11 min

Soundproofing : How to Overcome Noise Pollution ?

isolation phonique

Soundproofing occupies a pivotal role in ensuring optimal acoustic comfort. Whether it's to mitigate airborne noises coming from outside or to limit impact noises within your space, choosing the right soundproofing material is essential. But with the diversity of materials available on the market, how do you navigate and select the one that best meets your specific needs?

Indeed, noise is an omnipresent nuisance in our daily lives, capable of disrupting our acoustic comfort, health, and well-being. Fortunately, soundproofing offers an effective solution to reduce noise pollution and create a calm and serene environment in your habitat.

Choosing the right soundproofing material is crucial to optimize the acoustic performance of your insulation. Soundproofing and thermal insulation are not necessarily synonymous: it's important to select a material suited to your specific needs.

This comprehensive guide will assist you in choosing the most suitable soundproofing material for your needs, by shedding light on the various types of available materials, their characteristics, and their acoustic performances. You'll also discover the principles of soundproofing, such as the mass-spring system, and the different implementation techniques for walls, floors, and ceilings.

Whether you want to attenuate airborne noises from your neighbors or traffic, or reduce impact noises such as footsteps or collisions, this guide will help you find the ideal soundproofing solution for your acoustic comfort. Don't wait any longer to improve your quality of life and create a true haven of peace at home !


Identifying the Type of Noise to Reduce

The first step is to identify the type of noise you want to protect yourself from. There are two main categories of noise :

– Airborne Noise: it propagates through the air, such as traffic noise, conversations, or neighbors' music.

– Impact Noise: it is caused by impacts, such as footsteps, object falls, or work in neighboring apartments.

Choosing the Suitable Insulating Material

Each type of noise requires a specific soundproofing material.

Against Airborne Noise

Prioritize dense and fibrous insulators, such as rock wool, glass wool, or wood fiber.

Against Impact Noise

 Opt for heavy and rigid insulators, such as expanded cork panels or rubber tiles.

Considering the Insulation Location

The location of the insulation is also an important factor to consider.


Pour une isolation phonique optimale des murs, il est recommandé d’installer les isolants entre les montants métalliques ou dans les doublages.


Soundproofing materials for floors can be installed under the floating floor or under the screed.


 To soundproof a ceiling, you can attach acoustic plasterboards or insulating panels to a metal frame.

Assessing Acoustic Performances

The acoustic performances of a soundproofing material are measured in decibels (dB). The higher the sound reduction index (Rw), the more effective the insulator is. It is important to choose an insulator with an Rw suitable for the noise level you want to reduce.

Taking Budget into Account

The price of soundproofing materials varies depending on the material, thickness, and brand. It is important to  define your budget before making your choice.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are not handy or if you have doubts about the choice of insulation or its implementation, it is recommended to seek professional help. An acoustician or a qualified insulator can advise you on the best solution for your needs and carry out the work according to best practices.

The Different Types of Available Materials

Choosing the most suitable soundproofing material for your needs depends on several factors, such as the type of noise to reduce, the location of the insulation, and your budget. Here are the main types of soundproofing materials available on the market :

Fibrous Insulators

Rock wool: Versatile insulation, effective against airborne and impact noises. Good resistance to fire and moisture.

Glass wool: Economical and easy-to-use insulation. Good performance against airborne noises.

Wood fiber: Eco-friendly and bio-sourced insulation. Good thermal and acoustic performance.

Cellulose wool: Natural insulation made from recycled paper. Good acoustic and thermal performance.

Rigid Insulators

Expanded cork panels: Eco-friendly and efficient insulation against impact noises. Good resistance to moisture.

Rubber tiles: Highly efficient insulation against impact noises. Particularly suitable for floors.

Wood fiber panels: Rigid insulation panels made of wood fiber, combining acoustic and thermal performance.

Cellular concrete: Lightweight insulation effective against airborne and impact noises. Good fire resistance.

