In this blog post, we will focus on “how to soundproof a cavity wall”. We will give you an overview of the cavity wall and why you need to soundproof it. We will also provide you 7 ways to soundproof a cavity wall.
How to Soundproof a Cavity Wall
You can soundproof a cavity wall by doing the following things:
- Installing Acoustic Foam Panels
- Placing Bookshelves or Cupboards Against the Walls
- Installing Soundproof Fabric Panels
- Sealing Holes with Acoustic Caulk
- Soundproofing with Decorations
- Adding Mass with Soundproof Mats
- Hanging Soundproof Acoustic Curtains
What is Cavity Wall?
A cavity wall is a popular, inexpensive, and reliable wall type characterized mainly by the cavities within them. It is a system of two separate walls also called skins attached with cavities in between.
The two walls are also referred to as skins. Bricks are usually used to build outer skin or wall and it faces the buildings’ exterior. However, brick, concrete blocks, reinforced concrete, or structural clay all are used to build the inner skin.
These two skins are bonded firmly to one another with metal ties or bonding blocks. This system of two skins separated by a cavity in between is called a cavity wall.
These walls are strong and durable however, bad at insulating sounds. The sealed cavities in between the two skins create a drum effect in these walls. When the sound waves penetrate to the cavities they resonate, echo, and amplify. This gives a rise to noise problems in homes with cavity walls.
Advantages of a Cavity Wall
Cavity walls are relatively better than solid walls for several reasons. Most notably, they are better thermal insulators and help regulate the indoor temperature. Besides this, here are a few reasons why you need to get a cavity wall;
- Economical and relatively cheaper than solid walls
- Restricts the ingress of moisture in the house
- Prevents dampness of interior walls
- Protects against wind-driven rain
- Lightweight and cause minimal stress on the foundation
A cavity wall is simply more innovative and economical than a solid wall. Their ability to protect against wind-driven rain is not something that can be ignored.
With natural weep holes in the outer walls, these walls are naturally built to evaporate rainwater with ease. These weep holes are normally near the wall’s base and also create an airstream.
Why Do You Need to Soundproof a Cavity Wall?
Soundproofing a cavity wall is a must if your neighbors are particularly noisy. This is also a perfect solution for homes close to the freeway or where traffic noises cause a nuisance.
Cavity walls have become a new standard in modern houses. In the past, homes were built with thicker walls and they were relatively better in sound insulation. But they did have a few complications and that’s why they are beginning to get obsolete.
Cavity walls are becoming a preferable solution for modern homes. But, you need to soundproof them to make sure these walls don’t let in any unnecessary disturbing sounds.
You need to soundproof cavity walls to alleviate issues relating to sleeping, anxiety, and stress. A good and peaceful night’s sleep is a must and soundproofing the cavity walls can help you finally achieve the peace you desire in your home.
Not to forget, soundproofing works two-way and this also insulates your wall for the cold season.
Soundproofing a Cavity Wall
Soundproofing a cavity wall is an excellent way to reduce external sounds and make your home quiet, calm, and peaceful. There are many ways to soundproof a cavity wall and the choice depends on the level of insulation you desire and your budget.
If you don’t want a permanent solution, you can try using acoustic curtains or blankets to absorb sounds and prevent them from echoing in your house. Sealing the holes and cracks also aids in achieving perfect sound insulation.
However, it is best to go for more permanent solutions like adding insulation material between the cavities of the wall. This absorbs the maximum sound and helps you achieve the insulation you desire.
7 Ways to Soundproof a Cavity Wall
Soundproofing a cavity wall can be made easy if you know the right tricks and have the right materials. Let’s explore 7 effective ways to soundproof a cavity wall;
Install Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam panels provide a professional way to soundproof your cavity walls. Available in a wide range of textures, colors, and designs, these panels get the job done without spoiling the aesthetics of your living space.
You can choose from a couple of popular options to soundproof your walls with these acoustic panels. You can opt for these superdense acoustic panels that take only a couple of minutes to install. Or you can try acoustic studio foam wedges that are relatively inexpensive.
It is best to use non-permanent adhesives to stick these up on the walls as you may need to reposition them later on. Positioning these panels correctly in alignment with sound reflection points is essential. You can find the correct position for these panels through some tests and experiments.
Place Bookshelves or Cupboards Against the Walls
One of the cheapest and effective ways to insulate cavity walls is by rearranging the furniture around the room. Resting a bookshelf or cupboard against the wall can do you a world of good.
