New Acoustic Solution for Homeowners

When Stacy and Seth moved into their new home in Minnesota, they were excited for Timber Sound to make their home more acoustically comfortable.* Like many homeowners, Seth and Stacy realized the high ceilings and open concept floor plan that made their home visually welcoming, also made their conversations indistinct and allowed noise from kitchen appliances and the media center to carry throughout the house.

“The high ceilings were a major problem. They were making it difficult to keep sound from those areas IN those areas.”

Their experience with uncomfortable acoustics in the home is familiar to many homeowners. Solving these common sound problems begins with understanding the relationship between sound and surfaces within a room. There are four main reactions of sound to surfaces. Sound can either be reflected, absorbed, transmitted, or diffused.

Understanding Sound Waves

Think of a sound wave as if it were a ping pong ball. Hard surfaces, like ceilings, walls, or flooring cause sound to bounce or reflect away from them. This causes a secondary sound, called reverberation, which bounces back to the listener. Too much reverberation can make a conversation unintelligible or a room distractingly noisy.

Sound absorption happens when a soft surface, like carpet, drapes, or upholstered furniture, absorbs the impact of a sound wave into its surface. Transmitted sound is noise that’s carried into other spaces through a surface. Stone or brick, for example, carry sound vibrations, making a chimney act as a conduit for noise.

The last reaction of sound in a space is diffusion. Sound waves are diffused when they can be spread out evenly within a space. Diffusion of sound is used in a concert hall to ensure every seat hears the same performance quality.

Solving Common Sound Problems

In the home, the goal is acoustic or sonic comfort to meet the needs of the homeowner. In some cases, that means creating a quiet space for focus and privacy while working from home. In others, it means having a quiet nursery or bedroom for uninterrupted sleep. Still, other homeowners need comfortable acoustics for entertaining, so conversations can be easy and clear, without distracting background noise. The best way to create comfortable home acoustics is to solve common sound problems by identifying the source of the noise and how it’s being transmitted. For Seth and Stacy, there were three primary problems: high ceilings causing reverberation, media center sound
transmission, and an open concept kitchen, where noise from gatherings and appliances carried throughout the home.

The search for an acoustic solution led them to Timber Sound, a product that looks like an on-trend wood plank but holds a secret – an engineered core designed to absorb excessive noise through microperforations on its surface. Timber Sound is a patented, industry-leading acoustic technology that brings unrivaled sound quality in luxurious real wood. Seth and Stacy immediately noticed the difference, particularly in the master bath, where a high, vaulted ceiling and tile floors made noises echo.

Seth spoke about the change, “You notice how the sound is different in the master bath. We talk and it’s more conversational. The sound isn’t bouncing all around.” Stacy added, “It’s also beautiful and only added to the room.”

In addition to tackling the reverberation caused by high ceilings, Timber Sound was also used to stop noise from the family room’s entertainment center from being carried through the walls by their surface-mounted TV. This not only reduced transmission, it also improved the overall dynamic sound quality in the room, as well.

“It enabled us to enjoy that space and for other people in other rooms to be able to do what they want to do.” Stacy observed.

The ceiling was the optimal place for Timber Sound in the kitchen, where it was placed above the island as a functional and sustainable design element.

“In the kitchen, it fits in so well and is such a beautiful product. It helps keep the sound from transferring up to the second floor while the natural look of it really fits into the house.” Seth explained.

With Timber Sound, Seth and Stacy were able to achieve acoustic comfort for their family while adding the warmth and texture of natural wood to their home. It turned out just how they hoped. Seth smiled, “I love it in every space that we have it.”

* Seth and Stacy received Timber Sound in exchange for their honest review and photos of the installed product.