In this blog post, we will shine a light on “How to soundproof a solid wall?” and the benefits of soundproofing. We will also discuss the 3 best materials to soundproof walls and factors to consider while soundproofing. We will also share with you 9 effective ways to soundproof a solid wall.
How to Soundproof a Solid Wall?
Following are the most effective ways to soundproof a solid wall;
- Add an Extra Layer of Drywall
- Add Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
- Install Acoustic Caulks
- Install Acoustic Panels
- Plug the Holes & Sound Leaks
- Add Rugs & Carpets
- Install Soundproof Ducts
- Install Heavy Doors
- Understand Your STC Ratings
Benefits of Soundproofing Your Home
An effective way to improve the quality of living and get the peace you desire is by soundproofing your house. Soundproofing your home helps you alleviate stress, get the rest you deserve and feel easy in your beloved home.
Not to forget, it also helps you improve privacy and help you keep your secrets within the walls of your home. Soundproofing also gives you the freedom you need to live a life of luxury.
For example, with soundproofed solid walls between the living room and children’s bedroom, you no longer have to worry about disturbing their sleep while you watch your favorite movie.
Besides this, soundproofing is another term for minimizing noise pollution, and doing so helps you promote health and wellness in your life. There are many connections between heart diseases, high blood pressure, and prolonged noise exposure.
That’s why soundproofing your home is not an option but a mere necessity.
3 Best Materials to Soundproof Walls
Before you start your project, it is a good idea to have a budget in mind. This will help you select the right material for your needs, without breaking the bank.
Acoustic rolls and slabs are suitable for soundproofing your home and adding plasterboard in the mix only improves sound insulation efficiency.
If the sounds you’re trying to reduce are not too noisy, the best material for the job might be the acoustic roll. It is excellent at reducing low-level noise transmission and can be installed easily.
You can easily handle and install these rolls even if you are new to DIY installation as it requires no such expertise. Especially compared to acoustic slabs, it is incredibly easy to install.
When it comes to soundproofing, acoustic plasterboard is an enhancement you can’t ignore. These plasterboards are perfect in augmenting the efficiency of your soundproofing technique either it is acoustic rolls or slabs.
However, if you aren’t sure about using acoustic rolls and slabs, you can even use these plasterboards directly on walls to get better sound insulation.
Acoustic slabs are the densest of the three and equally effective in blocking sounds of all frequencies. They also dampen sound echoing and are best to be used along with acoustic sealant for perfect results.
Factors to Consider While Soundproofing a Wall
There are many effective soundproofing ideas to soundproof a wall, yet not all are the best for you. To find the right one, you must consider a few essential things.
Getting perfect sound insulation is all about making the right choices and using the right techniques. Here are a few things you need to consider while soundproofing a wall.
Environment plays a big role in determining the efficiency of soundproofing techniques and materials. You can’t simply use the technique you used to soundproof your private office to soundproof a house near a construction site.
To find the perfect soundproofing solution, you must consider a few environmental factors. These include moisture and water immersion levels, the extent of oil, dirt, and grease in the air, temperature, and the probability of erosion.
Degree of Sound Insulation
Sound insulation techniques and materials are selected as per your insulation needs. There are different options for different insulation needs, you can’t choose the same technique to eliminate the noise that you use to dampen it.
Another thing that matters is if you want to permanently insulate the walls or temporarily. These aren’t all but only a couple of factors to consider but keeping this in mind will surely direct you towards the right decision.
Soundproofing materials can be broadly classified into four types; Absorption, vibration isolation, transmission loss materials, and dampening.
Sound absorption and transmission loss materials are used to prevent airborne noise while the other two are to prevent structural-borne sounds.
Sound absorbers are ones that are porous, fibrous, and lightweight and the best example of sound-absorbing materials include acoustic foam, fiberglass, and acoustic ceiling tiles.
Sound-absorbing material duty is not to stop noise transmission but to also prevent echoing and sound reverberation. While heavy mass and dense materials are best to prevent noise transmission.
Location is another important thing to consider when choosing the right soundproofing material. You must have a clear idea of whether you need to stop sounds from the outside or prevent echoing due to internal ones.
A soundproofing system is designed to stop echoing and sound reverberation due to inside sounds while sound mitigation is needed to block sounds from the outdoors.
