Sound Isolation

No float tank can be made very sound isolating by itself. For good quality silence the whole room must be considered. There are two sources of sound intrusion, airborne and floor borne. Airborne noise requires good materials on the surfaces, seals on doors, baffles on fan ducts and tackling sounds at source wherever possible. Floor borne noise may not be obvious until the floater’s ears are underwater.

The correct way to eliminate ground borne of floor borne noise is by using a spring suspension to lower the natural frequency of the float tank or pool. A deflection of 6 mm/ ¼”, is required to lower that to 6 Hz which is the correct margin below the 20 Hz lower limit of hearing. Floataway offer an excellent system which we call our Ground Noise Isolation System. This becomes necessary when the floor is above a void or near machinery or road noise. Our system uses an array of rubber springs and has been shown to eliminate even fMRI scanner noise. Rubber mats are never that good.

For airborne sounds, good carpets in corridors are good and soft door closing latches are available, although expensive. Gaps around doors can let in a lot of sound as well as light, so seals are good but the best is a double door arrangement forming a lobby or anteroom. In theory complete silence is necessary to allow the brain to relax but second best is white or pink noise to disguise intrusive sounds like conversation or footsteps. Fans and air-con noise is pink noise but can become a nuisance in itself when too loud.

That is why silent air heating must be part of the strategy. This is done by hot water radiators, electric radiators or hot rocks or hot mirrors. Floataway can advise on all these.

Soundproofing walls and ceilings involves both mass per area and changing density laminations. Sound does not easily get past massive walls in brick or block, provided that the walls go up to the structural ceiling.

Where that is not possible sound insulation has layers of different densities because sound is absorbed every time it encounters a change in density. So this can be combined with thermal insulation in panel systems.

Fans are often required. Large slower fans are quieter than small fast ones. Fans at the far end of ducts are quieter and then a baffle box can be included in the duct. This is a labyrinth of sound absorbing materials and is an effective sound barrier while allowing air-flow.

When float rooms are adjacent to each other, the pump and shower noise can be a nuisance requiring either synchronised sessions or extra sound precautions in the partition. We can arrange to stop adjacent pumps in unoccupied rooms but shower noise can be even louder. Therefore, partitions must be carefully considered. An air gap between two partitions is good, or a massive solution such as aerated concrete blocks.

Floataway can advise on all these aspects but is not responsible for the final design of the room construction.

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