What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Silencing the Noise of Hard Flooring

Any room without carpeting is going to be a bit louder than a room with carpeting because it lacks the sound deafening properties of carpet.  Carpet absorbs sound waves but without that carpeting the sound waves have a chance to bounce around creating more noise.  Now in terms of health, a home with no carpeting is considerably healthier with better air quality and less allergens.  So the trick becomes toning down the noise level while enjoying a healthier house.  There are several ways to help reduce the noise level in homes without carpeting:

  • volume controls - A large portion of noise making devices (eg. televisions, alarm clocks, signaling devices like timers, and etc. ) within our homes have volume controls.  Turn these devices down to a comfortable level.  Eliminate some like timers if not necessary.  For example both my washer and dryer signal when finished but the signal can easily be turned off if desired.
  • furniture pads - All furniture should have some type of furniture pad for the feet.  Not only does this protect the floors it almost eliminates any noise from sliding chairs and other furniture over hard surfaces.  
  • cabinet pads -  Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can make a fair amount of noise when closed.  Solve this by using felt or plastic cabinet pads on the two outer, inside corners of each drawer and door. 
  • window covering - Window covering serves a decorative and functional purpose including privacy and light control.  However window coverings can serve as a sound deading barrier between the outside and inside as well as absorbing indoor sound waves.  Ideally those with asthma and allergies are told to not use fabric curtains or blinds.  In a home without carpeting the allergens especially dust mites has been reduced to such a low level that you can get away with using some fabric window treatment without creating a health problem.  Just be sure the window treatment can be washed on a regular basis.  The fabric will help soften the indoor noise.  
  • decor - It is surprising how decor can actually quiet a house.   Anything textile like afghans, sofa sets, cushions, plants and that type of thing can really help with noise reduction.
  • throw rugs - I personally want to keep throw rugs to a bare minimum and in fact am working on using indoor/outdoor carpeting on the porch to collect any debris before getting into the house that would eliminate a throw rug at the entrance.  I'd rather not have any throw rugs in our home but adding throw rugs in the bathroom and bedrooms can help dampen the noise and during the winter months a throw rug in the family room will warm the floors while dampen the noise. 
  • appliances - Large appliances can add a considerable amount of noise to the household which is amplified in a home with no carpeting.  If you are in the position to replace any large appliance look for the ultra-quiet models.  Some manufacturers like Bosch take pride in how quiet their appliances are.  Try to run louder large appliances (eg. washer, dryer and dishwasher) when you are away from home. 

Garden Gnome