Tips For Creating Quieter Gyms
From high school gyms to fitness centers, exercise is inherently noisy. From the thunder of running footsteps to the crashing of weights, and even the hum of machines and climate control, without acoustical treatments gyms can be deafening. And if a fitness studio or a small gymnasium is on the second floor, all of this noise can disturb neighbors on all sides, causing more than just problems for those in the space. So how can gyms be created without causing disruption, or the noise inside making the people inside uncomfortable? Acoustical Surfaces has decades of experience in the soundproofing and sound absorbing industry, and has worked on countless gyms. Acoustical Surfaces shares the best ways to ensure that a gym is acoustically optimized, and some of the best materials to do this with, below.
1. Plan Ahead
If you are a designer, architect, or builder for the space, an excellent way to ensure gyms stay quiet is to think ahead. When working on a gym project, whether that be a large basketball to several basketball-court-sized spaces, or simply a small workout area, soundproofing and sound absorbing in construction is critical.
Much of the exterior noise that would bother other parts of a building, such as an attached classroom or neighbor, can be planned for and mitigated with soundproofing and sound absorbing solutions that are built into the walls themselves. Building walls around the concept of blocking sound is an excellent way to start. There are many different types of products that can help with this, from sealants to paints, depending on how a designer or builder wants to achieve this sound reduction.
Acoustical Surfaces carries a wide variety of these materials. For instance, for architects looking to add insulation to their project that will provide sound absorption as well as interior insulation from sound traveling through, the CFAB Cellulose Insulation panels are an excellent choice. These green insulation alternatives to fiberglass offer a greener, more effective way to stop noise where it is needed. Additionally, if the walls of the room or space in general are drywall-based, Green Glue can help to provide another layer of sound insulation. This compound dries to a putty-like quality, which helps to deaden vibrations in the wall, causing less sound to escape the room and into adjacent areas.
2. Preparing Floors For Exercise
From the squeak of sneakers to the slam of weights, sound transmission through the floors of gyms can cause nearly as much issue as the noise itself. While reducing the activity that is causing the noise usually isn’t an option, preparing the floors with acoustical treatments can help to reduce the amount of sound that makes it through to a level below, or deadens the noise that is created from athletes interacting with the surface.
Adding floor underlayment in spaces such as this provides an acoustical performance boost to the space. These thick, rubbery mats are usually installed pre-construction (although many of these mats can be implemented in places such as a weight room floor to reduce noise levels) and have a squishy quality to them. This elasticity in the material acts like a mattress would if someone was jumping from a high ledge. It flexes in order to reduce the stress of the impact, and absorbs the vibrations in order to quiet the room overall. Mass loaded vinyl barriers from Acoustical Surfaces are an excellent way to achieve this, and have a high NRC rating in order to provide maximum performance at a manageable price point and thickness.
3. Acoustical Treatments For Your Space
One of the most noticeable ways that gyms can be disruptive is their echo. The cacophony of voices or the constant, irregular drumbeat of weights and treadmills makes communication impossible. For school Gyms, this can make teaching and coaching difficult, and can be downright dangerous if you can’t actively communicate when there is trouble. In a commercial gym, this can lose customers. If patrons can’t hear their own music or communicate with each other, then they may choose to bring their business elsewhere.
Reducing echos and quieting the sound inside of the room, fortunately, can be a pre-construction job, or designers and architects can advise to add solutions after the fact. There are many ways to deflect, absorb, and disperse sound in a room, from wall panels to hanging ceiling baffles. For echo and reverberation control, Poly Max ceiling and wall panels work exceptionally well, and perform with best-in-class functionality for their price point. Envirocoustic Wood Wool is another high-quality product that is durable enough to take the rigors of the gym, while providing incredible sound reduction functionality at its price. This product is also made from recycled wood fibers and is a green building product that can help your space build towards a LEED certification.
4. Quieting Climate Controls
Gyms need to stay cool, or keep warm in the winter months, so ventilation for climate control systems is critical. But, these climate control systems can be noisy, causing significant noise in the space. Additionally, the hard metal of the ducts and ventilation can provide more hard surfaces for sound to reverberate off of, causing confusing echoes. In the winter months, heating ducts and pipes in walls can also cause noise, as well as lose heat from inefficiency.
Acoustical Surfaces has thought of solutions to these problems. Reduce the noise of ventilation and other HVAC-related issues in your gym with the Barrier Decoupler. This product features mass-loaded vinyl, much like the floor underlayment, but can be applied to pipes and vents to help stop noise. As an added bonus, this product also insulates HVAC infrastructure, helping to keep your climate control efficient in the space.
Build Quieter Gyms With Acoustical Surfaces
At Acoustical Surfaces, Inc., we believe in providing the highest quality materials for commercial contractors and builders. Our materials are high-value, high-performance, and easy to install. We pride ourselves in being some of the industry’s foremost experts on soundproofing, acoustics, noise control, and vibration control.
Acoustical Surfaces offers a comprehensive line of products and services for any commercial acoustic, soundproofing, or sound absorbing project. To find out more about Acoustical Surfaces, or to browse our materials and products, visit our website.