What Should I Know About Soundproofing a Room?
At Soundproof Cow, we think it’s essential for your rooms to work well with your daily routine. To soundproof a room, you’ll want to follow these general steps:
- 1Determine whether you’re adding soundproofing to new or existing construction. Both are possible, but installing soundproofing in new buildings is more effective.
- 2Soundproofing materials vary for the floor, walls, ceiling or doors. We’ll outline the best materials to use in the steps outlined later in this post.
- 3Install the soundproofing materials in the room. Soundproof Cow supplies DIY soundproofing solutions, so installation is a breeze.
- 4Monitor sound levels and make adjustments as necessary. Placing soundproof materials like acoustic panels, should be strategic to absorb the right amount of sound waves.
Soundproofing is easier than you might think! We’ll go more in-depth with our explanation of soundproofing in the following sections.
Before we break down soundproofing methods room by room, figure out your problem spots. Are the walls thin? Are the floors echoing? Is a significant amount of noise escaping through the door? Are you absorbing or deflecting sound? Your answer to these questions determines what solutions will work best for you.
Soundproof Any Area of a Room
At Soundproof Cow, we have the soundproofing products you need. And, we offer high-quality products at affordable prices. When you use our soundproofing products, you can create the soundproofed environment you’ve been looking for — all without breaking the bank.
Wall Soundproofing Methods
You can soundproof your walls in several ways. We’ll highlight a few of our preferred methods, which efficiently solve your room’s noise pollution at a lower cost.
Our top three recommended methods for new or existing walls are as follows.
1. Adding Mass
Adding mass is one of the simplest methods. This process helps reduce the transmission of unwanted sounds at a fraction of the cost than more complicated techniques.
Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material is one of our most popular wall soundproofing materials. It consists of heavy, flexible and non-porous material, which stops sound energy by dampening vibrations. By comparison, Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material is more effective at reducing noise than steel or other common building materials.
You can nail the soundproofing material to bare studs during construction, or apply it to existing drywall using convenient peel-and-stick backing. You can also apply the soundproofing material by attaching furring strips to drywall and placing the soundproofing material on top, followed by a second layer of drywall. Make sure you seal all the seams and cracks with caulk or barrier tape.
2. Recycled Cotton Batts
Recycled cotton batts work slightly differently than Quiet Barrier® soundproofing material. They don’t block noise. Instead, they absorb sound waves as they bounce back and forth between walls.
When using recycled cotton batts, we recommend our Quiet Batt™ Soundproof Insulation. Our Quiet Batt™ Soundproof Insulation is dual-action, helping stop noise transmission as well as insulate. It consists of 80% recycled cotton and is easy to apply between wall studs without any special equipment.
3. Sound Isolation Systems
Sound isolation systems are one of the most popular soundproofing methods available today. Sound usually travels between rooms along the studs shared between walls. Our isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System creates a “floating” mounted wall between the noisy studs, eliminating pathways for sound to travel along.
The system is easy to install, increases wall strength and provides excellent soundproofing quality.
4. Acoustic Panels
You may not have to break into your new or existing walls at all. If you’re looking for a simple soundproofing solution that’s easy on the budget, consider hanging acoustic panels.
Acoustic panels are sound-absorbing materials that capture sound waves as they bounce off your walls. At Soundproof Cow, we offer various acoustic panels, like these examples.
- Art acoustic panels: You don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics when soundproofing your home using visible solutions. We sell custom-made options, allowing you to choose the art printed onto the acoustic panel.
- Fabric-wrapped acoustic panels: Similar to our art acoustic panels, our fabric-wrapped acoustic panels allow you to choose a finish, size and configuration that complements your home’s aesthetic.
- Perforated acoustic wood panels: Our perforated acoustic wood panels combine soundproofing functionality and organic appearance. Choose between various finishes and textures, depending on your home’s aesthetic.
Acoustic panels are no-fuss ways to soundproof a room. And installation is a cinch! All you need is a soundproofing adhesive. Strategically place each acoustic panel around your space for the best results. Learn more about hanging acoustic panels by visiting our blog post.
How to Soundproof Walls
It’s possible to soundproof almost all walls, whether they’re brand-new or under construction. The soundproofing process is similar for both wall types. First, we’ll discuss how to soundproof new walls.
The soundproofing process begins with bare, brand-new stud walls. On one side of the wall, you’ll carefully mount the Quiet Barrier® soundproofing material. To do this, nail it directly to the studs using 1-1/4″ roofing nails. Ensure the seams of the Quiet Barrier® soundproofing material fit together as closely as possible. Ideally, the seams should be virtually invisible.
Ensure the soundproofing material is secure and there are no gaps by using Quiet Barrier® tape. Firmly secure all seams using the tape.