Other Soundproofing Materials

Acoustic foam: Flexible insulation used to absorb reverberating noises in rooms.

Acoustic plasterboard panels: Plasterboard panels made of plaster and textile fibers, offering increased acoustic performance.

Natural Materials: Cork, hemp, cotton... Natural insulators can also be used for soundproofing, with varying performance levels.

Each type of soundproofing material has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to choose the insulation that best suits your specific needs, taking into account the type of noise to reduce, the location of the insulation, and your budget. Do not hesitate to seek advice from a professional to guide you in your choice.

Additional Tips 

In addition to soundproofing, you can also take other measures to reduce noise in your home, such as:

– Installing double-glazed windows

– Using absorbent flooring and wall coverings

– Furnishing your interior with carpets, curtains, and bookshelves

– Raising awareness among your neighbors about noise nuisances

By following these tips, you can create a calm and relaxing environment in your home. Feel free to seek advice from a professional to choose the most suitable soundproofing material for your needs and to carry out the insulation work according to best practices.


Doing Soundproofing Yourself: Practical Guide

Soundproofing is a DIY project, provided you have the technical knowledge and the right materials.

If you're handy and want to reduce noise in your home, here's a practical guide to help you with your soundproofing project.

Assess Your Needs

Before you begin, it's essential to assess your soundproofing needs.

– What type of noise do you want to reduce? (Airborne noise, impact noise?)

– Where do you want to install the insulation? (Walls, floors, ceilings?)

– What is your budget ?

Choose the Soundproofing Material

Choosing the right soundproofing material is crucial for the effectiveness of your insulation :

– Opt for dense and fibrous insulation for airborne noise.

– Choose heavy and rigid insulation for impact noise.

– Consider acoustic performance (sound reduction index Rw) and the thickness of the insulation.

Get the Materials

Depending on the chosen insulation and installation technique, you'll need various materials :

– Soundproofing insulation

– Metal framework (for some insulation types)

– Plasterboard sheets (for some insulation types)

– Screws

– Dowels

– Adhesive (for some insulation types)

– Adhesive tape

– Personal protective equipment (gloves, mask, goggles)

Carry Out the Work

Installation techniques vary depending on the insulation and location.

For walls : Install the insulation between the metal studs or in a stud wall.

For floors : Lay the insulation under the floating floor or beneath the screed.

For ceilings : Attach acoustic plasterboard sheets or insulation panels to a metal framework.

Finishing Touches

Once the insulation is installed, you can carry out the finishing touches according to your preferences: painting, wallpaper, etc.

To successfully complete your soundproofing project, work in a well-ventilated area. Wear personal protective equipment and follow the manufacturer's instructions for the insulation. Finally, don't hesitate to seek professional help if you have any doubts.

By following these tips and putting in the effort, you can significantly improve the acoustic comfort of your home and create a haven of peace for you and your family.

What Financial Assistance is Available for Soundproofing ?

Improving the sound insulation of your home can be a costly investment. Fortunately, various financial aids can help finance your work and reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.


MaPrimeRénov' is the main support program for energy renovation in France. It is available to all owner-occupiers and landlords, without income conditions. This aid covers up to 50% of the total cost of soundproofing works, within the limit of an expenditure ceiling set by type of work and geographic area.

Energy Savings Certificate (CEE)

CEEs are financial aids provided by energy suppliers to their customers. The amount of aid depends on the type of work and the energy performance achieved after the renovation.

Local Assistance

Many local authorities also offer assistance for soundproofing. Inquire with your municipality, department, or region to find out about the schemes in place in your geographic area.

Zero-Interest Eco-Loan (PTZ)

The Eco-PTZ is a zero-interest home loan used to finance energy renovation works, including soundproofing. It is available to owner-occupiers under certain income conditions.

Reduced VAT at 5.5%

The reduced VAT rate of 5.5% applies to soundproofing works carried out in residential properties over two years old.

