New opportunities in sound insulation

New opportunities in sound insulation

James Mills, Product Manager at Rockwool, explains how merchants can take advantage of new opportunities in sound insulation.

Noise is a big and growing problem. According to a 2013 Chartered Institute of Environmental Health survey of 159 local authorities, there were over 120,000 noise complaints received from people in residential properties over a twelve month period. Meanwhile, more than a quarter of UK adults encountered a problem with a nuisance neighbour in 2014, according to a survey for Which?, with loud voices, loud music, slamming doors and noisy pets all featuring in the list of nuisances.

The online advice group,, which is run by experienced environmental health professionals and acoustic consultants, stated that “noise pollution is a serious issue for hundreds of thousands of people living in the UK every year. For the sufferer it can cause disruption, interference and irritation and, in some cases, lead to the development of stress and loss of sleep.”

Poor acoustics impact hugely on the overall environment of our homes. We all recognise that excessive noise can be a major nuisance. But, even at lower levels it can compromise our attention spans, raise stress levels and adversely affect our lifestyles and our well-being. Life in the home is definitely getting noisier.

So, what can be done about it, and why should merchants be interested?

The benefits of thermal insulation and its applications are pretty well understood and documented, but enhanced sound insulation and what it can achieve is often overlooked.

All homes built before 2004 were built without the sound regulations in place that apply today, namely the Building Regulation performance standards (Approved Document E, ADE1) for sound insulation. Similarly, any flat which has been converted before June 1992 is likely to have little or no sound insulation at all between floors.

Without proper sound insulation, noise will travel easily, either directly through the separating wall or floor, or through an indirect or flanking route, such as the inner leaf of an external cavity wall. Even in newer homes, people are much more aware than they used to be of louder TV and music levels from neighbours and it’s this heightened sensitivity that will persuade them to take the steps to do something about it as a key component of any home improvement.

In our view, sound insulation represents a distinct market opportunity. It’s an opportunity for merchants to tap into this growing market with something new and different, and provide an effective solution which consumers will recognise as offering added value.

Made from stone, with a dense, non-directional fibre structure, Rockwool Sound Insulation is suited to the challenge of cutting noise pollution in the home environment. Thanks to its unique properties, Rockwool Sound Insulation fitted inside internal walls or between floors actually absorbs sound energy as it travels towards the occupant. It effectively traps sound waves and dampens vibration, to provide an enhanced noise reducing solution for internal and separating walls and floors in applications including home offices, studies, bedrooms, bathrooms and TV, media and gaming rooms.

The product is also a recipient of the Quiet Mark. Quiet Mark is the distinctive purple mark of approval awarded by the UK’s Noise Abatement Society to a selection of the quietest products and appliances on the market across over 30 categories of product design and endorsed by the Department of Environment (DEFRA).

By bringing a fresh definition to the category, we can help stockists to better support their customers. If the contractor is looking for thermal insulation then we have that as part of the range. But, if sound is the priority, as it so often is in loft extensions or in other home renovation projects, then it’s also quick and easy to find the right sound insulation product for the job.

We recognise that it will take more than just a great product to make Sound Insulation a success for merchants. The added value of acoustic insulation needs to be brought to life so that its benefits can be properly experienced, appreciated and valued.

To support the introduction of both our new Thermal and Sound Insulation range for Merchants, Rockwool has a team of demonstrators on the road to support merchants at trade days, to drive training initiatives at store level and to visit sites so they can work with merchants to show contractors the differences and communicate the core benefits of Sound Insulation alongside its Thermal, Fire, Moisture Resistance and Fit properties.

Additional support is also available to merchants in the form of videos, point of sale and brochure information. All products feature bold new packaging, with a strong Rockwool brand presence, clear communication of the product type and its benefits alongside important information on the intended application, dimensions and coverage information to ease stocking and enable rapid product selection.

So, when it comes to insulation, it will pay to think about the acoustic demands. Taking this approach will ensure that merchants can upsell on insulation, contractors will be able to meet their customer’s expectations and homeowners will stand a much better chance of enjoying the sound of silence in the home, as and when they want it.

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