The kitchen is the heart of the home, a multifunctional space where we meet family and friends, the place we work and in which children do their homework and play, among other activities. Achieving acoustic comfort in this space is not so easy, but it will help us to improve our well-being and quality of life.
What is acoustic comfort?
Acoustic comfort is that situation in which the level of noise caused by human activities is suitable for rest, communication, and people’s health.
Noise pollution is caused by two types of noise:
- The noises that pass through the air and make the walls of the rooms vibrate. Sounds from inside the building (conversations, wifi, TVs, radios…) and from outside (traffic, transport, works…).
- Noises passing through the ceilings, walls, pipes, and floors that propagate vibrating sound waves in the adjoining rooms. They can be caused by impacts (footsteps, scratches, movement of furniture, things falling…), the noise of shared equipment (elevator, heating boilers…) and of individual equipment and installations (household appliances, air conditioning, heating systems, kitchen and bathroom taps…).
Noise pollution is not inevitable: noise can be combated during construction, rehabilitation and renovation work of buildings, as well as by changing our daily habits by being less noisy ourselves, not only with our voice but also with our gestures, for example when using kitchen utensils and devices.
How can we create a comfortable acoustic environment?
- Choose quieter installations and appliances.
- Use cushioned hinges, guides and lifting systems for doors and windows.
- Avoid the simultaneous use of sound generating devices.
- Lower the noise in our conversations. Speak at a medium voice level.
- Incorporate lower noise habits when doing housework.
- Do not pierce the soundproofing systems to make way for installations.
- Condition the space by means of insulating doors or panels and absorbent materials to separate the noise between different environments.
- Avoid the noise of the furniture by putting protection “pads” on its legs.
- Avoid any rigid connection between the floating floor and the walls or pillars.
- Fasten or support the elements that may generate vibrations (air conditioning equipment, speakers…) to elastic and anti-vibration supports.