SONOpan Review: What is It and How Does it Work?

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Like any other home improvement project, soundproofing involves using either recyclable or non-recyclable materials. Even though some of these products will, in the long run, eliminate noise problems in your home, there are potential health concerns.

For example, research has shown that materials like asbestos do an excellent job in insulation performance and heat resistance and was used in the construction industry for heat insulation and sound insulation of furnaces, boiler pipes, etc.

The use of asbestos was banned in the USA and restricted in many countries across the globe. Due to the rising concerns of the potential health problems some soundproofing materials have that have tiny fibers such as asbestos, people and companies have opted for alternatives that offer equally same soundproofing effects and are made from 100% natural and recyclable materials.

One of the most popular brands in this space is SONOpan. In this guide, we shall be looking at how SONOpan compares with other soundproofing products.

What is SONOpan?

SONOpan is a Canadian-based company established in 1946. The company brags itself as a leader in manufacturing environmentally friendly thermal insulation and soundproofing products.

Their soundproofing products are made of 100% recycled wood, which is safe and environmentally friendly. SONOpan brand uses Noise STOP Technology, a versatile and affordable solution that can double the soundproofing of any ceiling or wall assembly.

a man attaching sonopan boards on wall using acousti glue
Source: winnipegfreepress.com

SONOpan’s most outstanding feature is its patented Noise STOP Technology. It can absorb different sound frequencies and is one of the few systems capable of handling frequencies below 125 Hz.

It all works due to little imprints created in each board to generate an uneven panel density. Because it has so many varied densities, it absorbs sound waves with different frequencies.

Although it’s not the thickest dampening material available, most customers like its flexibility and general installation simplicity, you can apply multiple layers if necessary.

What are the Advantages of Using SONOpan?

SONOpan emphasizes that its mission is to help eliminate noise while simultaneously making an environmental difference. Their products are made of 100% recycled wood, with 60% being post-consumer recycled materials and 40% post-industrial recycled materials obtained from wood flooring and furniture manufacturers.

The fact that SONOpan products are made from 100% recycled wood helps decrease the demand for forests and natural resources. In addition, the fiberboard that the brand produces can be recycled up to 7 times.

LEED Certified. A project earns points toward LEED certification by adhering to prerequisites and credits addressing carbon, water, energy, waste, materials, transportation, health, and indoor environmental quality. GBCI verifies and reviews projects and assigns scores corresponding to the LEED certification level: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points), and Platinum (80+ points). All SONOpan boards qualify towards LEEDs points.

Despite being environmentally friendly, SONOpan boards are inexpensive as well. You won’t have to break the bank if you decide they are your best option. Since the type of technology this company uses hit the market, many manufacturers have been overcharging their customers. The price has stabilized, and SONOpan remains one the few companies providing cost-effective soundproofing solutions.

How to Use SONOpan /Installation

SONOpan’s panels work similarly to other existing soundproofing methods. They can be used in various settings, including the basement, residences, bathrooms, bedrooms, floors, and commercial sets.

A single panel on one side of a wall will provide soundproofing in both directions. Installing SONOpan panels on each side of a wall is highly recommended to ensure a sound barrier and complete coverage.

The majority will use SONOpan panels as part of a larger soundproofing work. Pairing SONOpan panels with proper insulation and drywall, for instance, will result in significantly enhanced soundproofing. Using them alone is preferable to doing nothing, but most people won’t be pleased with a single degree of soundproofing for the room they’re working on.

an image showing two men attaching sonopan panels on a ceiling
Source: youtube.com

Remember that SONOpan is only intended for usage indoors. It will not withstand the outside elements because it is made entirely of wood. Using glue is the most effective method for attaching SONOpan to the existing wall during insulation. It can be mounted to gypsum board or stone walls if desired. The panel will not be compromised in any manner.

Drywalling Over SONOpan panels

To aid in reducing sound transmission, it is advised to cover SONOpan with drywall. The denser the drywall, the better the soundproofing experience. Because of this, it is usually advised to use 5/8-inch drywall instead of the typical 1/2-inch variety. The addition of another layer of drywall board improves mass.

There is a technique to retrofit SONOpan panels between an existing and the new drywall layer if the space is already finished. Most individuals are prepared to put in more effort if it increases performance, even if it takes a little longer to have things set up and functioning correctly.

If drywall and the SONOpan layer aren’t performing as well as desired, it is possible to double up on panels to increase performance. The initial layer is always the most crucial, but each subsequent layer will contribute to the soundproofing effectiveness.

SONOpan Retrofit Installations (Walls and Ceilings)

On Walls

  • Mark the locations of the ceiling and wall studs and then unplug any electrical covers from the wall in preparation for SONOpan installation.
  • Mount SONOpan boards over the existing wall and fasten them with gypsum screws that penetrate the studs at least 3/4″. Seal the wall’s perimeter with LePage acoustic seal or a comparable product. Using an acoustic seal, fill any inter-panel gaps.
  • Install new gypsum over the SONOpan. Longer screws are required to reach at least 3/4″ into studs. Offset the drywall joints from the SONOpan. Mud & glue, as usual

**Option Finishes**

Drywall is ideal for soundproofing because it increases the weight of the wall assembly; however, various finishes, including shiplap and paneling, can be installed over SONOpan. Note that paint and wallpaper are not recommended on SONOpan soft panels.

On Ceilings without resilient channels

The aim of insulating is to prevent resonance in a vacuum. Although this is beneficial for soundproofing, the slight additional advantage of removing drywall to install insulation typically does not warrant the labor needed.

  • First, install SONOpan over the old drywall and secure it to the joists.
  • Step 2 – Put in new gypsum, mitigating SONOpan seams.

Without Resilient Channels

First, install SONOpan boards over the old drywall and secure them to the joists. Secondly, install resilient channels at a right angle to the joists, according to the manufacturer’s spacing recommendations, and ensure they all face the same direction. Lastly, install the new drywall as usual, measuring the screws. Recommended up to two 5/8-inch.

Final thoughts

Any ceiling or wall where flanking might provide a problem should be soundproofed. Flanking occurs when sound travels around a space that has been soundproofed. Even though the bulk of sound may flow through a given wall or ceiling, sound may also travel around it. (Such as through a wall, up a stud cavity, and into a different room).

Retrofit systems may not be as advantageous as solutions designed to limit sound transmission from the outset of construction. Any hole in the walls must be treated for optimal outcomes.

SONOpan can be put on each side of the wall to prevent the passage of airborne noise in both directions.

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