soundproofing a garage ׀ sound proofing a garage




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Soundproofing of a garage is rarely possible due to the lightweight structure of the walls, roof,  windows and doors plus the confined space usually available.  The best that can be achieved is a reduction in the noise breaking out of these buildings.  Because the windows and doors are the weakest points, these should be addressed first.  Assuming it is a masonry built garage the following can be utilised but if it is a timber built garage, they are usually too light and  small to usually derive really effective soundproofing so we suggest an alternative location is found if possible.


When soundproofing windows, if light through them is desired, the windows should be triple glazed with different thicknesses of glass at staggered intervals and installed so as to be completely sealed.  One of the panes should also be of laminated glass for best results.  If light is not an issue, the window reveal should ideally be bricked up.  As this is a fairly permanent option, it may be preferred to infill with a more easily removable alternative when required.  In this case we would suggest two layers of 12mm plasterboard are fitted into the reveal, one immediately behind the other and tight to the glazing.  The remaining void should be filled with  Acousticel M20AD and another two layers of plasterboard fixed over the top sandwiching the M20AD insulation.  This could be made as a removable acoustic plug to be inserted whenever noise control is required, but it must be an airtight fit when installed so may require draught proofing seals.


Thin pressed steel up and over doors are impossible to effectively soundproof so should ideally be removed and bricked up or replaced with heavy, solid wood swing doors, fitted so they are sealed when closed.  If this is not possible, assuming there is an alternative entrance, a timber stud partition should be built on the inside of the door, infilled with Acoustic Mineral Wool (AMW) and clad with two layers of 12mm plasterboard.


A double door entry system will be more effective at reducing noise breaking through.  This entails two plaster filled fire doors fitted so one opens outwards and the other opens inwards.  Both should be fitted so as to be sealed using our acoustic doorseal kits when closed.

double door entry system


The supporting joists of a flat roof can be infilled with our AMW, Resilient Bars screwed to the underside of the joists and two layers of 12mm plasterboard screwed to the bars.  This will not be ideal but height rarely allows for more effective solutions.  With pitched roofs, if access allows, AMW can be placed between the rafters and then clad with a layer of 12mm plasterboard.  More  AMW can then be installed on top of the ceiling joists if access is possible.   Resilient Bar screwed to the underside and another two layers of 12mm plasterboard screwed to the bars.


soundproofed roofsoundproofed roof


If the room to be soundproofed is on the first floor, the ceiling below must first be insulated with our Resilient Bar system.  If the floor is of the square edged variety, it can be overlaid with SBM5 to seal up the joints.  A floating floor using Acousticel R10 as the resilient layer with a new t&g floor installed on top should now be installed.


Before installing sound insulation as described above, your garage would have had a very poor insulation value which would no doubt, have wound your immediate neighbours up.  As the windows would have been one of the weaker points, the sound insulation value of these would have been no more than 24dB across the frequency range.  This means if music was being played at 110dB,  86dB of noise would be penetrating the window, which is still pretty loud.  After installing the above described materials, and the window was triple glazed as first described, the window insulation value would be improved to around 34dB but if blanked off with the plasterboard and M20AD system, the insulation value would be equal to the walls at around 40-45dB.  This means a maximum of 70dB would still be penetrating the walls of the structure.  A vast improvement!  but still too loud for nearby neighbours, particularly at night when other background noises are very much reduced, so if space permits, further measures are necessary.  A 'room within a room' will have to be created.  This entails the installation of timber studs installed around the walls and across the ceiling constructed 12mm from the existing structure, freestanding and not fixed.  The studwork should be infilled with our Acoustic Mineral Wool AMW and clad with two layers of 12mm plasterboard, the second layer overlapping the joints of the first.  The sound insulation improvement should give the walls of the garage an insulation value of at least 52dB which is much better.   


soundproofed walls


Now the outside shell has been insulated, you will want to reduce the reverberation of sound within the room.  Reverberation actually amplifies the sound originally emitted so the sound has to be absorbed.  To achieve this we recommend our  Foamsorption is used to line the walls and ceiling.  This will reduce any reverberation and also the amount of noise breaking out of the garage.


Depending on the level of background sound, noise usually decreases by 5db for each doubling of distance, so it is possible that a sound level of 110db generated within the garage can be reduced to as little as  40dB from a comparatively short distance away.  However, low frequency sound may still be a problem which can be reduced if our 65mm thick  Foamsorption is installed as already described.


Now all this work has been done, the 'drums' have been set up and you are ready to produce some serious sounds, more air may be required after a while so it may be prudent to install a ventilation system.  For this it will be necessary to form a hole through the wall on each side, one at the bottom and the other at the top of opposite walls.  Using 12mm ply or MDF, an open ended box should be fixed over each side of the holes so there is no direct line of sight into the room.  The interior of the boxes and the walls must be insulated with fire resistant sound absorbing foam (SA25FR) to absorb some of the sound that will exit through the vents.

simple acoustic baffle



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