When your client requests 10-foot ceilings, granite countertops, and hardwood floors, be sure to remind them that with open spaces and hard surfaces come heightened noise levels.

“We live differently in our homes now than we did 30 years ago,” explains Portia Ash, business manager for Owens Corning's residential noise control division. “There used to be a lot more carpet, and drapes over the windows — you're not seeing that in homes today. Homeowners love the architectural features that are available, but the sound dynamic is very different.” Ash says that video games, media rooms, and home offices are 21st-century concepts that have changed noise dynamics in the home.

Thankfully, there's no need to forego amenities to bring back peace and quiet. Owens Corning's QuietZone product line features three remodeling-friendly systems that mitigate residential noise. The QuietZone Foundations system includes batts and acoustical sealant for walls, ceilings, and floors, while the Foundations Plus system ups the ante with flexible duct media and materials to buffer HVAC-related noise.

While these systems can lessen distracting noises by up to 30%, the maker's Quiet Retreats system brings near-noiseless serenity. Quiet Retreats incorporates the above materials, plus acoustical wall framing, floor mats, and a fabric ceiling system to decrease noise by up to 85%.

This cutaway from Owens Corning highlights several areas where noise reduction materials can be beneficial.
This cutaway from Owens Corning highlights several areas where noise reduction materials can be beneficial.

For projects where you're not starting from scratch or going down to the studs, Quietrock 510 from Quiet Solution can install directly over existing drywall.

“We've capitalized on a physics principle called ‘constrained layer damping,'” explains Quiet Solution CEO Kevin Surace. “In a traditional wall system, sound vibrates drywall, then the studs behind it, then the drywall on the other side, which is how sound transfers from room to room. If you have a structure that doesn't want to vibrate, you eliminate a lot of that sound.”

Quietrock 510 incorporates a viscoelastic polymer with a level of stiffness that cuts down on vibrations. The ½-inch-thick material looks, scores, and cuts like traditional gypsum, but when installed it reduces noise by 50%, Surace says. Altogether, these products are music to homeowners' ears.