Building Science

Howling dog
Men watching sports tv and yelling

Building Science is the key to developing products that can give your customers the Complete Comfort they want, and no one knows Building Science like CertainTeed. Here we present a few of the basics behind the acoustic, moisture management, and air tightness solutions available from CertainTeed.


Solutions for Quieter Spaces

Everyone wants a peaceful, quiet home. And insulation can help by managing noise from outside and throughout the house. CertainTeed Insulation helps reduce exterior noise and is great for interior walls—helping quiet room-to-room sounds.

Common Acoustical Offenders

Exterior Noise

  • Road and air traffic
  • Lawn mowers
  • Barking dogs

Interior Noise

  • Appliances
  • Home theaters and video games
  • Plumbing pipes
  • Footsteps on hard flooring

Check out all of our acoustic performance solutions at

The way a home’s walls and floors are constructed affects its acoustical performance, which in turn has a large impact on the well-being of its occupants. CertainTeed offers a number of insulation products that are designed to limit sound transmission through different types of wall and floor/ceiling assemblies.

The Science of Sound

There are two types of sound paths: airborne and structureborne. Airborne sound is transmitted directly from a source into the air. The source can be noise from within the home—generated by appliances, home theaters and video games, even voices from an adjacent room—or external noise like traffic and low-flying airplanes. Structureborne sound travels through solid materials that are usually either in direct contact with the sound source or receive the impact of that source, such as vibrations from a loudspeaker
sitting on the carpet or footsteps on a hardwood floor.

Sound Transmission

Sound Transmission Class (STC) is a performance rating of the ability of a wall or floor section to block noise. The higher the STC rating, the less sound is transmitted. These illustrations show how insulation and robust wall
construction improve STC.

Cutaway of wall studs with gypsum board on each side.

Conventional wood stud construction, single layer gypsum wallboard each
side. STC 30-35.

Cutaway of wall studs with gypsum wallboards on each side, plus 3.5 inches of fiberglass insulation in the wall cavity.

Conventional wood stud construction, single layer gypsum wallboard each
side, 3½” thick fiberglass insulation in wall cavity. STC 39.

Two layers of gypsum wallboard on each side of wall studs with 3.5 inches insulation in wall cavity.

Double layer gypsum wallboard each side increases mass. STC 45.

Wall studs with double gypsum boards on each side, 3.5 inches of insulation, and a channel to reduce vibrations.

Resilient channels help minimize transmission of vibration through wall. STC 57.