Family togetherness has its limits. That’s why cottages, especially small ones, benefit from sound resistant walls to sound proof. They’re easy to build, and privacy boosting walls around bathrooms and bedrooms will actually make your cottage feel larger.
Stagger the studs
Staggering 2×4 studs on 2×6 top and bottom plates will minimize sound conduction from one face of the wall to the other. Place the studs 24″ on centre, on each side of the wall—that’s one stud every 12″.
Top tip: resilient channel
Resilient channel— a folded sheet metal strip available at building-supply outlets— boosts sound resistance and can even be used, with a skin of new drywall, over an existing wall. Resilient channel fastens to studs with screws; drywall fastens to the channel with screws too, but these screws don’t go into the studs. The airspace created by the channel deadens sound transmission between drywall and framing. Use two layers of 5/8″ drywall on resilient channel to quiet even your brother-in-law’s snoring.
Insulate the cavity
Acoustic insulation is made to deaden sound, but standard thermal insulation batts are very effective too. Use batts meant for 2×4 construction, installed into each face of the staggered stud wall, before installing resilient channel and drywall.
Seal the wall
Even tiny gaps transmit sound; use acoustic caulking, which never hardens, to seal between walls, floors, and ceilings. Seal the perimeter of the drywall as it goes up and avoid electrical boxes if at all possible. If you must install a box, apply spray foam to the outside of it before drywall goes on.