Soundproof Cow :: Soundproofing 101 :: How to Soundproof a Home :: How to Soundproof a Wall

How to Soundproof a Wall

Soundproofing materials can be applied to a wall that's under construction or be added to an existing wall, post-construction.

There are several ways to soundproof a wall. Improvements in the soundproofing industry have resulted in products that are more effective and cost less than traditional wall soundproofing methods.

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Recommended Wall Soundproofing Methods

Adding Mass

Adding a high density material to the structure of the wall significantly reduces the transfer of sound. At a fraction of the cost of traditional soundproofing methods, adding mass is a popular way to soundproof a wall.

Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material is one of our most popular wall soundproofing products. This heavy, flexible, non-porous material stops sound energy by damping its vibrations. Pound for pound, Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material products have better noise reduction characteristics than steel and other building materials.

Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material can be nailed to studs during construction or applied to existing drywall with its easy "peel-and-stick" backing.

Another common method is to first attach furring strips to the drywall. Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material is applied to the strips and then both layers are covered with a second layer of drywall. All seams and cracks should be sealed with acoustic caulk (OSI® Pro-Series® SC-175™ Acoustical Sound Sealant) or barrier tape (Quiet Barrier® Tape).

Recycled Cotton Batts

Although cotton batts don't block noise, they reduce sound by absorbing noise inside the wall. These materials stop sound energy from bouncing back and forth within the wall cavities.

Dense cotton batting material, like Quiet Batt® Soundproofing Insulation, not only reduces sound, it also insulates. Quiet Batt® Soundproofing Insulation, performs better than thermal insulators, making it a sensible alternative to itchy fiberglass or spray foams.

Made of 80% recycled content, it's easily applied between walls studs with no special tools required.

Sound Isolation Systems

The most efficient soundproofing method on the market today is sound isolation systems. Using sound isolation systems, a room can be completely isolated from an adjacent room, resulting in the best soundproofing possible

Sound travels through drywall along common studs. isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System, the most popular sound isolation system, works by "floating" a mounted wall over the studs. There are no common studs for sound to travel along, stopping the transfer of sound waves.

isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System is fastened to the studs without any direct contact between hardware and wood. isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System provides a peel and stick dampener to pad the studs when applying the metal tracks. Also, each track is equipped with neoprene foam to cushion your drywall from vibration.

This system is easy to install, increases wall strength, and provides top soundproofing quality.

Traditional, Less Effective, Soundproofing Methods

Traditional wall soundproofing methods are more expensive and less effective than the new technologies available today.

Staggered Stud Walls

In standard wall construction, studs connect two slabs of drywall. Noise easily travels along this connection. In a staggered stud wall construction, studs are connected to one side of the wall, but not the other. While this reduces noise transfer, it takes up extra space, involves expensive construction techniques, and weakens the structural integrity of the wall itself.

Double Walls

This method is often used in "room within a room" construction for studios and music practice rooms. When used with other soundproofing materials, double wall construction offers complete sound protection. However, double walls are expensive, hard to build, and take up room space.

Resilient Channel System

Resilient channel is a spring metal track used to isolate a drywall panel from other wall construction. While this method provides reduced sound transfer, it's very difficult to install. If not installed properly, it will not provide effective soundproofing. This method is even less effective when the building structure shifts or nails are driven into studs to hang items to the finished wall.

Fiberglass Batts

Batts are fitted between wall studs for acoustical protection. Fiberglass batts are light and thin, allowing noise to leak through. Without additional soundproofing materials, fiberglass batts are ineffective. Fiberglass materials work better for sound absorption (improving sound quality) than soundproofing.

Expanded Foam (Sprays)

Spray foams were engineered for thermal insulation. Using this messy foam for soundproofing can actually increase noise transmission and make matters worse.


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