Different Types of Sound Transfer from Different Areas in Office Spaces

Noisy Office

Different Types of Sound Transfer from Different Areas in Office Spaces

In the realm of office fit-outs, the management of sound transfer is an imperative aspect worth addressing to ensure a conducive and productive work environment. Various types of sounds permeate through an office setting, each with its unique properties and ways of propagation. Notably, these are airborne sounds – sounds that travel through air like conversations and ringing phones, impact sounds – sounds that result from an object hitting another such as footsteps or a printer at work, and structure-borne sounds – noises that travel through the building’s structure like the hum of HVAC systems or elevator movements. The implementation of certain features and modifications can significantly help mitigate these sounds, contributing to an office atmosphere that promotes focus, efficiency, and overall employee satisfaction.

The sound transfer in office spaces can be a major distraction for employees. It can make it difficult to concentrate, be productive, and have confidential conversations. There are a number of different types of sound transfer that can occur in office spaces, including:

Airborne sound

Airborne sound, also known as airborne noise, is the most prevalent form of sound transmission. It encompasses the propagation of sound waves through the air, from one distinct space to another. This type of sound transfer can occur not only through walls, ceilings, and floors but also through furniture and other objects present in the environment. With its ability to travel freely, airborne sound can easily permeate various materials and spaces, generating a soundscape that can impact our daily lives. Understanding the nature and characteristics of airborne sound is crucial in designing effective soundproofing solutions and creating acoustically optimised environments.

Impact sound

Impact sound is caused by vibrations that originate from physical contact with solid objects. For instance, when an individual walks on a hard floor, the force of their footsteps is transmitted through the floor, subsequently travelling through the structure and reaching the walls and ceilings of adjacent rooms. This phenomenon occurs due to the transfer of energy, resulting in audible noise that can be perceived in surrounding areas.

Structure-borne sound

Structure-borne sound, also known as vibration noise, occurs when vibrations travel through the building’s structure. These vibrations can originate from various sources, such as machinery operating in an office. As the machine vibrates, these vibrations propagate through the floor, eventually reaching the walls and ceilings of adjacent rooms. This transmission of vibrations can result in unwanted noise and disturbances, affecting the overall acoustic environment of the building.

There are a number of things that can be done to reduce sound transfer in office spaces, including:

Use sound-absorbing materials

Sound-absorbing materials, such as acoustic panels and foam, can effectively mitigate the transmission of sound through the air. By strategically placing these materials on walls, ceilings, and floors, it is possible to create an environment that minimises noise pollution and promotes a more peaceful and serene atmosphere.

Install sound-proofed doors and windows

Sound-proofed doors and windows, designed with special materials and construction techniques, can significantly minimise the transmission of sound waves through the air. By creating a barrier that effectively blocks out unwanted noise, they enhance the tranquillity and comfort of living spaces, providing a serene environment to relax and unwind. Whether it’s the bustling city streets or the noise from neighbouring areas, sound-proofed doors and windows offer a peaceful sanctuary, allowing you to fully enjoy your home without any disturbances.

Use rugs and carpets

Rugs and carpets play a crucial role in reducing the amount of impact sound that is transmitted through the floor. By providing an additional layer of cushioning and insulation, they absorb vibrations and minimise noise transfer from footfalls and other sources. This not only improves acoustic comfort but also creates a quieter and more peaceful environment in your living or working space. So, consider adding rugs or carpets to your floors for enhanced sound insulation and a more serene atmosphere.

Install vibration-dampening pads

Vibration-dampening pads can effectively reduce the amount of structure-borne sound that is transmitted through the floor. By absorbing and dispersing vibrations, these pads create a buffer that minimises the impact of noise, ensuring a quieter and more peaceful environment. This not only enhances comfort but also helps to preserve the integrity of the building structure.

Use acoustic panels

Acoustic panels, specifically designed to absorb sound waves, can significantly reduce the amount of sound that is reflected off walls and ceilings. By effectively minimising sound reflections, these panels create a more controlled and balanced acoustic environment, optimising the overall quality of the auditory experience. Whether it’s in a recording studio, home theatre, or office space, the added detail and precision offered by acoustic panels enhance the clarity and richness of sound, ensuring an immersive and enjoyable listening experience.


In conclusion, the understanding, identification, and control of various types of sound transfers within an office environment can significantly improve employee productivity and satisfaction. By implementing effective strategies such as the use of sound-absorbing materials, installation of sound-proofed doors and windows, incorporation of rugs and carpets on floors, utilisation of vibration-dampening pads, and the use of acoustic panels, it is possible to create a workspace that is acoustically optimised. These practical solutions not only mitigate disruptive noises but also enhance the overall auditory environment, fostering focus, collaboration, and efficiency in the workplace. Our expertise at Fit Interiors can be instrumental in achieving a harmonious balance between functionality, aesthetics, and acoustical comfort in office spaces.

Don’t let unwanted noise derail productivity and creativity in your workspace. Reach out to Fit Interiors today. With our extensive experience and expertise in office fit-outs, we can help you create an acoustically optimised environment that promotes focus and collaboration. Let’s transform your office into a place where great ideas are born. Contact us now for a free consultation.