Should You Use Tecsound To Soundproof A Room?Nov 06, 2023
There are many soundproofing underlayments on the market and one of those materials is Tecsound. Now Tecsound is sold in the UK and throughout Europe, so it doesn't apply to those of us in North America. That said this type of product is similar to MLV and other visco elastic polymers that add mass to a structure and dampen sounds.
In this article I am going to go over what Tecsound is and when and if you should use it on your soundproofing project.
1) What Is Sound Damping
Before we dive in on what Tecsound is I wanted to go over what damping is. According to Technicon Acoustics:
"Damping removes vibration energy from a structure or system by eliminating the dynamic stresses associated with vibration." - Technicon Acoustics
The way sound and vibrations are eliminated is because the product will flex and move converting acoustic vibrations to heat.
Now damping is a useful tool when soundproofing, but it must be used with a soundproofing system to be effective. Simply hanging Tecsound on your wall would not make it soundproof.
2) What Is Tec Sound?
According to the Tecsound Data Sheet:
"TECSOUND® is a high density polymer-based, asphalt-free, synthetic soundproofing membrane, that offers good acoustic insulation in different building elements.."
It is used in the following ways:
· Soundproofing against airborne noise in ceilings and lightweight roofs.
· Reduction of impact noise level in all types of floors, sandwiched between floor slabs and loose-laid flooring.
· Damping of impact noise caused by atmospheric agents on metal decks.
· Combined with sound-absorbent materials, it offers products with high acoustic performance.
· Its applications in the industrial field cover from the soundproofing of booths to the acoustic insulation of machine-rooms, gutter pipes, sound damping of metal sheets, etc.
It essentially is a mat that can be put on walls, ceilings, roofs or metal to help reduce sound energy and sound vibration.
3) How Much Does It Cost?
Tecsound is not cheap. The cost per square meter for Tecsound100 (the best for soundproofing) runs at 14.87 Euros per square meter and that doesn't include shipping and tax. I wouldn't recommend the lower Tecsound ratings of 70, 50 or 35 because the mass is so much less than drywall. I don't think you are getting as much value for your money.
4) Do I recommend using Tecsound?
For most soundproof rooms and home recording studios I would not recommend using Tecsound. The reason is that the cost doesn't really outweigh the benefits. Let me explain. When we soundproof we need a system. Let's look at a wall for example. If we build a double wall system with two layers of 5/8" drywall on either side of it we will get an STC rating of 63, which is plenty good for a soundproof home recording studio.
Adding soundproofing materials like Tecsound and Mass Loaded Vinyl can increase that STC rating, but it is not really necessary and I would rather add more mass than a damping layer.
Here is my point, if you were to add one more layer of 5/8" drywall to your wall it would cost you 5.70 euros per square meter. That is a 38% cost savings over Tecsound, plus you get more mass on your wall, which means greater soundproofing.
Tecsound 100 weighs 10kg/sqm while 5/8" drywall weighs 10.7lb/sqm. The drywall costs 38% less and weighs more. Yes, you do not get the damping, but mass is ultimately what we are looking for to increase the transmission loss of our soundproof wall.
5) When You Should Use Tecsound
Now, there are certainly times when Tecsound will be your best option. It would be great as an inner layer of an exterior wall to the outside both as a vapor barrier and added mass and damping. It would be great if you cannot lose the 5/8" of drywall in your room. It also is useful for soundproof machinery, metal decks, and things like cars or boats where traditional soundproofing methods are not practical. I am proposing that Tecsound is not necessary and an added cost when soundproofing a room or home studio.
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