In this blog post, we will focus on brick walls and how to soundproof a brick wall. We will also shine a light on the pros and cons of brick walls and will review if soundproofing a brick wall is worth the effort. Additionally, we will talk about 5 effective ways to soundproof a brick wall and the cost of doing so.
How to Soundproof a Brick Wall?
Following are 5 effective ways to soundproof a brick wall;
- Use Soundproofing Sealent
- Try Double Brick Walls
- Add a Layer or Layers of Drywall
- Build a Room Within A Room (RWAR)
- Adding Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Pros and Cons of Bricks Used to Build Walls
Brick is a natural sound insulator and is commonly used to build soundproofed homes. They act as a natural barricade against the outdoor noise.
However, every material has its pros and cons. A brick wall is a good sound insulator but it is not a perfect sound insulator. There are modifications and enhancements needed to improve the insulation characteristics of brick walls.
Let’s explore why brick walls are good, why they are not good, and what can be done to make them the best.
Why Brick Walls Are Good?
There are many reasons why you must choose brick walls if you desire to soundproof your home, office, or any other space. Naturally dense and thick, bricks are naturally reinforced with the right compositions needed to barricade outdoor noise.
We know sound doesn’t like penetrating through thick and heavy objects and it’s simply something it can’t do. Brick’s structure makes it challenging for the sound to penetrate the walls. That’s the reason why recording studios are made with brick walls.
In terms of outdoor sound insulation, there is hardly any comparison between a brick wall and drywall. The former is certainly a better option if you desire natural sound insulation.
Why Brick Walls Aren’t Good?
Bricks are dense, thick, and natural sound insulators, but that’s not all you need. They certainly work amazingly against outdoor noises but what about echoes and sound reverberation from the indoors.
Heavier, denser, and thicker the object, the higher the echo it will resonate. Since sound waves can’t penetrate through these walls, they tend to bounce back into the room. In large rooms, this causes a lot of disturbance and a lot of echoes.
How to make them the best?
Yes, we can soundproof a brick wall to improve its natural insulation characteristics and counteracts its problems. Bricks is surely a great starting point if you desire insulation but it’s not the end of it. We can never get the perfect sound insulation from solely building a brick wall.
We must take into account the echo and resonance of the indoor sounds. We need good sound-absorbing materials to reinforce our walls and restrict them from bouncing the sounds back into the room.
We can also try unique indirect ways to absorb sounds by adding furniture, carpet, and decor that absorbs the sound. Emptier the room, the greater the sound will move towards the brick and ricochet back to our ears.
So, the best bet is to use soundproofing ideas such as carpeting, furniture addition, soundproof curtains, and acoustic tiles to reduce echoing. However, to perfectly soundproof a brick wall, you need something extra.
5 Effective Ways to Soundproof Brick Walls
We just told you that if you need to soundproof brick walls perfectly you need something a little extra. Here’s a list of things you can do to soundproof hard and sturdy brick walls.
Use Soundproofing Sealent
The first and foremost thing you need to do before you dive into more advanced ways is to seal the cracks and holes. There is no way to describe the real value of doing so and the role this simple fix plays in making your home soundproof.
You can use inexpensive and effective acoustic sealants or soundproofing sealants to do so. No matter what option you chose, this is always the first thing you need to do if you desire proper sound insulation.
Try Double Brick Wall
Do you know there are walls with two layers of brickwork? These walls are called double brick walls. These special walls usually have an insulating layer in the middle to restrict the heavy mass of these walls from projecting sounds back into the room.
A brick wall is already a natural sound insulator and effective against blocked external sounds. This addition makes them also perfect for minimizing resonance back into the source.
Double brick walls are also commonly referred to as party walls as they are used to separate adjoining duplexes and townhouses. Nowadays, these walls are also being used as the outer walls of homes to make them more secluded, private, and soundproof.
Add a Layer or Layers of Drywall
This method is a highly effective way to cover up the inefficiencies of a brick wall. The goal is to eliminate resonance and a layer of drywall effectively does so.
Resonance was never an issue with the drywall and its problem was the inability to restrict the outdoor noise. As the brick wall is already restricting the outside noise, adding drywall makes perfect sense.
