Drywall’s Impact on Acoustical Performance
The sound performance of drywall often goes unnoticed until it fails the customer—when residents hear their neighbors above them, when students are distracted by noise in an adjacent room, or when hotel guests can’t sleep because of a loud television down the hall. These are situations everyone has experienced and suffered through. That’s why it is vital for contractors to consider these matters of privacy, productivity and personal comfort when selecting drywall products for their projects, including choosing a drywall board with a superior Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating.
Whatever project or building you find yourself working on, be it commercial or residential, there are a number of benefits to choosing an acoustical drywall board.
Healthcare facilities need to provide a quiet environment conducive to healing. Administrators are also under pressure to reduce costs and be more responsive to patients. In hospitals with reduced noise levels, patient satisfaction with caregiving is increased and sleep is improved. This leads to faster healing, which can mean shorter stays and reduced costs for both patients and hospitals. In addition, acoustical drywall boards can help meet HIPAA privacy regulations. Acoustical drywall boards in healthcare settings are great for a variety of areas—be it the patient waiting room, offices, or surgery rooms.
Clear communication between teachers and students is paramount for quality education. Excessive noise leads to distraction, which creates a learning barrier. Noises like hallway conversations, students in other classrooms and mechanical equipment can hinder student concentration. In addition, background noise causes teachers to raise their voices, which results in vocal strain over time. Acoustical boards reduce sound transmission from adjacent spaces to make it easier for teachers to be heard and students to learn.
A hotel’s most important promise to its guests is privacy and relaxation. Guests who feel relaxed and refreshed are more likely to return and recommend the hotel to others. Yet by nature, hotels are busy, noisy places. People come and go around the clock, vacuums whirr, foot traffic and conversations can be heard up and down hallways. Choosing an acoustical drywall board enhances the guest experience by providing a sound-buffered oasis of comfort amid the hustle and bustle of the busiest hotel. This is especially important considering the close proximity of rooms that are adjacent, above and below each other, where sound travels easily.
In a home, acoustics are even more important to increase the sense of separation from neighbors that is necessary for comfort and privacy. Additionally, having acoustical board is critical for multifamily buildings, with oftentimes only a few inches of drywall separating other occupants and their rooms. An acoustical board, such as SilentFX® QuickCut™ Gypsum Board, can help achieve higher wall STC ratings than those using standard gypsum board. It also substantially decreases sound transmitted through walls and improves residents’ satisfaction, which leads to less turnover and fewer expenses associated with filling vacancies.
With the right acoustical drywall board, contractors can dampen unwanted sound and improve indoor acoustics to ensure a happy and healthy quality of life for their customers.
About CertainTeed: Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for 115 years. Today, CertainTeed is a leading North American brand of interior and exterior building products, ideal for every application, whether commercial or residential. Click here to see our previous article for tips to fix cracked drywall.