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Guideline: Sound Attenuation Between Units


In residential walls and ceilings there should be an STC of 45 or higher for partitions and floors/ceilings separating living units from other living units, public spaces, and service areas.

2 Types of Sound Transfer with Solutions to buffer sound transfer:

  1. Airborne Sound Solutions – TV, talking, etc.
    1. Caulk and seal all penetrations. An amazing amount of airborne sound can get thru tiny openings.
    2. Ceiling fixtures should be surface mounted, not recessed, to reduce penetrations.
    3. It is incorrect to assume that higher density insulation means improved sound insulation. Tests have shown that insulation thickness is the most important property when describing a cavity absorbing material. Thickness affects the sound transmission loss at most frequencies and therefore affects the STC rating.
  2. Impact Sound Solutions– Sound traveling a path through solid structure such as hearing your neighbor walk in the unit above. This is the most common and the most difficult to fix.
    1. Cushioning the impact with carpet and pad is one of the most effective methods of isolating impact noise.
    2. The use of fiber glass insulation with a resilient ceiling attachment will increase the sound insulation for both airborne and
      impact sound.

Here is a GUIDE with building details to create various STCs: WALLS_Guide for Residential Sound Control