Cork is a cost-effective soundproofing material leading to substantial savings in a soundproofing project. However, you need to know how thick cork should be for effective soundproofing.
Cork needs to be at least 3 millimeters thick for effective soundproofing providing a 10-13 dB sound reduction. Doubling the thickness to 6 millimeters will further improve the soundproofing and provide 23 dB of sound reduction.
Also read: Cork vs. Foam for Soundproofing
This article will discuss cork’s soundproofing abilities, its advantages, and the methods to install it correctly in your room.
How Thick Does Cork Need To Be For Soundproofing (Explanation)
Cork is known for its extraordinary soundproofing abilities and its availability in many variations of thickness.
In this portion of the article, we will discuss how much noise is reduced by a certain thickness of cork in order to be efficient in cost and ease of installment.
1. Cork sheeting
A cork sheet is a slab of processed wood flattened out into industrial sizes for industrial use. They come in different thicknesses and are primarily utilized in rooms and studios.
It has been reported that a cork sheet 0.118-inches (3 millimeters) thick can reduce 10 dB of noise at a maximum of 13 dB. On the other hand, a cork sheet twice the thickness of the former can deliver up to 23 dB of sound reduction.
Moreover, a cork sheet with 0.472-inches (12 millimeters) of thickness delivers up to 48 dB of noise reduction.
2. Cork floating flooring
A cork floating flooring is used on houses to have a more stylistic, rustic look and soundproofing capabilities.
The cork floating flooring is less effective than the cork sheeting, only having reduced 16 dB of noise for 0.393-inches (10 millimeters) of thickness.
Moving it up a notch, let’s look at 0.472-inches (12 millimeters) of thickness. This cork floating flooring reduces noise up to 19 dB. On the other hand, a 10.8-millimeter thick fusion cork floating flooring reduces up to 18 dB of noise.
3. Cork Tiles
Like the cork floating flooring, cork tiles are used as floors for their distinct look and durability. Cork tiles are less efficient at soundproofing than cork sheeting but are more efficient than cork floating flooring.
There have been reports that have stated that cork tiles with a thickness of 0.232-inches (6 mm) reduce up to 17 dB of noise. Increasing it by a bit, a 0.314-inches (8 mm) cork tile reduces up to 22 dB of noise.
Can you use a corkboard for soundproofing?
Absolutely! Corkboards are framed sections of cork held together or bracketed by plastic or wood. Because of its resilience to trauma and pressure, cork is used as a bulletin board to hold sharp tips of pins.
Using cork boards for soundproofing may seem challenging, especially if you have no background in using it at all. That is why below, we have listed out a step-by-step process on how to use your corkboard for soundproofing.
1. Preparing your walls
For easy application, it is best to prepare your walls for installation. You can remove any wallpaper stuck on the walls and clean any dust or debris by this time.
Afterward, sanding out your wall with 120-grit sandpaper to even out surfaces and remove dust is a must.
Make sure that the thickness of your corkboard is appropriate for the amount of soundproofing you need. It is better to have a thicker board than a thinner board if you are not sure, especially if you have the budget to do so.
2. Know the measurements
If you want to apply the corkboard fast and efficiently, you should first measure the dimensions of your room with a tape measure.
Afterward, cut out the corkboard sheets of the same height as the wall plus an additional 2 inches. Roll back the sheets and leave them overnight for them to settle.
3. Apply adhesives, stick it on!
After letting the corkboard settle, apply cork board designed adhesive to the corkboard corresponding to the top of the wall.
Apply it from top to bottom evenly and place it starting with the edges, just like how you would with a jigsaw puzzle.
After sticking it on, you can now roll a hand roller to the wall to remove any excess bubbles that may affect the adhesive or the overall aesthetics of your corkboard wallpaper. If there will be any residue adhesive, remove it with a damp towel.
4. Now do it again
Apply the next sheet in the same manner as how you did with the first sheet, which you can overlap by half an inch.
Continue doing this process until cork boards cover the whole room. Now, you can enjoy an exotically designed room with superb soundproofing!
Why are we using cork strictly for room wallpapers and soundproofing? In this section of the article, let us find out!
1. Cork is made out of 50% air.
Air is an excellent material to dampen sound. And since cork is made out of 50% air, it is lighter than other materials, much cheaper, and very effective in soundproofing.
2. Cork has an interesting structure.
For a square centimeter of cork, there are 35 million cells that trap oxygen and nitrogen in between. This fact means that cork is made up of 50% air. It is a result of the fact that cork sheets are made up of honeycomb-like structures.
3. Cork is versatile
Cork can be found in many interesting shapes and sizes, including variations of thickness. This plethora of choices makes cork an ideal material for a variety of individuals and use cases.
Three frequently asked questions about cork and its uses in soundproofing
What is cork made out of?
Cork is made out of the bark of the cork tree with the scientific name of Quercus suber.
Which is better, cork or foam?
Cork is better for its ability to deaden sound as well as its ability to absorb sound. However, for versatility, foam is much better and is suitable for sound absorption.
Is cork waterproof?
As its initial state (cork bark), cork is waterproof because of cork’s natural waxy substance called suberin, which repels water. Cork also does not rot due to water.