9 Most Effective Ways to Soundproof a Solid Wall
Add an Extra Layer of Drywall
Sounds are simply vibrational energies and deadening these vibrations is the best way to stop them in their tracks. To do so, you need dense, heavy materials.
When it comes to thickness, for retrofitting your inner walls, brick and stone are excellent but impractical. To put up a dense, sound-deadening shield, the simplest method is to install a second layer of drywall.
You don’t need to add drywall in every room and the goal is to only isolate the noisy ones. Adding drywall is not the end of it and you still have to paint it to make it aesthetically-coherent. Extending electrical outlets and switch boxes is another thing you need to do.
Add Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV), made specifically for noise reduction, is a lightweight material that comes in 4-foot-wide rolls. To help deaden noises, it is designed to hang on walls or set up on floors. To greatly minimize sound propagation through walls, sandwich it between layers of drywall.
Install Acoustic Caulks
Acoustic caulks serve as a great layer of defense and separates the two layers of drywall effectively. These usually come in ⅜ inch thick caulk beads and deadens sound traveling from one side to another.
Install Acoustic Panels
Before they can bounce off walls and ceilings, acoustic panels absorb sounds. In a room, such as a home theater, they are made to enhance the sound, but they are also helpful in reducing the transmission of sound through walls.
Panels come in a range of sizes and thicknesses and are made of porous expanded polypropylene (PEPP). Many styles are coated in fabrics with hundreds of colors to choose from for home use.
Some manufacturers sell custom-printed fabrics that convert your sound blocking panel into a wall art piece: submit a digital picture, and your panel will replicate it.
Plug the Holes & Sound Leaks
Sound is the same as water and all it needs is a tiny uncovered space to seep through. A 1% uncovered space can pass 50% of the noises and that shows how important it is to insulate the walls correctly.
You may have to use acoustic caulking to plug the holes and sound leaks. This includes ceiling fixtures, receptacle boxes, switch boxes, and door casing.
You also need to cover the empty spaces below the door and a door sweep is the best to do so.
Add Rugs & Carpets
Rugs and carpets are some of the best sound-absorbing materials and you can use them to deaden sounds in your home. They help you eliminate echo and sound reverberation bouncing off the hardwood floorings.
Install Soundproof Ducts
Air vents and ducts are necessities and when you talk about soundproofing the homes you need to shut down all the openings. This makes them even more important but normal ducts won’t help your purpose that’s why you need to use soundproof ducts.
Install Heavy Doors
Installing heavy doors can help you cut down the sounds coming from the hollow-core, lightweight ones.
Understand Your STC Ratings
Soundproofing materials have their own Sound Transmission Class or STC rating. They determine the efficiency of these materials. The higher the rating, the better it is in terms of soundproofing.
In this blog post, we shed a light on “How to soundproof a solid wall?” and the benefits of soundproofing. We also discussed the 3 best materials to soundproof walls and factors to consider while soundproofing. We also shared with you 9 effective ways to soundproof a solid wall.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof a Solid Wall?
How can I soundproof an existing wall?
The best way to soundproof an existing wall is to blow insulation into the cavities within them. You would need specialized pumps, machines, and hoses to blow noise in the cavities and it is done through drilling holes in the wall.
How can I soundproof a wall without removing drywall?
To soundproof a wall without removing drywall you need to add or blow insulation in it. You can also add a second drywall layer and use a Green Glue sound damping compound.
Other soundproofing techniques include adding mass-loaded vinyl or using acoustic foam panels.
How do you soundproof a wall cheaply?
Here are 7 cheap ways to soundproof a wall;
- Add mass and density to the walls
- Use Weatherstripping tape
- Seal the cracks and holes with caulking
- Minimize sound leaks from the wall
- Change door
- Insulate small areas
- Insulate cavities in the wall
Do soundproof walls work?
Yes, soundproof walls do work effectively in insulating your home from external noises and excessive echoing. Concrete walls with air gaps are the best for this purpose. However, walls can’t let alone help you achieve perfect sound insulation and you need to block all possible pathways of sound.
What is best for soundproofing a wall?
Drywall is the most effective soundproofing solution to soundproof a wall. You can use multiple layers of drywall to achieve the desired level of insulation. You can also add Green Glue Sound Damping Compound between the wall layers to further improve sound insulation.