You can place them on the wall separating the hallway and your apartment or the exterior walls. It’s not just bookshelves and cupboards that can help you soundproof your room. In truth, the more furniture you add to your room the better it is.
An empty room creates a high echo and this amplifies the sounds and causes a disturbance. So, one quick soundproofing fix is to rearrange your furniture around the room to achieve better soundproofing.
Install Soundproof Fabric Panels
Soundproof fabric panels are a tad bit more expensive than acoustic foam panels but are effective. With a fabric wrapped around a wooden frame, these panels have a top-of-the-line NRC rating.
You can customize these panels in two ways; Add a jute fabric or use a microsuede one if you desire elegance. Both the wood frame and fabric help these panels absorb sounds effectively and this is a durable solution to soundproof your cavity walls.
Seal Holes with Acoustic Caulk
Sealing the gaps and cracks in a wall is one of the easiest and effective ways to soundproof a cavity wall. Many sealants are available to seal these wall gaps and acoustic caulk is one good alternative.
There are many reasons why acoustic caulk is a good choice. To name a few, they don’t shrink over time, they are flexible, and permanently get the job done.
If you haven’t used an acoustic caulk before, it is a rubbery material. Acoustic caulk can be easily applied with the help of a caulking gun.
Soundproofing with Decorations
You don’t necessarily have to buy sound insulation material to soundproof your walls and you can even do so with decorative artwork and paintings.
A wall art won’t resolve your sound issue completely but it certainly helps a little and it looks amazing. Anything from paintings to decorative quilts can help you absorb greater sounds and reduce echoing in a room.
The denser and thicker the material, the better it is. Sound hates mass and the more mass you add to your walls the better soundproofing you will get. Similarly, you can even use thick wallpapers to soundproof and decorate your homes.
In comparison with other decorative choices, a fancy and thick quilt is perhaps the best one as it is excellent in absorbing sounds.
Adding Mass with Soundproof Mats
We all know mass addition is an excellent soundproofing technique that helps you prevent airborne noises efficiently. Soundproof mats are highly popular when it comes to insulating cavity walls.
Serving as an efficient sound barrier, their high density effectively blocks airborne sounds before it gets to your room. Easy to install and economical, mass-loaded vinyl soundproof mats are probably one of the best.
However, these mats don’t provide you a range in aesthetics and are only available in black color. That’s the reason why it is not always the first choice of homeowners.
But still, you can’t take away its soundproofing efficiency as these mats are truly the best when it comes to soundproofing a cavity wall.
Hanging Soundproof Acoustic Curtains
If you don’t feel like adding a black soundproof mat on your wall then why not go for aesthetically-pleasing soundproof acoustic curtains.
Even used as large room dividers, these acoustic curtains have multiple layers of fabric that help in soundproofing the walls. They stop the sound waves from reaching and reflecting off the hard surface of the wall effectively.
Not to forget, they are available in a wide range of design, texture, and color options and best for modern homes.
In this blog post, we talked about how to soundproof a cavity wall. We also gave you an overview of the cavity wall and why you need to soundproof it. Lastly, we provided you 7 ways to soundproof a cavity wall.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof a Cavity Wall?
Will cavity wall insulation reduce noise?
Yes, cavity wall insulation reduces noise. The cavities in the wall give a rise to flanking noises or a drum effect. When the sound hits the cavity it reflects amplified. Adding insulation to the cavities in a wall cut down flanking noise.
How do you soundproof an existing wall?
- Add a layer of insulation
- Attach a drywall layer with Green Glue
- Use channels and clips
- Use mass loaded vinyl
- Install soundproofing or acoustic foams
What can I put on walls to absorb sound?
You can use insulation material to fill the cavity between the wall studs. This will absorb sound before it hits the cavity and gets amplified. You can also try hanging soundproofing curtains or blankets on the wall.
How do you soundproof a wall cheaply?
- Add mass to the walls or make them denser
- Seal the holes, cracks, and crevices
- Place a bookshelf or a cupboard
- Hang acoustic curtains
- Insulate the wall with soundproofing material
Can you hear neighbors talking through walls?
Hearing your neighbors talking through the walls is an indication of a noise problem in your house. It is perfectly normal to hear some sounds but, if you can decipher your neighbor’s conversation or TV then you certainly need to soundproof your walls.