One of our concerns, when we began building the container house, was soundproofing the bedrooms. As we will be living communally, we run the risk of having to live with each other’s noise. What do you do if you want to sleep, but others want to watch an action movie? Since moving to the country, we have also come to the realization that many of our neighbours like to listen to loud music long into the night, which can make it difficult to sleep.
There are not too many options to solve this problem. You can try your best to soundproof your bedroom and learn to live with it. We came up with an interesting solution, based on ideas and products usually used in office environments. There are so many ideas out there for offices that one can easily modify to suit a home.
An Interesting Soundproof Product
Kevin knew of a product that is usually used for items such as privacy screens between office cubicles. It is a recycled (win) plastic, fibrous board. This product has the texture of felt, but is a stiff, lightweight board. It has excellent noise absorbing qualities (exactly what we were looking for). The name of this magical product? AcoustiX.
And I can vouch that AcoustiX is easy to clean.
Kevin managed to arrange some off-cuts from CDS Plastics for us to experiment with. He brought them back to site some time ago and after a couple of months of them sitting in a dirty work environment, they were full of dust. We had to spend about three hours vacuuming all the boards before we could consider installing them. Good news: They vacuumed very well. Since they are plastic, tougher stains, we would imagine, should wipe off quite well with soap and water.
In doing my research for this blog post, it was quite interesting to note the manufacturing process. 50% recycled PET plastic is used (eg drinking bottles). The bottles are cleaned and cut into little chips. The plastic is then melted and when it is soft and gooey it is extruded through thin needles, making fibres, which are then compressed into boards. This polyester fibre is believed to be safe as it does not contain any petrochemicals or formaldehyde to give off toxic gasses.
Best part? All the colours AcoustiX is available in!
Installing the Boards
After much thought and a few experiments, we set upon our installation.
With the Coronavirus lockdown in place, we had to decide on our installation method using what we had available. Contact adhesive glue is the obvious choice, but we did not have enough of that or paintable acrylic. We tried wood glue, but it did not adhere well to the primer on the interior cladding of the walls (it adhered well to the AcoustiX itself).
After our glue experiments failed, we were left with a choice of nails or screws. Kevin tried a few boards with some brass panel pins which have very small heads. They were barely noticeable against the textured AcoustiX, but he wasn’t entirely happy.
Should we use the gold or silver chipboard screws? Or perhaps the black drywall screws would be more interesting?
In the end, Kevin decided to be big and bold about the installation. His moto is that if you can’t hide it, make it obvious, be neat, and make a feature out of it. So that was our end plan.
The black screws do definitely make a statement and the first bedroom space is very unique. We used the charcoal around the walls at headboard height, as that is the height that will collect the most dirt.
Of course, the bedroom walls are now a huge pin-board; every teen girl’s dream. I’m not entirely sure that is Louis’ and Gwen’s dream, but they are really pleased with the end result!
Our Thoughts on AcoustiX
This is a brilliant product with a wide colour range available, as well as many possible mounting options. It is easy to cut and shape with a sharp Stanley blade.
Most importantly, Does it Work for Soundproofing Bedrooms?
AcoustiX is definitely making a difference. The outside noise in this first bedroom is much reduced and we are sure it is going to help improve the quality of those who sleep here.
We are looking forward to using AcoustiX boards in other areas of the Container House Project. We will be using it for soundproofing bedrooms and the home office, as well as dampening echoes in the main living area.
Where to Buy AcoustiX
If you are keen to purchase AcoustiX boards for your own projects, you can buy them through either Small Scale Engineering, or directly from CDS Plastics.
If you’re looking for inspiration on what is possible with this product, please check out this link for some amazing AcoustiX projects that CDS Plastics have worked on.
See CDS Plastics in our Container House Project Business Directory.
One More Thing; Our Secret Door
We have an emergency door in this bedroom that opens up into the centre of the house. Once Louis and Gwen are inhabiting the South Container, this door will never be used unless there is an emergency. We therefore wanted this door to be mostly hidden. I think the AcoustiX boards did a pretty good job.
What do you think?