly to a wall, as an example showing this sort of number - it will take in to account the brick wall!

 

 

Home Soundproofing Questions

 

 

Noisy neighbour complaints is a national issue with the current housing stock, and even with new housing stock as Part E Building Regulations does not provide acoustic values that offer the best sound insulation. Whether you or your neighbours think of themselves as the Jay Gatsby of the neighbourhood who enjoys to entertain at their house every weekend or only just going about their daily lives, both can have a severe effect on both mental and psychological health on the receiver, especially if sleep deprivation or stress occurs with each triggering of a particular or range noise issues. Sometimes both neighbours agree to apply soundproofing on both sides or agrees with one another to apply on one side and contribute to costs, or at times communication breaks down and causes a rift. Soundproofing is about reducing the noise issues to a background noise level and completely muting the sound is a rare thing, even with the most robust of soundproofing options. We would recommend looking at our 'How to soundproof a wall, ceiling and floor' guides as a way of investigating noise issues, or we can carry out a site visit to look at visual and audio cues. If you're still on terms with your neighbours an acoustic test can help look at the severity of the noise issues and potential weak areas that give way to Flanking Transmission.  Our systems are below:

  • Wall Soundproofing Systems
  • Floor Soundproofing Systems
  • Ceiling Soundproofing Systems

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. First of all, you should establish whether it is noise insulation or sound absorption that is needed. Sound insulation is commonly asked for to keep out unwelcome noise but is only occasionally requested for reducing annoyance to others.
The approach to noise insulation will be dependent on the situation; ‘one size fits all’ type solutions are perhaps insufficient and may not work. Everyone's situation usually differs, and it is also dependent on the type of building where the problem is. For successful noise insulation improvement on any project, iKoustic recommend sound advice based on the substantial amount of acoustics experience we have gained over the years. We also know it’s best for us to talk to you at an early stage of any renovation or project to ensure you are confident and happy.
Below are some general guidelines:

  • When the noise is from an external source such as road traffic noise it may be likely, if planning authorities permit, to install a noise barrier. This can be efficient as long as the barrier conceals the direct line of sight between traffic and house.
  • Windows can be a weak point for sound transmission to and from a building. Double glazing is most commonly used for enhanced protection than single glazing. But in areas of high external noise, it might be advisable to have double windows with a large air gap (25 to 100 mm) and acoustic absorbent material on the perimeter reveal around that gap. 
    The fitting of new windows may decrease the level of air ventilation, and it will be essential to compensate for this if needed by improving the noise insulation of specific party walls.
  • Noise through the partition walls can be decreased by adding a false wall. This is built from a layer of sound insulating material; usually, plasterboard, separated from the party wall by a large void enclosed with acoustic quilting. The false wall cannot be connected to the party wall, because that would allow the noise to travel.

A question we receive most often, and of course will always be different even if every surface in a perfect world were all the same size, for example, there could be the following influencing the overall cost:

  • A Rolled Steel Joist (RSJ) attached to the wall
  • Pipework running through any immediate areas
  • Whether the property is concrete or timber
  • Whether the joists of a timber structure have adequate acoustic insulation
  • What space you have to offer for any surface
  • What floor finish you plan on laying and the addition of ply
  • How severe the noise issues are
  • The severity of Flanking Transmission
  • What you are soundproofing again, for example, are you planning to put a cinema room in

Sound moves differently from room to room in a single building, and different from structure to structure, and these examples are just a few that influence the performance of whatever surface you are looking to treat, so there is no one answer for if sound is equally coming through 3 walls, the direct wall and two adjacent walls as a typical scenario, a price for a single partition may not meet your requirements or wishes. Our team have a broad depth of knowledge and have come up against a range of acoustic issues with the ability to offer the best advice in how to treat each and manage expectations - we can give you rough estimations but this may not help, we want to help you get to the root of the issue and cover every base as best as possible so we can all walk away knowing the best advice and soundproofing has been put in place. We can work with photos if you are in an isolated location, or we can offer site visits on a range of visual and subjective ques, or full-scale acoustic testing so we can gain accurate figures of acoustic performance. Speak to our team today to see how we can work out costs for you on 01937 588 226!