Then, you’ll want the 0.625″ Type X gypsum board, or drywall. Install the drywall with 1.875″ coarse-thread drywall screws. This step works best when the screws are about 10″ apart. Leave 1/4″ of space between the gypsum board and adjoining floors, ceilings or walls.
Now, install the Quiet Batt™ soundproofing insulation between the studs. On the opposite side of the wall, install the isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System onto the studs.
Next, install the same gypsum board over the isoTRAX™ system using 1-1/4″ fine-thread drywall screws. Place the screws approximately 12″ apart, leaving a 1/4″ break between the gypsum board and any adjoining surface.
Fill the 1/4″ gap with OSI® Pro-Series® SC-175 Acoustical Sound Sealant. Finally, finish the gypsum board according to industry standards.
If you’re working with existing walls, the process will look a little different. Since you can’t start from scratch, your goal is to modify what already exists.
Start by using a stud finder to locate the studs. Mark the studs with chalk or a pencil for easy reference.
From here, install the Quiet Barrier® soundproofing material the same way as instructed with new walls. Use the same roofing nails to attach the Quiet Barrier® to the studs, and line the seams as neatly as possible. Seal the seams firmly using Quiet Barrier® tape.
Like soundproofing new walls, install the isoTRAX™ soundproofing system over this barrier layer. Follow the same instructions outline before. However, with existing walls, you’ll also need to install the Echo Absorber Acoustic Panels between the isoTRAX™ system’s rails. On top of this layer, install the gypsum board the same way you would with a new wall, using the same drywall screws.
Finish soundproofing the wall by filling all gaps with OSI® Pro-Series® SC-175 Acoustical Sound Sealant. Complete the gypsum board according to industry standards.
Shop Wall Soundproofing Products:
isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System$191.98
Quiet Batt™ 30 Soundproofing Insulation$108.00
Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Material (Sheet)$74.99 $68.99
Quiet Barrier™ MD Soundproofing Material (Roll)$194.03
Quiet Barrier™ HD Soundproofing Material (Sheet)$145.99 $137.99
Quiet Barrier™ Specialty Composite w/PSA$176.99 $165.99
Pipe Soundproofing Methods
Imagine the plumbing system that works its way around your house. There are two main types — your water supply system and the drainage system. Both generate unwanted noise that can interrupt your daily routine, no matter what room you’re in.
Soundproof your pipes using our Quiet Wrap™ Pipe Soundproofing Wrap. Our soundproofing wrap comes to your door in rolls. It consists of three layers:
- A convenient peel-and-place siding
- A high-density sound barrier membrane
- An industrial-grade composite foam
The peel-and-place siding makes the application easy, and the high-density sound barrier membrane and composite foam absorb any impact noises from moving water or drainage.
To install, you’ll need a:
- Tape measure
- Razor knife
Use the pencil to mark where you want to cut the Quiet Wrap™ Pipe Soundproofing Wrap. Most people wrap the material around the pipe, and measure and cut from there. Then, peel back about 4″ to 5″ of the backing, and place the adhesive side on your pipe at a slight angle. Press and wrap the soundproof wrapping until you’ve worked down the entire pipe.
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Ceiling Soundproofing Methods
Similar to step one, step three consists of two subparts. The first section will cover how to soundproof brand-new ceilings, and the second section will cover how to soundproof an existing ceiling. Both processes are similar, but with minor crucial differences.
On the tracks, install a 1/2″ Type X gypsum board. To do this, we recommend using 1 1/4″ drywall screws. Place the screws approximately 8″ apart, leaving 1/4″ of extra space between the gypsum board and any connecting walls.
Seal this gap by filling it with the OSI® Pro-Series® sealant. Don’t forget to finish the gypsum board as specified by industry standards.
Because studs aren’t visible in existing ceilings, you’ll have to find them yourself. Find them with a stud finder, and mark them carefully with chalk or a pencil.
It’s critical your stud markers are accurate, because you’ll use them as a guide when installing the isoTRAX™ system. Then, you’ll install the Echo Absorber Acoustic Panels between each track.
The last step is similar to soundproofing new ceilings. You’ll install a 1/2″ Type X gypsum board over everything else, securing the drywall with 1-1/4″ drywall screws placed 8″ apart. Leave 1/4″ of space between the gypsum board and any adjoining walls.
Fill the gap with the OSI® Pro-Series® sealant. Finish the gypsum board to industry standards.
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Floor Soundproofing Methods
There are two different types of noise to account for when soundproofing floors.
- Impact noise: Impact noise is what you hear when people are walking. The footfalls cause vibrations, which travel through the floor and into the joists, passing down into the ceiling of the room below.
- Airborne noise: Airborne noise travels through the air. Everyday examples are talking and laughing, or the sound of a TV or music playing.
Soundproofing floors can get complicated because the process varies depending on the floor’s material. We’ll give each common material a separate section.
No matter the type of floor, all require an underlayment that acts as a soundproof barrier. Various floor materials are more appropriate for different types of underlayment. It’s essential to use the right type for your floor.