Eligibility Conditions for Financial Assistance

To benefit from financial assistance for soundproofing, it is important to meet certain conditions, including :

– Having the work carried out by a certified RGE (Recognized Guarantor of the Environment) professional

– Meeting the minimum required energy performance standards

– Submitting an assistance application to the competent authority.

Ecological Soundproofing: For a Responsible Living Environment

Soundproofing is not only a guarantee of acoustic comfort, it is also an environmental issue.

Indeed, traditional insulation materials, such as fiberglass or expanded polystyrene, are often derived from non-renewable resources and can have a negative impact on the environment.

Fortunately, there are many ecological alternatives for soundproofing your home while respecting the environment.

1. Bio-based Insulators

Bio-based insulators are made from natural and renewable materials, such as hemp, flax, sheep's wool, cork, or cellulose wadding.

These insulators have the advantage of being effective in terms of both sound and thermal insulation, while also being environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

2. Recycled Insulators

Recycled insulators are made from reclaimed materials, such as paper, cardboard, plastic, or textiles.

These insulators help reduce waste and give a second life to materials that would otherwise be discarded.

3. Unprocessed Natural Insulators

Some natural materials can be used in their raw form for soundproofing, such as straw, wood, or expanded cork.

These insulators are particularly ecological and economical.

The Benefits of Ecological Soundproofing

Ecological soundproofing offers numerous advantages, both for the environment and for your health :

– Reduction of environmental impact

– Use of renewable resources

– Improvement of indoor air quality

– Creation of a healthy and comfortable living environment

– Support for the local economy

Furthermore, ecological soundproofing is a sustainable and responsible solution for improving the acoustic comfort of your home while respecting the environment. By choosing bio-based, recycled, or unprocessed natural insulators, you contribute to environmental preservation and create a healthy and comfortable living environment for you and your family.

Legislation and Regulations Regarding Soundproofing

Legislation and regulations regarding soundproofing are essential elements to consider in any construction or renovation project. These standards, often established to ensure optimal acoustic comfort in homes and buildings, vary from one country to another and may even differ between regions. They define the minimum criteria to be met in terms of acoustic insulation and may require the use of certain materials or specific techniques to achieve these objectives.

In France, for example, acoustic regulations are governed by the Building and Housing Code, particularly through standards related to new residential buildings (RT2012) and renovated buildings (existing RT). These standards set requirements for soundproofing for various construction elements such as walls, floors, and ceilings, as well as for windows and doors. They aim to ensure a minimum level of protection against external and internal airborne noises, as well as to provide good thermal insulation to reduce energy losses.

In addition to national standards, it is also important to refer to local regulations and urban planning schemes that may impose additional requirements for acoustic insulation. For example, in densely populated areas or near noisy infrastructures such as highways or airports, specific standards may be implemented to limit noise nuisances and ensure optimal sound comfort for residents.

In summary, complying with legislation and regulations regarding soundproofing is crucial to ensure the well-being of a building's occupants and to avoid any disputes or non-compliance issues during construction or renovation projects.

How Much Does Soundproofing Cost ?

The cost of soundproofing varies depending on several factors :

Type of Insulation 

The most economical insulators are fibrous insulators (such as glass wool, rock wool), while the most effective insulators, such as dense insulators or expanded cork panels, are more expensive.

Thickness of the Insulation

 The thicker the insulation, the more effective it will be, and the more costly it will be.

Installation Technique

Installing insulation between metal studs in a partition is less technical and therefore less expensive than installation under a floating floor or on a ceiling.

The Surface Area to Be Insulated

The total cost of insulation will increase proportionally with the surface area to be insulated.

The Cost of Labor 

If you hire a professional to carry out the work, you will need to consider the cost of labor in addition to the price of materials.

On average, the price of soundproofing including installation ranges from €20 to €90 per square meter.

– For walls, the cost ranges from €20 to €40 per square meter.

– For floors, the price varies between €10 and €60 per square meter.

– For ceilings, the cost ranges from €25 to €45 per square meter.

