No one wants to live in a log home that is too noisy. Luckily there are some easy steps one can take to transform your noisey home into a quiet house. While there are some super-expensive, sound booth quality options, let’s stick to simpler less expensive alternatives — options for real people and real log homes.
STEP 1: Structural Planning
Simply put some distance between the living areas of your home and the working areas when making your floor plan. If your “quiet areas” are further from your “noisy areas” (like putting your laundry room far away from your bedroom), then of course the noise will be less noticeable.
This solution becomes a challenge with smaller log homess, so you’ll likely want to consider some other simple anti-noise measures.
STEP 2: Optimize Dead Space
Incorporate things you must have in your log home to help minimize noise transmission between rooms — in other words, use design-based ideas to make your log house quieter.
If you strategically place your closets and cupboards, then the “dead spaces” they create will effectively muffle sounds. For instance, if you place a wall of closet space between bedrooms, that closet full of clothes or linens, prevent sound transfer between the rooms much better than just a standard stick framed common wall.
Along this same way of thinking, maybe you could locate noisy features back-to-back on the same wall. For instance, if two bathrooms share a wall, you could have the toilets back-to-back, and therefore help keep flushing noises contained to a smaller zone of the house.
Sometimes you may not have a lot of options in adjusting the floor plan, so you may want to explore economical ways to make a regular stud-wall perform better when it comes to resisting sound transmission.
STEP 3: Insulation
Some people use basic fiberglass insulation* to fill the voids between the studs in an interior stick framed wall. The fiberglass batt acts to deaden the sound-waves, so it’s harder for noise to travel from one room into the next.
If you use this technique, be sure you don’t pack the fiberglass tightly — which could actually make it EASIER for sound waves to travel through the wall. Instead simply use the standard 4 inch batting for a 2 by 4 wall, or the 6 inch batting for a 2 by 6 wall and make sure it’s packed pretty loosely.
Fiberglass was not actually designed for sound deadening, so it will not lower sound transmission by very much — but it is easy and affordable, so many people consider it a step in the right direction.
*Often people use blown in cellulose insulation, blown fiberglass, spray in expanding foam, or special fiberglass batt specifically designed to stop noise. Any of those alternatives can be a little more effective at stopping sound transmission, but they also all cost a bit more than fiberglass batt.
STEP 4: Fibreboard
Another option is to use anti-sound fiberboard, which is specifically designed to stop noise transmission. It’s slightly more expensive than the fiberglass, but it is more effective.
One brand of sound-deadening board is called “SoundStop.” It’s manufactured by Knight-Celotex and comes in 4’x8′ sheets. The sheets get attached to the studs before your drywall is hung.
They are easily cut with a utility knife or a circular saw, and should be oriented in the opposite direction of your drywall sheets. They can’t run in the same direction, because if the seams lined up then the sound-deadening ability is compromised.
This type of product is specifically designed to reduce sound transmission, so for many people it is the noise-abatement product of choice.
STEP 5: RC Channel
Another product that is specifically-designed to stop noise transfer is called ‘RC Channel.’ It’s more expensive than the fiberboard, but it is also a step up in effectiveness.
RC Channel is essentially a long strip of ‘formed metal’ that attaches to the studs (or to the anti-sound board, if you are using both) and then the the drywall is hung to the RC channel rather than directly to the 2×4 wall studs.
That creates a small area of ‘dead space’ across the entire face of the wall, inside the wall cavity, between the drywall and the studs. The dead air space is very effective at preventing sound wave transmission, so you end up with a nice quiet barrier between rooms.
There you go, five easy steps to a quiet and peaceful log home. These steps describe noise abatement options that are most frequently used by regular folks, building regular homes. You can select just one option, or combine two or more.
Pick what best fits your level of concern, and you will have a happy wallet AND happy ears in your new log home.
For additional information here are some links to other articles about sound abatement: