Just outside of Harrisburg, Penn., the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is gutting multiple floors of a massive red office building. With 170,000 square feet of space and a tight schedule, this retrofitting project is no small project. For Paramount Contracting, it requires metal framing, drywalling and a whole lot of fire- and sound-rated walls. But the caulks they were using for these code compliance requirements were tricky and time-consuming to install properly, causing roadblocks and callbacks.

When looking for an alternative to acoustical and firestopping caulks, Paramount Contracting was searching for two things: speed and simplicity. This search led their team to discover Trim-Tex’s Fire Gasket and Sound Gasket for their code compliance needs.

The difference in installation speed using these solutions was immense — up to five times faster than caulk in many cases, with the same STC values or better. One major reason for this acceleration in speed was due to their ability to install these solutions long before they needed to hang drywall.

“This whole project, we started out doing the sound caulk, and then we discovered Sound Gasket, and I can tell you, it's been amazing,” said Paramount Contracting Project Manager Ryan Roberts. “It’s about speed. This eliminates a whole step. While we're waiting for trades to rough in, and we're doing the blocking portion, we can install this gasket ahead of drywall. Whereas, the other way, we're hanging drywall and then, during finishing — when you have dust, debris and everything else in your way — you're trying to caulk before they want to come in and paint and do flooring. This way, you're getting ahead of the project versus being behind it.”

Both Fire Gasket and Sound Gasket consist of a slab of resilient vinyl and flexible bubble gasket that compresses against the adjoining substrate to form a perfect, permanent seal. Where caulk will harden, shrink and separate over time, the bubble gasket remains flexible and effective. Fire Gasket also includes a strip of highly advanced intumescent tape that expands to 30 times its size when exposed to intense heat, choking off the spread of fire and smoke.

“You pretty much can't make a mistake on it,” Roberts said. “You can literally get your lowest man, your novice carpenter, to install this product with real ease. It's real self-explanatory. You just don't leave gaps. You make sure it's tight to the floor, stick it to the wall and you're done. It's real simple. Real simple.”

Between the speed of installation and the ease of use leading to fewer callbacks and lower-cost labor, Paramount Contracting saw a significant decrease in their overhead for this project.

“It's a more cost-efficient product, and anywhere you can save a dollar these days works out,” says Roberts.

Learn more about Fire and Sound Gasket, and how they were used in this project, here.