We Bought a House (A materials question)

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In summary, the family plans to build a wall between the upper flat and the lower flat, which will become the entrance to the left. They will put glass block between the two to block sound and light, and they are happy to let the homeowner take the lead in design.
  • #1
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It's a 5-level backsplit. Wife and I will be in back/basement, kids and grandkids will be in front/2nd floor.

So, the first thing we're going to do is build a wall between the upper flat and the lower flat - where the railing is. The entrance to the left wll become a door.


So, they will be in their kitchen, right behind our heads when we're on the couch. And they are not quiet people.
We want it to
- be sound-damping
- be translucent to provide privacy.
- yet allow light in

We think glass block would be perfect but, for some reason, DIL does not like glass block walls.

Any suggestions for alternate arrangements that block sound but not light?
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  • #2
I can’t think of any suggestions right now, but I, like you, absolutely hate excess sound.

Is this a new house? If so congratulations!
  • #3
PhDeezNutz said:
Is this a new house? If so congratulations!
No. It was built in 83.


Yards of yard for the wee ones and the doggo!
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  • #5
jack action said:
Huh. I hadn't really thought of just putting in ... windows.

I mean, they could be made sound-damping by adding a second pane.
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  • #6
If your primary concern is quite,
I would put in a wall that will have significant sound damping.
Glass blocks seem pretty dense to not transmit sound to me, but I have never tested this.
A thick drywall wall with a lot of non-rigid insultation would be cheap and easy.

Replacing some of the wall with sound-proof windows might satisfy your other concerns.
  • #7
BillTre said:
Glass blocks seem pretty dense to not transmit sound to me, but I have never tested this.
They are filled with air.

"Standard 80mm thick glass blocks provide a weighted sound insulation index of 40/42dB."

"Depending on the type of glass block selected, features such as mass and internal air space guarantee that these blocks offer a high level of sound insulation, which is a minimum of 36 dB. There are glass blocks that can even reach 51dB sound barrier."
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  • #8
OK, I took the bull by the horns.

Instead of getting my intel filtered through my son, I asked my DIL directly. She said she doesn't hate glass block per se; she just got sick of a particular style that was ubiquitous where she grew up.

I have no preconceptions about how it needs to look; I really only care that it lets light in and keeps sound out, so I'm perfectly happy to let her take the lead.

Also, I sweetened the pot by confiding that it makes me giggle whenever I think of my grandchildren making googly faces at us through the distorted glass. o0) ?:)

1. What materials are commonly used in building a house?

The most commonly used materials in building a house are wood, concrete, bricks, and steel. Other materials such as glass, stone, and stucco are also used for specific purposes.

2. How do you choose the right materials for a house?

The choice of materials for a house depends on several factors such as budget, climate, location, and personal preferences. It is important to consider the durability, maintenance, and energy efficiency of the materials before making a decision.

3. What are some sustainable materials that can be used in building a house?

Some sustainable materials that can be used in building a house include recycled materials, bamboo, straw bales, and rammed earth. These materials are renewable, non-toxic, and have a lower environmental impact.

4. How do you ensure the quality of materials used in building a house?

To ensure the quality of materials used in building a house, it is important to purchase them from reputable suppliers and check for certifications such as ISO, LEED, or Energy Star. Regular inspections and tests during the construction process can also help identify any issues with the materials.

5. Can alternative materials be used in building a house?

Yes, alternative materials such as prefabricated panels, insulated concrete forms, and structural insulated panels can be used in building a house. These materials offer faster construction, better insulation, and can be cost-effective in the long run.

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