Banging doors are a cause for concern especially if a level of structural vibration occurs to a such as degree that it causes shock to a person, this can trigger stress on a high level even if they are awake, even more so if they are awoken. The one major issue with the slamming of doors is that the noise is structural and can travel through an abundance of paths: through joist cavities, across joists, over ceiling voids, through adjacent walls and adjoining pipework - so the noise issues are often not confined to where people most consider the noise to be coming from - the wall. The reduction of these noise issues requires separation from the structure, so some often feel to see where noise issues may be travelling, starting with all adjacent surfaces. We have had occasions where they think it is from next door on the side of the wall, but it comes from a downstairs location diagonally through the wall and floor of equal amounts.

The best system for the reduction of structural borne vibration is our MuteClip™ Stud Double Plus on walls and ceilings, and the use of our MuteMat® 3 System for floors with the use of Isolation Strips. Or if you are on terms with your neighbours our Door Soundproofing options provide an insert to which softens the impact of doors as they arrive at the frame - this could be a wise option if only door slamming is the main issue.

 

 

Workplace and Office Soundproofing Questions

 

 

The introduction of Sound Absorption is the only answer to solving these issues - it is now a common problem with the vast open spaces that modern offices adopt and with this continued desire of these spaces comes the research into the effects both positive and negative. We offer a complete acoustic design service to where we can look at the best options to tend to both visual and acoustic performance, for those looking to create features or fit in without attracting attention. 

 

 

Gym Soundproofing Questions

 

 

Our guidance here for any Gyms that have received noise complaints, on whether you have had soundproofing placed or not, or whether you have had a sound test or not is to undergo a Noise Impact Assessment, depending on what level it has been raised to it will usually be at Council level and often the threat of being shut down is inevitable, you don't want to have to remove the most essential activities. Contact us as soon as possible to allow time for assessments, specifications and installation to be made - if it is left there may not be adequate time to conduct each of these measures and the council will take action to shut down the premises. We can work with the council to show remediation and how each element will be tackled in our report and specifications, so the longer we have to address them - the better. It is important to consider community not just on an internal business model, but also with those living nearby.

When a Gym is located in a residential complex or in close proximity to, these are vulernable to the vast variety of noise issues that can affect living standards - weight drops, music or even lighter impact such as the use of treadmills and spin cycles are just a few examples. The installation of highly robust and incredibly effective dedicated Gym Soundproofing materials must be factored in. Our MuteGym range is perfect as both a standalone such as the use of our MuteGym™ platforms, and some are combined with other materials to meet the most strict of acoustic requirements with the use of our MuteBloc™ and MuteStop™ which are dedicated for weight drops in sensitive areas featuring weight machines. It is always advised to carry out a Noise Impact Assessment first to see what impact certain domains will have on the local community at any given level and to help plan the internal structure.

 

 

Recording Studio, Cinema and other Audio Related Development Questions

 

 

If you are in proximity to residences and local businesses, this will require suspension and mass on every surface to reduce the leakage of sound. Remember, windows and doors create breaks in the soundproofing, and these will need to be factored in (don't open the window for all sound will escape from this), so ventilation will also be an essential part, whether an air conditioning unit or creating a vent. MuteClip™ Systems and MuteCradle™ Systems are both highly advised on their applied surface, direct boarding to any stud framing generally won't make the cut for there is little suspension or give and the reduction of low-frequency noise, the sound energy that travels greater distances both through air and structure, will see low to no improvement. It is widespread to see dedicated outhouses built for this purpose if the recording and editing of sound is conducted at home, bedroom recording purposes which are standard now for the access to equipment across to board is very much in budget - will still require almost the same level of soundproofing and suspension, and it is vital to bear in mind that neighbours sensitivities will be higher and if any sound is detected, this could run risks of complaints.

We have had a few scenarios where apartments were chosen for an Audio Mixing and Mastering Suite, these will require optimal soundproofing on every surface - and still even with a small amount of sound leakage from finding from raised monitoring, and the use of Drum Kits, these studios will not last long. Rented properties will be highly unlikely that you could install anything of substance without consent from your landlord.