Here are some price examples for different types of soundproofing :

– Soundproofing of walls with glass wool (5 cm thick): between €15 and €25 per square meter including installation.

– Soundproofing of floors with expanded cork panels (4 cm thick): between €40 and €50 per square meter including installation.

– Soundproofing of the ceiling with acoustic plasterboard panels: between €30 and €40 per square meter including installation.

It is important to obtain several quotes from professionals to compare prices and choose the best offer.

The cost of soundproofing can be a barrier for some households. However, it is important not to overlook the importance of acoustic comfort and to consider the long-term benefits of good soundproofing, such as stress reduction, improved sleep quality, and the enhancement of your property value.

Soundproofing Estimates 


Type of Insulation 

Area (m²) 

Insulating Material

Thickness (cm) 

Price (€ excl. VAT)

Price (€ incl. VAT)

Soundproofing Walls 


Glass Wool 




Soundproofing Walls


Wood Fiber Panels 




Soundproofing Floors


Expanded Cork Tiles




Soundproofing Floors 


Acoustic Foam Panels



Soundproofing Ceiling 


Acoustic Plasterboards




Soundproofing Ceiling 


Wood Wool Panels




These examples of estimates are provided for indicative purposes and may vary depending on the region, the professional, and the materials used.

Different Soundproofing Techniques

The effectiveness of soundproofing depends on several factors, including the choice of insulation, the installation technique, and the implementation.

Here are the main soundproofing techniques :

1. Wall Insulation

Doubling : Creating a new partition in front of the existing wall, interposing a soundproofing insulation. Doubling is the most effective technique for soundproofing a wall.

Metal frame : The insulation is fixed on a metal frame, then covered with plasterboard.

Counter-wall : A counter-wall is a lighter partition than doubling, fixed directly to the existing wall.

2. Floor Insulation

Floating slab : The insulation is placed under the screed, then a flooring (parquet, tiles, etc.) is laid on top.

Acoustic underlay : An acoustic underlay is placed under the flooring to reduce impact noise.

3. Ceiling Insulation

Suspended ceiling : A suspended ceiling is a false ceiling fixed to a metal frame, in which the insulation is installed.

Acoustic plasterboard : Acoustic plasterboard, specially designed to absorb noise, can be installed on the existing ceiling.

4. Other Techniques

Joinery insulation : Joinery joints can be filled with acoustic sealant, and glazing can be replaced with soundproof glazing.

Door insulation : Doors can be soundproofed by installing insulation seals around the perimeter and filling the interior gap with glass wool or acoustic foam.

Basic Principle

The basic principle of soundproofing is to create a barrier between the source of the noise and the human ear.

The soundproofing insulation must be dense and fibrous to absorb sound waves. It must also be thick to effectively reduce noise.

Advice from Our Architecture Firm

Seek advice from a professional to determine the best soundproofing technique for your home.

Adhere to the relevant construction standards for soundproofing.

Combine soundproofing with thermal insulation to optimize your home's performance.

Soundproofing: Towards an Acoustic Haven !

Soundproofing is a crucial element in creating a calm and serene environment in your home. By reducing noise disturbances, it enhances your acoustic comfort and contributes to your well-being. Choosing the right soundproofing material is essential to optimize the acoustic performance of your insulation. There is a wide range of insulation materials, each with its own characteristics and advantages.

By selecting the most suitable soundproofing material for your needs, you will significantly improve your acoustic comfort and create a tranquil environment in your home. Don't hesitate to seek professional guidance to assist you in your selection and accompany you in carrying out your soundproofing work.

Whether you want to reduce airborne noises from your neighbors or traffic, or mitigate impact noises such as footsteps or collisions, there is a soundproofing solution tailored to your needs. Don't wait any longer to enhance your quality of life and create a true haven of peace at home! Remember, an investment in soundproofing is an investment in your well-being and quality of life.

Mathieu Amara

Mathieu Amara

Graduated in political science, I have always been passionate about renovation and construction work.

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