Sound and thermal insulation all in one

Eco Home Centre recently helped a local home-owner to insulate their home. However the pressure was not for thermal insulation more for acoustic. The house, built in the 1980’s, was typically badly built. Little insulation in the external walls and ceiling, but also none in the floors or internal walls. The house therefore reverberated with noise from any corner of the house.

The house was also built in a terrace and the sound leakage between the houses was also noticeable. So we devised a plan of using one product to solve the problem rather than using a conventional thermal insulation and a separate acoustic solution. This product was a wood fibre board. The product was a 40mm deep board and it was finished with a plaster applied directly onto surface (although the belt and braces approach is to use a mesh as well).

This solution has really ‘deadened’ the sound in the room and also provided a good level of thermal improvement with minimal loss of space in the room.

The sound inbetween the floors was dealt with using a dense sheep’s wool insulation. Ideally a hemp wood fibre mix would have been used, but this was in short supply and transport costs took it out of the financial picture.

The sound inbetween rooms was sorted by using the same sheep’s wool insulation in the stud walls (75mm in a 100mm gap so as to leave an air gap that gives better acoustic insulation) and then re-boarding using and woodwool board. These boards are less uniform than plasterboards and also heavier and thicker, hence they give better acoustic properties.

So with all these simple improvements the choice of materials had a number of benefits:

  • It was cheaper than using specialist thermal and acoustic insulations
  • It was thinner than using stud work on the walls
  • It was healthier as the woodfibre boards help to temper chances in humidity levels
  • The products are recyclable
  • The products had a lower carbon footprint
  • The products are natural and contained no harmful materials

All in all the house is now warmer and more pleasant to live in. Also the work was done by a general builder with a little instruction from the Eco Home Centre. Eco Home Centre also sourced all of the ‘non-standard’ materials and products for the project.