Recording Studios, Vocal Booths and Audio Mixing and Mastering suites all require the most precise soundscape possible with little to no interference and this is not only from making sure sound does not disturb any neighbouring properties but also from reducing noise from entering the studio and disrupting the quality of the recording. It is a real pain to be in the middle of what is a perfect,although many would object to the word, recording and a large aircraft or heavy goods vehicle rolls past, shaking the building or creating a hum that you cannot get rid of in the post-production process without damaging the dynamics of the recording. You will need to start over, but always with the fear of another annoying disturbance, and now you've lost your concentration. The suspension is required at every level to reduce low borne frequency vibration from both entering and escaping the studio, requiring careful consideration on placements and layouts - professional level recording studios would benefit from good recording studio design to where we can assist in making sure the soundproofing is fit for every variation and purpose. What level of soundproofing required and how much it costs is entirely dependent on what studio monitors you are running, estimated levels (usually run more than household noise issues at the mixing and mastering stage to properly obtain good sound energy from the low end and instrumentation you are recording.

There is no way to obtain exact costs from these variants, but we can give estimated surface costs without taking in to account the small and essential details - we would like to receive a complete holistic overview of every aspect to put together something more concise as budgeting for these environments can often run over even when you think it's altogether! There is also the requirement for the control of reverberation too, which again is very important to meet your needs on whether you would like live or dead rooms, and what unique ambience you desire. Some audio engineers offer dead, clean and clinical spaces - others decide to record in raw and drenched environments, something you gain from a thorough studio design.

 

 

Floor Soundproofing Questions

 

 

Timber buildings built before the introduction of Part E Building Regulations in 2003 are often found with very little to no soundproofing at all, although this is not always the case - for there are structures that have been built after this period and there are conversions of existing builds to improve the sound for residential conversions. Timber structures consist of a typical joist build often featuring a cavity between floorboarding and ceiling, unless there is an exposed ceiling beam for decorative purposes, and if this cavity is untreated it creates a boom and whooshing sound, amplifying the noise issue. Ceilings can be assembled in a range of different ways, one often found with structures built pre 1930s feature a Lath and Plaster ceiling, which can sometimes be better for airborne noise, but does leave an untreated cavity. Another is Plasterboard in which can be either a Fireboard, Acoustic Plasterboard or just Standard Plasterboard, again depending on regulations and when they were built will often determine each of their installations.

For whatever the methods are currently installed, there are plenty of options to soundproof a timber floor and our best option for floor soundproofing is our MuteMat® 3 Pro, a system comprising of three high performing products in which the existing floor is replaced with MuteDeck™ 18mm, the untreated cavities are then treated with Acoustic Mineral Wool and the MuteDeck™ 18mm then receives our Tecsound and MuteMat® 3. Carpet can be laid directly over the top, and hard floor finishes require a ply top to act as a stable base of either 6mm or 9mm minimum - we can help advise you on this by calling 01937 588 226!

Concrete structures are more predictable than timber ones for there is a determined mass per cubic meter and the structure often has a high enough mass that is beneficial for the reduction of airborne noise, although depending on your sensitivity to sound or any specific targets you require or would like to meet - this may need further soundproofing. Separation and a level of compression are vital for achieving high acoustic figures for both airborne and impact noise, although our dense range of acoustic over screeds and under screeds work incredibly well in concrete structures! Our best option for residences and commercial use such as the soundproofing of offices and retail that require both an increased result for airborne and impact would be our MuteCradle™ options with using our MuteDeck™ 18mm and MuteMat® 3 - this will allow the creation of an air gap which is essential for improving low-frequency sound control by limiting the contact made with the structure and floating the floor, this is then treated with a 75mm or 100mm Acoustic Mineral Wool - depending on which size you opt for.

For uses in environments that harbour sizeable mechanical machinery, for example in manufacturing plants, or in high impact environments such as Gyms - a detailed review of the structure would often be best sought after especially if the acoustic targets required are set high, or the weights being applied or dropped to the floor are in excess. We have select acoustic systems for the treatment of both these scenarios with Gym Soundproofing and our Soundproof Under Screeds.

If you are looking to change over from a carpeted floor to a hard floor finish such as laminate or engineered wood or perhaps like to look of Luxury Vinyl Tiles like Amtico, Karndean of other leading brands or just require a thin lino for a bathroom or even ceramic tiling - a compressible floor finish is going to be required, and what level of compression will be determined by your structure. Impact noise is a significant concern for both timber and concrete structures, but for concrete often our soundproof over screeds like our MuteMat® OSF range are highly suited and usually do not require an over boarding for any of the above.