Hardwood floors come in different forms. Typically, they’re either glued or nailed down, or a combination of the two. Glued floors have better soundproofing ability due to how nails tend to transmit sound.
Whether your hardwood floor is glued or nailed down, adding an underlayment will make it more soundproof. We recommend using Proflex™ 90.
Proflex™ 90 is a rubberized membrane, laminated to increase its effectiveness. It has a reinforcing layer of fabric on its outward-facing side and a silicone release sheet on its inward-facing side. It’s also waterproof and comes with a vapor-protected membrane that eliminates any cracking. All these features make it the perfect underlayment for hardwood floors.
If you have floating hardwood, we recommend the Impact Barrier® Flooring Underlayment, which is the most technologically advanced sound-blocking material available for hardwood. It protects against airborne and impact noises and is moisture-, mold- and mildew-resistant.
Laminate or Engineered Flooring
There are two major noise problems caused by laminate or engineered flooring:
- Transmission of impact noise
Combat these using Impact Barrier® Flooring Underlayment. This underlayment effectively corrects sound problems. Also, it provides an extra layer that protects your floor from damaging moisture.
Stone and Ceramic Tiling
Stone and ceramic tiling are particularly challenging to soundproof because the floor requires installation on an even layer. We recommend Proflex™ 90 MSC Flooring Underlayment.
We engineered our Proflex™ 90 MSC Flooring Underlayment to be compatible with thin-set and mud-set mortar, making it an ideal soundproofing solution for both stone and tile floors. Also, it helps prevent cracking.
The benefit of Proflex™ 90 MSC Flooring Underlayment is that, once installed correctly, it’s possible to lay the tile or stone flush with the top. That makes the underlayment completely invisible — you won’t notice it’s there, except for the difference it makes in sound quality and noise reduction in adjoining rooms.
Carpet is slightly easier to soundproof. It naturally does a great job at muffling footfalls and other impact noises. However, it needs support when muffling airborne noise.
To soundproof a carpeted floor, you’ll want to use a thick fiber barrier composite to reduce noise transmissions. Also, it helps stop noise from traveling up through the floor from the room below, and vice versa.
We recommend using the Impact Barrier® Flooring Underlayment. It consists of the finest, most consistent materials available. It will soundproof your floors, with the bonus of prolonging your carpeting’s life.
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Door Soundproofing Methods
Doors are major noise pollution culprits because they usually have the most significant gap in an otherwise solid wall. There are gaps below, above and beside the door itself, making them an all-around trouble spot, negatively impacting a room’s sound quality.
Completely soundproofing a door is an enormous project that requires a significant amount of time, labor and money. The good news? There are several simpler, more cost-effective solutions.
1. Door Sweeps and Seals
One excellent way to solve noise problems is to install a door sweep beneath the doorframe. Another is to add a seal around the frame’s edges. For maximum soundproofing, try doing both.
We recommend using Quiet Door™ Adjustable Perimeter Seals. This product helps reduce sound transmission by creating a tight seal around the door. This specific seal is exceptionally versatile and works for either wood or metal doors.
Quiet Door™ Adjustable Perimeter Seals consist of durable silicone seals and tough aluminum framing. The kit comes with the stainless steel required for installation. Door seals are also easy to adjust. The material will change over time as the seal ages and weather fluctuates. A quick adjustment with a screwdriver will re-establish the seal.
For a door sweep, we recommend the Quiet Door™ Automatic Door Sweep. This door sweep fits tightly along the bottom of any door to form a seal whenever the door shuts. It works well with both metal and wood doors and is sturdy and resilient.
2. Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels are another effective way to soundproof your door. We suggest using our Quiet Door™ Acoustic Panels. Quiet Door™ Acoustic Panels consist of high-quality materials — a composite made of sound-blocking, viscoelastic polymer, with a dense, fabric-covered layer that provides coverage for your door.
3. Door Kits
If you don’t want to shop around for individual door soundproofing tools, we offer a soundproofing door kit. Our kits are convenient, comprehensive packages outfitted with everything you need to soundproof your door.
Kits vary depending on your door’s setting, but all are practical options that will save you time, money and energy. We offer the Quiet Door™ Residential Door Soundproofing Kit, Quiet Door™ Commercial Door Soundproofing Kit and the Quiet Door™ Industrial Door Soundproofing Kit.
Lastly, you can lessen any door’s sound transmission levels by adding a little extra sealant. Add this sealant around the door’s edges. We recommend using the OSI® Pro-Series® SC-175 Acoustical Door Sealant.
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I just wanted to let you know that in the end, sealing the air spaces on this door worked just fine and took care of the problem.
I really appreciate you taking so much time to share your expertise with me, and in particular recommending I try the simpler solution before investing in more expensive noise barriers. That is a big credit to you and your business.- Mike