All of us can get irritated by different frequencies and noises. As people move close to one another in cities, trying to find something to block or deaden the sound has become a big business. One inexpensive and simple solution to the noise problem might be cardboard!
A study, known as Innovative Cardboard Based Panels with Recycled Materials from the Packaging Industry: Thermal and Acoustic Performance Analysis, looked into the effects that cardboard has. This study concluded that cardboard is more effective than gypsum drywall panels by up to 40% when it comes to dampening sound in the mid to high range.
Cardboards are ISO 354 certified and have passed the test. ISO is an international organization that sets the standards for products and organizations all over the world, while the ISO 354 is the department that conducts the testing of the acoustic.
The great thing about cardboard, besides the fact that it’s extremely affordable, is that the material can be recycled. When soundproofing, if you apply the cardboard in the correct manner, it can virtually do the same job as other materials that are used by professionals!
The soundproofing principle is pretty straightforward and simple – the room will become quieter if the noise or sound has no medium to travel. Cardboard is an effective material when it comes to soundproofing, and it comes in two types, the E-fluting and the C-fluting.
The structure is what makes these two materials different from each other. Between the cardboard sheets of an E-fluting, you’ll find square chambers. Between the two cardboard sheets of a C-fluting cardboard, you will find rolling waves.
How Does Cardboard Work?
The structure of the cardboard is what makes this material effective in deadening sound. As we previously mentioned, cardboard comes with hollow squares or rolling waves between the two sheets. Those rolling spaces have space between them in order to keep sound in, which, thereby, prevents any sound from echoing. Even though this material wasn’t originally designed or intended to keep sound, it does a very good job.
In the study we mentioned before, it was found that this material is 40% more efficient at dampening sound than gypsum drywall panels. If you want to get even better results, using more than one layer of cardboard will definitely help. This is because you have a higher chance at succeeding at soundproofing if the defense against the noise is thicker.
Is Cardboard Actually a Good Material for Soundproofing?
Cardboard is an effective and affordable soundproofing material. It does an excellent job of preventing sound from echoing, even though it was not initially designed to absorb sound. However, when it comes to the process of deadening sounds, not allowing the noise to bounce off is a very important element. The noise of sound is reduced in a space if there isn’t echo.
You can definitely go with cardboard if you’re on a budget. Even better, you can get the results that you desire if you develop a plan to install the cardboard correctly.
How to Make a Soundproof Cardboard Box
We’re all familiar with that science project teacher’s assigned to us in middle school or high school where we had to soundproof a cardboard box. However, this project can be useful in real life situations! For instance, knowing how to make a soundproof cardboard box can help reduce blender noise, the sounds of speakers or a microphone, or insulate a noisy water generator or pump.
Besides using cardboard, we also recommend using PDF or plywood panels because they insulate the noise better and are thicker. Below, we will go over the steps you need to take in order to soundproof a cardboard box.
Use the Right Tools and Materials
There are many tools and materials that you can use to soundproof a cardboard box. Below, we will go over the most efficient ones. To make this, you will need some sort of soundproofing material, a cardboard box, spray adhesive or glue, Styrofoam sheets, ruler or tape measure, and scissors. However, we recommend using spray adhesive over glue since it’s able to adhere to the soundproofing material better.
Add Styrofoam and Soundproofing Material
You can get some density to the box by adding Styrofoam. Styrofoam will make sure that the material for soundproofing adheres properly to the surface. Depending on whether you want to leave a part of the box open or not, you will need to cut the sheets into ten or twelve pieces.
These pieces should be the exact proportions and size as the surface of the box. Once you’re finished with this process, you can glue 1 sheet on each of the sides of the box using spray adhesive or glue.
Once you’ve used all the Styrofoam to cover the inside of the cardboard box, you will need to cut the material that is soundproof into the proper size. If you’re using Noico sheets or another type of material that is self-adhesive, all you will need to do now is just stick that material to the Styrofoam.
However, if you’re using a material that isn’t self-adhesive, you will need to use some spray adhesive or superglue in order to place the material onto the Styrofoam.
Add An Additional Layer of Styrofoam
The last step is completely optional and totally up to you. You can cover the material that is soundproof with another layer of Styrofoam. This layer of Styrofoam will reduce the echo in the box by adding more density to it, and it will act as an extra protective barrier to the soundproofing material.
This is why in the beginning we recommended that you cut out ten to twelve pieces of Styrofoam. Now, you can use spray adhesive or glue on top of the soundproofing material and glue the rest of the Styrofoam over it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Cardboard Soundproof a Room?
Cardboard can help when soundproofing a room. As a matter of fact, classrooms all over the world use cardboard as a way to soundproof the room.
To get better results with this method, several layers of cardboard panels are usually used. This strategy works well with other materials besides cardboard. Remember, you can get even better results if your sound defense system is thicker.
Is Cardboard Efficient at Noise Reduction?
Like we previously mentioned, even though cardboard doesn't absorb sound, it is still pretty efficient at keeping the sound from bouncing off.
Is Cardboard a Good Insulator?
When it comes to the insulation properties of cardboard, it’s safe to say that cardboard has poor thermal conductivity, which makes it a great insulator. This means that thanks to the holes that can be found between the two sheets of cardboards, it has the potential to trap the air and deter its exhaustion. As a result, cold air is prevented from entering inside, and warm air can be kept inside the house, and vice versa.
When it comes to great soundproofing materials, cardboard is definitely one of them. Besides being an inexpensive material, it is also incredibly versatile. Any soundproofing project that you have can use cardboard. It’s important to know that absorbing sound isn’t the reason that cardboard was designed. However, cardboard can prohibit noise or sound from echoing the room.
So, what are the best materials for sound absorption? Generally speaking, porous, pliable, and soft materials, such as cloth, serve as a good insulator for acoustic since they absorb most sound. On the other hand, impenetrable, hard, and dense materials, such as metals, reflect the most sound. How well sound is absorbed by a room is quantified by the effective absorption area, also known as the total absorption area.
Besides cardboard, what other materials are able to block sound? Some other materials that are used to block unwanted noises and sounds include soundproofing windows and doors, insulation, panels, vibration pads, green glue, sound clips, RC clips, barriers, and so on.
Even though cardboards do not absorb sound or noise, they can prevent noise from bouncing off. Keeping that in mind, you could say that cardboard helps in noise reduction. With an appropriate strategy for installation, you can achieve your goals when it comes to soundproofing with cardboard.
We hope that this article was helpful and that you’re able to soundproof your room successfully! If you’re interested in learning more about soundproofing tips, tricks, and other great soundproofing materials, please feel free to explore our site!