Do you live in an apartment or condo unit that shares walls with other units?
Have you noticed that when they watch tv, listen to music, or have a conversation at normal volume levels, it becomes unbearable for you to work on enjoying a quiet life?
Or do you work in an office next to a busy street or share a wall with noisy workmates?
Well, nobody wants the sound of their colleagues’ conversations, or worse, laughter, seeping through the walls and interrupting them while they are trying to concentrate on getting work done.
So, if you’re tired of being distracted by your noisy office mates, then Soundproofing is the answer, and this blog post is for you.
How To Soundproof an Existing Wall: Interior Walls?
Wall soundproofing is a great way to make your home or office more comfortable and quieter.
If you live next door to someone with loud children, barking dogs, or an endless string of visitors; your neighbors play their music too loudly; if the building structure doesn’t provide enough sound insulation – there may be several reasons for annoying noises coming through your wall.
1. Add Two Plywood Sheets on Top of Existing Drywall
Adding two plywood sheets will help any noise coming through your floor or ceiling be muffled significantly.
The drywall already present acts as a barrier between you and the outside world, but having another layer does not hurt at all.
Just use screws with rubber washers (such as these), so there’s no risk of wood squeaks when walking around during those midnight trips into the kitchen for some snacks.
You don’t want anyone noticing you’ve been eating all the Oreos.
2. Add Blown-In Insulation
Blown-In Insulation is a type of insulation that can be used on walls or ceilings.
It has an STC rating of 44 which translates to high effectiveness in noise deadening for either exterior or interior walls.
It consists of cellulose, which comes from wood pulp and cotton fibers.
Blowing in insulated material makes it very easy to fill any space with insulation without cutting holes into drywall first.
The newly created air pockets help insulate the room as well as dampen sound waves traveling through shared wall spaces.
This will help keep your family happy and comfortable all year round.
The advantage of blown-in insulation is the fact that it’s often a cost-effective method to soundproof walls.
Additionally, it’s eco-friendly since it’s made from recycled materials, and you can install it yourself by simply renting the blow-in machine from The Home Depot or your local hardware store.
3. Seal The Cracks and Gaps
Search for any gaps and cracks in the drywall or plaster on your walls, such as where pipes run through them or between window frames and the wall.
You should start by sealing any cracks and gaps in the wall’s surface with an acoustic sealant like Great Stuff Gaps & Cracks.
This product fills in holes as wide as a three-quarter inch thick while also providing excellent soundproofing.
Place caulking in any cracks or gaps that you find.
This will help to seal them and prevent sound from getting through the wall.
You don’t need a lot, just enough so that there are no noticeable holes between the crack and the wall itself when it is dry.
If you have bigger spaces than this, then use expanding foam insulation instead of caulk.
Be sure to check around outlets and light switch boxes, too — they’re common hiding spots for big air leaks that contribute greatly to sound leakage.
4. Use Quiet Rock Drywall
QuietRock Drywall Finishing System is a patented, green building system that provides a superior alternative to traditional drywall and fasteners.
QuietRock panels are screwed directly to the studs with a unique noise-reducing screw, eliminating the need for additional layers of gypsum board or drywall.
The drywall will help block high-frequency sounds like voices, keyboards, and telephones from transmitting through walls and ceilings to reduce complaints.
Noise reduction between 49-56 dB has been measured in lab tests.
QuietRock Drywall is a sheetrock alternative that is especially suitable for wet areas.
It is an environmentally friendly, mold-resistant drywall that doesn’t emit dust. Best of all, it never needs to be painted and is available in 5 different colors.
For best results, I would highly recommend you sandwich green glue soundproofing compound between two layers of Quietrock drywall panels.
5. Hang Mass Loaded Vinyl on the Walls
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is effective on walls next to noisy neighbors, exterior walls separated by an unheated space like garages.
MLV is one of the most effective, widely used, and economical types of soundproofing materials available.
Manufactured from rubber-based compounds, it consists of a very dense but elastic layer of .025″ to .040″ thickness attached to a self-adhesive secondary backing which offers increased noise cancellation properties.
Each roll offers the best possible sound insulation for its weight.
The adhesive backing allows for quick installation, making mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) easy to use and cost-effective.
Before installation, it can be cut with scissors for maximum application over obstructions such as joists, studs, or other protrusions in the wall or ceiling.
For best results, use a quality adhesive such as acoustical caulk that will not damage the primary surface, bond tightly to mass loaded vinyl (MLV), and have outstanding soundproofing qualities.
6. Soundproof Wall with Moving Blankets
Moving blankets are an important accessory for professional movers, but they can also be used to soundproof a wall.
Moving blankets are the perfect size, shape, and weight needed to create good soundproofing barriers.
Construction crews have been using moving blankets as inexpensive building materials to create acoustical panels for years because it is one of the only items that will provide both the mass and density needed for proper sound insulation.
For example, if you were to cover just the ceiling with four layers of moving blankets before installing acoustical tiles or acoustic paneling, you would virtually cut out all noise coming from above you (footsteps, voices, etc.).
If you use them on all sides of your room’s contents (the floor included), it will provide an effective sound barrier. The mass of the moving blankets will be able to absorb much of the sound that would otherwise transfer through your walls, floor, and ceiling.
7. Hang Soundproof Curtains on your walls
Unlike ordinary curtains, soundproof curtains are made of thick and dense materials that help absorb noise.
These curtains are a perfect way for noise dampening without tampering with your existing walls.
And unlike moving blankets, soundproofing curtains add aesthetic beauty to your space since they’re available in different sizes and colors.