Stone wool for soundproofing: 6 tips for choosing

5 min

The noise of passing cars, screams, loud conversations of neighbors, crying children, the sounds of a working elevator – all this can spoil the mood of even the most patient person. Scientists have proven that constant background noise causes significant harm to our health. Irritability, insomnia, or nervous breakdowns are not the worst consequences of noise pollution. Scientists estimate that 61 thousand person-years are lost annually in Europe alone due to heart disease caused by noise. If you do not want to become part of these statistics and want to get rid of extraneous sounds in the apartment, then the only way is to soundproof your home. There are a number of materials for this, and we will consider one of the best. We figure out how to choose stone wool for sound insulation.

A little about what noise is?

Everyone knows that in the Khrushchev buildings you can hear the conversation of neighbors living several floors above. But this is also found in modern homes. In monolithic buildings, sound is transmitted through the vibration of walls and ceilings, cracks, crevices and gaps in the structure. Therefore, it is advisable to think about sound insulation before you start repairs.

Sounds enter our homes in many different ways. There are several types of noise:

  • a drill drilling a wall, falling objects, steps coming from above, moving furniture – this is a manifestation of impact noise;
  • barking of a dog, crying of a child, music from neighbors, loud conversations – this is airborne noise.

The sounds of the first category penetrate through the vibration of the structures of the house, the second ones come through cracks and cracks. Before choosing a sound insulating material, you need to decide which of the noise you will eliminate. In both cases, stone wool slabs are the best choice.

Rock wool or mineral wool – is there a difference?

Many people confuse and replace the concepts of stone and mineral wool. Someone thinks that this is one and the same, someone means glass wool by mineral wool. In general, complete chaos and confusion. Let’s dot the i’s together.

  1. Mineral wool is the general name for thermal insulation fibrous materials that are obtained from molten rock, glass or slag.

  2. Mineral wool is divided into several types:

    • stone or basalt – it is made from rock that is crushed, heats up strongly, then melts, after which slabs, mats and rolls can be created from it. Since basalt is a solid rock, in fact, a stone, the second name for basalt wool is stone;

    • glass wool – made from waste of the glass industry;

    • slag wool – made from waste of the metallurgical industry (blast furnace slag).

  3. Comparing mineral wool and stone wool is like comparing trees and birches.

Glass wool absorbs moisture, as a result of which it loses its positive qualities. This does not happen with stone wool. The material has low hygroscopicity, and its sound-absorbing properties are not lost for many years. Slag wool and ecowool are also used, but in terms of performance they are inferior to basalt wool.

Please note that we are talking about sound-absorbing properties – stone wool is not a sound-insulating material. But due to the absorption of noise, the room becomes quieter.

Advantages and disadvantages of stone wool

Rock mineral wool is an inorganic fibrous material, raw materials for which are various rocks: basalt, gabbro, diabase. In English it is literally called “mountain wool”. Indeed, the material looks like matted wool fibers.

The material production technology is as follows. Crushed stone at a temperature of 1500 ° C melts in a furnace to a liquid state. Then the finest fibers are formed in the centrifuge under the influence of air currents. The individual fibers are connected with a special binder, to which a water repellent is added for moisture resistance. And only after heat treatment the resulting “carpet” is cut into pieces and packed.

Thanks to this basis, stone wool has excellent operational and strength characteristics. Among the main advantages of the material:

  • reliable heat and sound insulation. The fibrous structure absorbs sound up to 50 dB or more. At the same time, stone wool is one of the most effective insulation materials, i.e. you can kill two birds with one stone;
  • durability;
  • incombustibility. The basis of the material is a stone that melts at very high temperatures, so cotton wool is not afraid of fire, in case of fire it does not burn or melt;
  • water-repellent properties;
  • high tensile strength, especially in comparison with other soundproof materials;
  • resistance to chemically active substances;
  • the material is not afraid of rodents, fungi and bacteria do not appear on it. Ultraviolet rays, temperature drops do not affect it;
  • cotton wool is not able to absorb moisture. At the same time, steam passes through it without any obstacles – this is a very important property. Due to good vapor permeability, excess moisture and condensation evaporate and are removed from surfaces for which they are destructive;
  • relative ease of installation.

There is only one critical drawback – stone wool slabs are quite brittle, so you should be extremely careful during transportation.

Density of stone wool

Depending on the density, stone wool is divided into the following types:

  • light – this type is most suitable for organizing sound insulation, dampens vibrations and airborne noise. The optimal density indicator for effective noise absorption is 50-80 kg / m3. Alas, the strength of such a material is not very high;
  • rigid has a density of more than 90 kg / m3, can withstand some loads, is more suitable for insulation, is used in arranging ventilated facades, and also as a heat insulator for a screed;
  • the technical one has a density of about 200 kg / m3, can withstand serious loads, is used in the construction of engineering structures.

Stone wool thickness

Naturally, the thicker the material, the better it will dampen noise, but also the more useful space it can take away, therefore it is necessary to look for a balance:

  • the standard thickness of the sound insulator is 50 mm;
  • ultra-thin boards are produced with a thickness of about 30 mm.

Installation options for stone wool

Depending on your goals and the type of noise you want to get rid of, stone wool can be mounted as follows:

  • from the outer surface of the wall;
  • on the inside of the walls and ceiling, it is good to hide it under drywall;
  • inside frame walls;
  • insulation of pipelines and engineering structures, which are a source of noise and vibration;
  • under the roofing material.

Stone wool is available in mats and slabs. Considering that low-density cotton wool is needed for sound insulation, it is better to take mats – it will be easier to work with them. In addition, the slabs have a feature to crumble, therefore it is better to additionally use a vapor barrier layer.

The article was written for the site.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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