For centuries, wood has been the material of choice for architects and designers intent upon delivering the highest quality of acoustic performance. Wood produces sound by direct striking and it amplifies or absorbs sound waves that originate from other bodies. For these reasons, wood is an ideal material for musical instruments and other acoustic applications, including architectural ones.
Where sound insulation is important, wood can be a high-performance choice. A study (page 10-11) by the Canada’s National Research Council’s Institute for Research in Construction shows when it comes to acoustical performance, a properly designed and constructed wood floor/ceiling assembly performs on the same level as other construction types.
Wood is not as acoustically lively as other surfaces and can offer acoustically absorptive qualities. Wood-frame construction is efficient in buildings where sound insulation is required. In particular, wood doesn’t present the impact noise transmission issues commonly associated with concrete construction.