Most importantly, this is a relatively simple process, and it is perhaps one of the best as it covers the inefficiencies and uses the proficiency of the existing brick wall.
The addition of drywall to the existing brick wall makes the structure more solid in terms of mass and better equipped to barricade the outside noise and restrict the resonance of the inside noise.
If you desire, you can add as many layers of drywall over the brick wall. However, a double layer will certainly do the trick. These layers are glued to the brick wall with a soundproofing adhesive Green Glue.
Build a Room Within A Room (RWAR)
The idea behind building a Room-Within-A-Room is to leverage the audio decoupling principle to segregate the rooms’ inner frame from the house’s mainframe.
This is done by erecting an inner wall as a secondary layer of insulation. A wall running from ceiling to floor yet, detached by the frame of the house traps the sound from penetrating across the system of walls.
This ingenious technique is one of the most effective ways to insulate a brick wall as the sound is restricted from penetration by a secondary layer and unable to move across the layers of air.
This technique is one of the few soundproofing techniques that is equally as effective when it comes to restricting the passage of low-frequency noises.
Room-Within-A-Room (RWAR) is a method commonly used in recording studios and home theatres. They are effective in restricting the transmission of sounds from inside-to-outside and outside-to-inside.
However, building RWAR is not a cheap solution and the cost is usually dependent on the overall room size and material choice.
Adding Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is an inexpensive and effective soundproofing solution to insulate brick walls. The best to describe MLV is a source of mass that doesn’t resonate. Vinyl is an incredible material that is dense and high mess, yet still, equally flexible.
MLV can be used on floors, ceilings, and isolated walls. It is naturally designed to reduce sound transmission and cope with excess noise due to resonance.
Available in tons of different types and prices, the quality of materials determine the overall price of MLV. Good quality mass loaded vinyl have additional polymeric plasticizers to provide better stability and strength.
It can be placed over the existing wall to soundproof a brick wall or hung loosely at the desired place. Besides this, they have more applications and can also be sandwiched between drywall layers or attached to a frame.
How much Does it Cost to Soundproof a Brick Wall?
Brick homes usually have a double brick wall and there’s a good chance that it’s already factored into your construction cost. There’s no doubt double bricking costs more than building a single wall and the price could soar to almost double.
However, it is a highly effective soundproofing technique that can only be done at the time of construction. It is a long-term solution that gives an incredible return on investment.
In terms of methods such as Room-within-a-Room (RWAR), the main extra cost is the material cost and labor cost. However, this technique is usually applied to only a single room in a home.
There is a way to retrofit these secondary walls, so you can also save this for later if you don’t desire to insulate today. Another cost to keep in consideration while doing so is it requires relocation of electric connection. So, you must also add in the electrician service charges.
In this blog post, we talked about brick walls and how to effectively soundproof a brick wall. We focused on the pros and cons of brick walls and reviewed if soundproofing a brick wall is worth the effort. We also told you 5 effective ways to soundproof a brick wall and the cost of doing so.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof a Brick Wall?
What can I put on my wall to block noise?
You can put another layer of a ⅝” drywall or composite material wall to block noise by creating an air-tight space. These walls can be stuck together with soundproofing compounds such as Green Glue.
How do you soundproof a shared wall?
- Add another drywall to increase mass
- Use mass loaded vinyl to reduce sound by decoupling
- Apply sound damping compound like Green Glue
- Install sound-blockers or barriers
- Use soundproof curtains
- Seal holes with acoustic sealant
How do you soundproof an existing exterior wall?
The simplest way to soundproof an existing exterior wall with minimal demolition is by using mass-loaded vinyl (MLV). MLV is a highly effective sound-absorbing material that functions by the principle of decoupling.
Another way to soundproof an existing exterior wall is by adding another layer of ⅝” wall with an adhesive Green Glue Compound.
Do soundproof panels keep noise out?
Acoustic soundproof panels are made to stop the noise transfer within the house. They don’t barricade the passage of outside noise. Their main purpose is to keep the indoor environment calm and quiet by stopping sound reverberation.
How do you soundproof a wall cheaply?
- Increase density and add extra mass
- Seal the holes, cracks, and crevices
- Use soundproofing blankets to absorb sound
- Hang full-length ceiling to floor curtains
- Insulate empty spaces with acoustic foam