Orchestrate your sound
Invest in products with great acoustic performance for a more peaceful home
A bit of hush is always welcome, especially at home, and noise reduction is good for our wellbeing, too. In its National Noise Report, independent global certification programme Quiet Mark, which is associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society, took a close look at attitudes towards sound in the home and workplace. The new survey of more than 2,000 British adults revealed that 57% of us would like a quieter home. Fortunately, there are a number of Quiet Mark Certified noise reduction materials and appliances on the market today…
In partnership with Quiet Mark
What’s making the noise?
Sound from everyday sources such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning and kitchen appliances – as well as other people – can hinder productivity, focus and memory. Both airborne and impact noises, including vibrating machinery and recreational activities such as football, can create less than ideal conditions.
Where to find quiet products
Quiet Mark’s free, searchable database enables you to select products that champion noise reduction. This database includes more than 1,000 Quiet Mark-certified products and materials from some 80 brands. In addition, their new Acoustics Academy platform lists a range of verified building materials for walls, floors, doors, windows, ceilings and furniture.
Here’s a selection of products that could reduce the noise levels in your home…
Noise absorbing plaster
Whether you’re building your own Grand Design or renovating a home, products designed to absorb noise will help control sound levels in a room, reducing reverberation time (RT) and allowing you to hear others clearly. The Armourcoat Acoustic Plaster System helps to adjust and balance RT. The smooth mineral surface can be seamlessly applied over large flat or curved surfaces such as ceilings and walls. It has excellent sound absorption, achieving a top Noise Reduction Coefficient.
BuzziSpace produces inspiring acoustic furniture and lighting for open-plan areas in both homes and work places. Its tables, chairs, acoustic panels and accessories create quiet and calm spaces for happy and healthy working. To learn more about noise reduction materials and to measure RT in your own room, use the BuzziSpace RT60 App, available for iPhone and iPad via the App Store (free with registration).
Purer air, less noise
We’d all like to come home to fresher air. The Daikin MCK55WVM humidifying air purifier includes Flash Streamer technology, releasing ions which attach themselves to the surface of allergen particles such as pollen and mould and breaking them down by oxidation. The unit will deactivate airborne bacteria and viruses – including up to 99.98% of the human coronavirus HCoV-229E, according to a 2021 report by the Institut Pasteur de Lille. It also includes a particulate-absorbing (Hepa) filter to trap fine particles of dust.
Many of us spend up to 90% of our time inside, yet indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor. Look out for an air purifier or dehumidifier with a quiet motor and fan. ‘A high-quality product should blend the fan and motor noise, eliminating sounds like chopping or an accompanying annoying pitch,’ says Poppy Szkiler, founder and CEO of Quiet Mark.
The Bora smart dehumidifier by Duux is perfect for summer months or a damp basement or loft. Fitted with a built-in hygrostat to respond to humidity levels, it has a four-litre tank and a carbon filter to remove unwanted odours. It can also be operated and monitored via the Duux app.
Cool, muted kitchens
Every kitchen needs appliances that work quietly and look the part. Leading manufacturer Liebherr is proud to have the EWTdf 3553 Vinidor built-in wine cabinet as part of its Quiet Mark-certified range. As with all Liebherr’s fully integrated refrigerators, freezers and wine cabinets, the door can be customised to match surrounding cabinets. Up to 80 wine bottles can sit on the sleek wooden shelves, with LED lighting preserving the wine quality. Two independently controllable temperature zones keep white and red wines at an optimum 5°C and 20°C.
When clouds of cooking steam start to loom, switch on an innovative, high-quality cooker hood from Miele. The Quiet Mark-certified Miele DA 6698 D Puristic Version 6000 island cooker hood is efficient and quiet. Its motor, chimney and canopy are specially insulated for effective soundproofing, and the Eco motor saves up to 70 per cent of energy compared to conventional models. Using Wi-Fi connection, it responds automatically to settings on the hob.
There’s a skill to designing a small bathroom. Cleverly engineered compact products, when designed with acoustics in mind, will prevent a noisy flush and noise intrusion in adjacent rooms.
Grohe’s Rapid SL and SLX installation flush systems for wall-hung loos have achieved Quiet Mark accreditation thanks to Grohe’s Whisper technology. These low-noise fittings include decoupled pipe supports to prevent sound transfer to the structure of the building. The systems combine the cistern and frame, which can be located within a stud wall.
A noisy heating system can be a distraction if you’re working from home. Fortunately, the design of Worcester Bosch boilers means they can be fitted in any room, including the kitchen, bathroom or even a bedroom.
Both the Quiet Mark-certified Worcester Greenstar 2000 and 4000 combi boiler emphasise noise reduction, running at lower noise levels than many similar alternatives. Suitable for small to medium-sized homes they are highly energy-efficient and will help reduce your bills and cut carbon emissions. To save even more, install compatible smart heating controls.