  • MuteMat® OSF 750-03
  • MuteMat® OSF 750-05
  • MuteMat® OSF 750-10

Or our MuteMat 2 or MuteMat 3 offer even higher levels of reduction in concrete structures, but these will require an overboard with hard floor finishes due to their high flexibility - we can assist with possible results with select floor finishes by contact our ever helpful team on 01937 588 226!

For timber structures a softer matting is required such as our MuteMat® 2 or MuteMat® 3 to yield increased results for impact noise (and will also help to reduce airborne noise too), a 6mm or 9mm overlay build will be required with hard finishes as a minimum - these are best discussed prior, we can again submit estimated acoustic figures of what you will achieve to satisfy building control or landlord requirements.

 

 

Wall Soundproofing Questions

 

 

Brick wall constructions offer different acoustic performance values depending on their course, which is how many bricks thick it is - single, double or triple, and how dense the blocks are. The age is also an essential factor, for there may be large cracks in the mortar or some cases missing parts, and whether it has been skimmed over the top which helps provide coverage of gaps. Another consideration is the use of an air gap between the brick wall and breeze block construction, an often grey looking lightweight slab that offers excellent insulation for heat, but often poor for acoustics. This air gap may reach around the two side walls also, meaning that Flanking Transmission would be an issue, and the immediate wall you think is attached to a neighbouring property won't be the only one requiring soundproofing. 

Whatever the scenario our best wall soundproofing often available is our MuteClip™ Stud Double Plus, this is the use of an isolated and independent timber or metal framework, timber offers less resonance and ring when vibration comes in to contact with it, our sound isolation clip and channel is then installed to provide additional suspension to create a floating wall construction - one that is highly effective in the reduction of vibration and low-frequency sound content - finished with a dense SoundPlank 19mm, Tecsound and Acoustic Plasterboard 15mm, perfect for intrusive and apparent neighbour noise issues like loud conversation, or a dog that loves to bark at all that moves and mounted television systems. MuteClip™ Stud Double Plus is also an excellent option for use in manufacturing environments to separate offices, office spaces that require higher levels of acoustic privacy and for Gym walls to prevent both direct and Flanking Transmission.

Some stud framing is often very lightweight, for example fragile metal frameworks are usually found in office installations to where they were only ever suitable for the installation of thin plasterboard and connected to the suspended ceiling - these will require reviewing before proceeding on the basis that their removal could put the ceiling at risk, as well as making sure we can install soundproofing to the best efficiency. For home soundproofing stud framings can also be of lightweight support only and may require additional noggings or reviewing for a thicker framework to install acoustic soundproofing to them - contact our fantastic team on 01937 588 226 to see how we can best help you!

For those that are of 50mm thickness or above and offer great support - our MuteClip™ Internal Double Plus works incredibly well to soundproofing between bedrooms, en-suite and proximity bathrooms and even small home recording spaces!

 

 

 

Sound Absorption Questions

 

 

With the expansive space that sports halls need to create coupled with the overwhelming reflective surfaces that are easy to clean creates an environment that is very acoustically challenging. Teachers and tutors often need to raise their voice to significant levels to be heard above the noise which research has shown time and time again that this leads to dangerous health conditions of the vocal cords and the throat in general. Speech intelligibility is lost to such a degree in these vast cavernous spaces to the message is lost, and this can also put a strain on that listener's hearing and could be detrimental to an overall learning experience.

We would advise overlooking the Builders Bulletin 93 (BB93) for recommended figures for different spaces in an educational environment - these are put together for the student or pupils benefit in the educational experience but can be applied for general Gym environments too as an excellent guideline to adhere.

Everything from our Note Range can be customised in a range of shapes to which we can create with your design in mind or rough guidance to assemble something unique - we also have our Printed Note product that can receive high-quality images to it's facing to display your desired image - creating art from acoustic materials that are high performing. Take a look at how we can help you by looking at our Bespoke Acoustic Design page.

Many factors can affect the overall soundscape of the room

  • Its geometry can lead to different sounds becoming crossed over - reflecting and diffracting in various ways
  • The number of reflective surfaces there are in the room
  • What your set acoustic targets consist of
  • What the room will be used for and the levels of sensitivities to sound

We can help assess the room with a Reverberation Test to gain an accurate representation of the problematic frequencies and the guideline of what amounts of Sound Absorption will likely achieve specific targets.