Tired of your family members, roommates or neighbors complaining about all the noise you’re making? Whether you live in a studio apartment or a huge house, the noise you make can undoubtedly affect those around you.
And while you might not think you’re all that loud, the noise you make may be extremely annoying to everyone else!
If you’re getting constant noise complaints from the people around you, it might be time to soundproof a wall.
Fortunately, there are some easy, affordable and effective ways to soundproof that don’t require you to do any significant remodeling.
Ready to learn how?
Here are some different methods to soundproof a wall so that no one can hear what you’re doing.
Reasons to Soundproof a Room
There are a ton of reasons you may want to soundproof a room or a wall between your room and the next. And your reason for doing so can help you decide the soundproofing materials you need.
Maybe you have a home theater where you like to play movies really loud. Maybe you’re a singer who doesn’t want everyone to hear you practicing your vocal scales. Maybe you’re a professional musician looking to build a recording studio in your home.
Most interior walls allow for some level of sound transmission, so the first thing you’ll need to decide is this:
Are you looking to create a 100% soundproof wall, or do you simply need some sound dampening and sound absorption? Your end goal will be a critical factor in determining which of the following methods to use.
Methods of Soundproofing
No matter your reasoning, there are techniques that will work for any house or home renovation project. Check out these methods and discover which option will work best for your home.
Fill in Cracks and Leaks
Sound, like water and air, can escape through small cracks. So, anywhere you find air gaps in a room is a target area that needs to be filled, sealed and caulked. This includes everything from the spaces around your door to gaps around your outlets and light switches.
If your weekend DIY project is soundproofing walls in your home or apartment, start by investing in a few tubes of caulk and sealant.
Acoustical caulk is an easy and effective way to seal up corners where one wall meets another, fill in cracks between the wall and the floor and fill in open holes around electrical boxes.
Insulate Between Layers of Drywall
Moving into a new home that’s currently under construction? Planning to do some serious remodeling in your house?
Now is the perfect time to soundproof your walls from the inside out. It’s always easier to add soundproofing materials during the building process than tear down an existing wall and add them after the fact.
You can soundproof walls from the inside out by adding fiberglass insulation, resilient channel and acoustical sealant. When done correctly, this method can provide complete sound insulation to any wall in any room.
Check out this handy how-to guide for a step-by-step walkthrough of the process.
Add Another Layer of Drywall
One easy way to create a sound barrier is to add a second layer of drywall over an existing wall. The more layers of drywall you have on a wall, the harder it will be for sound to escape.
Hanging drywall (or sheetrock, as some people call it) will require some physical work. You can attach it to your existing drywall with Green Glue, but when you’re done, you will need to paint it. It’s one of the more permanent solutions on this list, but it is relatively easy to do.
Just keep in mind that hanging new drywall over existing drywall will make your room a teensy bit smaller overall, especially if you hang it on every wall.
Hang Foam Acoustic Sound Panels
If you’ve ever been in or used a recording studio, you’ve probably seen the walls covered with acoustic panels or acoustic foam.
Acoustic foam panels are excellent in absorbing sound before bouncing off the walls and ceilings (which is critical in making a great recording). But they’re also super effective at preventing sound from leaking out into other spaces.
Acoustic sound panels come in all sorts of patterns and colors to coordinate with all home décor. Even manufacturers will create custom acoustic panels to look like a piece of art. They’re excellent in terms of noise reduction, and they look pretty cool as well!
Of all the soundproofing solutions out there, this is by far our favorite. And one reason is that acoustic foam panels can be applied to any wall, whether it be drywall, plaster or brick.
Hang Acoustic Blankets
An easy way to soundproof an entire wall quickly is to hang an acoustic blanket. Wall blankets are an excellent way to dampen and absorb sound waves, and you can hang them in a matter of minutes.
Acoustic wall blankets come in different shapes, sizes, textures and thickness levels. (The thicker the blanket, the better). It’s common to see these in industrial workplaces, but some people use them to soundproof in their home as well.
They’re excellent in terms of convenience and ease of use. Their downside is that they’re not exactly the most attractive to look at in any home.
Hang Mass-Loaded Vinyl
If you plan to hang new drywall over an existing wall or insulate and put up a new sheetrock, you may want to consider adding a layer of mass-loaded vinyl. MLV is explicitly made for sound reduction, making it ideal for use in home theater rooms or bedrooms that double as music studios.
But you can’t just throw a sheet on MLV on the wall and call it a day. It’s meant to be installed behind drywall or between two layers of drywall.
MLV is also great for use on floors. If you’re remodeling a second-floor room, you may want to layer it beneath your flooring as well, so it’s less noisy downstairs.
Pay Attention to STC Ratings
Most products designed for soundproofing are labeled with an STC rating. A Sound Transmission Class rating is a numerical figure that lets you know how many decibels of sound the product will eliminate.
The higher the STC rating, the more effective the product will be.
A product with an STC rating of 10 can cut your noise level in half. A product with an STC rating of 5 will be considerably less effective. Whether you’re buying acoustic blankets or foam panels for your walls, be sure to check the STC rating to gauge how effective the product will be.
Soundproofing Methods That Don’t Really Work
Don’t believe the hype about soundproofing paint and soundproofing wallpaper. Neither will soundproof a room.
When used in conjunction with the other techniques listed above, they can help dampen and absorb sound. But on their own, they’re not very useful.
Egg cartons aren’t the way to go either. They can help absorb and deaden specific frequencies, but they cannot create a soundproof experience.
What Are Some of the Best Ways to Soundproof a Wall?
Soundproofing walls doesn’t have to be super expensive or time-consuming, but if you’re going to do it, do it the right way.
For most people, acoustic foam panels are the way to go. They’re affordable. They’re easy to apply. Plus, they look cool and add some serious style and texture to an otherwise blah wall.
Just remember this:
No matter what style of soundproofing material you end up using, be sure to apply it on the side of the wall where the sound is emanating.
In other words, if you’re looking to soundproof a wall because you have a noisy tenant in the next apartment, soundproofing your place won’t do any good. Unfortunately, you’ll need that noisy neighbor to soundproof the wall from their side.
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6 Soundproofing Methods For Your Home:
- Fill in Cracks and Leaks
- Insulate Between Layers of Drywall
- Add Another Layer of Drywall
- Hang Foam Acoustic Sound Panels
- Hang Acoustic Blankets
- Hang Mass-Loaded Vinyl