In any business setting it is crucial that there be soundproof areas. Whether it’s an office phone booth or a soundproof office booth, how you know how to soundproof an office room well? Read on for important steps for how to soundproof an office room.
Know Everything You Can About the Space
You need to know everything you possibly can about the room. You will need to know how many windows are in the room. You’ll need to count the doors. You’ll need to know how much floor space, wall space, and ceiling space you have. Finally, you’ll also want to identify from which directions you can expect the most noise and whether there are any holes in the wall that you need to watch out for. If you have a drop ceiling, look above it into the area where the duct work and piping is located. The first step in how to soundproof an office room is knowing where you have leakage into other rooms. Sometimes the walls only go up to where the drop ceiling begins and not all the way up to the actual ceiling! This creates a space for sound waves to get through.
Measure Your Noise Levels
You’ll need a Sound Pressure Level. This device will tell you the decibel levels in every part of the room. Especially measure the area near the windows, near the ceilings or holes, and by the doors. Be aware that when walls don’t go all the way up, they can create unexpected echo chamber effects that may be very noticeable where you least expect it: like right where you want to build a phone booth!
Record the Sound Transmission Class
The Sound Transmission Class, or STC, is a rating that helps you understand exactly how much noise reduction you’ll need in order to satisfy business standard requirements for your phone booth office space. The SCT rating tells you how many decibels that any barrier can reduce in a space and will help you understand what you need to install and how to soudproof an office room. The higher the STC rating, the more sound is blocked. Your STC rating will also help you understand where you need to apply sound blocking in other rooms because soundproofing is not just achieved by keeping noise out of one space. It’s also blocking some of that noise from leaving another space. You will then need some materials to reduce noise and other materials to absorb it.
Place Your Noise Reduction Materials
To reduce the amount of noise in adjoining rooms, you will need dividers and insulators that block the free movement of sound waves. You’ll also want to think about installing carpets and ceiling tiles that can stop sound waves from reverberating off tiles and hard floors in the direction of the room you’re trying to soundproof.
Place Your Noise Absorption Materials
Once you have reduced the amount of noise coming from other areas, you’ll need to absorb noise coming into the room you need to soudproof. One of the weakest areas is always the windows, so good soundproofing usually starts by testing the windows. If they don’t absorb enough sound, put in another pane to add density that will block sound waves. Windows can also be covered with acoustical drapes that effectively absorb sound coming from those windows.
The next step will be absorbing sound from the ceiling and in the floor with acoustic ceiling tiles and sound absorption carpets, padding, or tiles. Once these areas are taken care of, it’s a good idea to measure sound levels again and find out if you’ll also need acoustic panels for the walls. These are highly effective at absorbing sound and can be placed on walls and doors or even on partitions and dividers that go in front of doors and windows.
Always remember that sound waves work just like ripples and waves of water. The waves that sound makes can only penetrate so far, so the more mass and density you add, the sooner the sound wave will disappait. Like water waves breaking over a rock, waves of sound will break around a barrier and weaken. Keep that image in mind and you’ll know how to soundproof an office room.