There is a breaking point for just about every homeowner out there when dealing with all the different unwanted sounds. Maybe a neighbor is just too loud and becoming a distraction, making it very difficult to sleep. In other situations, it could be traffic coming from the road that is causing noise problems.
Every person has different reasons for wanting soundproofing material to make their home a little quieter and isolated. There are now more options than ever to turn to for reduced noise.
Soundproofing materials work pretty well by themselves, but they can do some extremely great work together with other materials as well.
All of the materials listed below are pretty easy to find online and in stores to start the soundproofing process. These materials are used by professionals, as well as those who are trying to tackle projects all by themselves.
Many people believe that Green Glue Soundproofing Compound is one of the best materials for soundproofing out there right now. It can go in areas that other soundproofing material simply can’t.
When most people are setting up a soundproofing area, they use drywall or plywood as layers. To make sure that those two materials don’t make a lot of sound, they need to have sound damping material between them. Green Glue is that damping material, and also a very reliable adhesive.
For big projects or small, green glue is very dependable for anyone out there. They have some portable tubes that are easy to apply anywhere (more on that below), and they also sell it in 5-gallon buckets fo bigger projects.
It is an acoustic sealant that every single person should try when doing some soundproofing construction. It should always be at the top of the list for any shopper out there.
The Green Glue noise proofing sealant is slightly different than the compound, but works in a lot of the same ways. The compound is used more for generic purposes, as it can connect two pieces of mass when soundproofing an area.
The sealant is more for those hard-to-reach spots while people try to fill in some of the cracks. A sealant allows for some pinpoint accuracy so that everything becomes closed off as much as possible.
Sometimes, the smallest cracks can cause the biggest issues. Green Glue helps with noise control since it kills sound, but it also prevents air from passing through certain areas.
Having Green Glue sealant at home, ready to go for any issues that might pop up, is the smart way to go. A person never knows when it might come in handy.
3. Soundproof Blankets
Walk into any recording studio, and chances are there will be a few soundproof blankets around. They are very similar to soundproofing curtains, and they make sense as something that is very flexible to move around anywhere for coverage.
Some people will install soundproofing blankets and let them be, while others will move their blankets around and use them when necessary.
Soundproofing blankets are much improved compared to how they were in the past. In just the last few years, they are thicker and more useful than ever before.
They are coming down in price as well. Online options have really helped cut down the price, and people are using these more than ever before.
The one downfall of the blankets compared to curtains is that they aren’t quite as easy to hang unless you buy the ones with grommets. They do, however, show off their flexibility by going virtually anywhere.
They can even be folded up and place in the areas that need a bit more coverage. Take them on the road, and they help to soundproof a room temporarily that might need it.
Looking for the best of the best in soundproofing blankets right now? The soundproofing blankets options from Audiomute are affordable, effective and stylish.
Anyone from musicians to parents looking to keep a nursery quiet can greatly benefit from just a blanket or two added to the mix.
4. Soundproof Curtains
Windows in homes have always had trouble staying completely soundproof. It is one of the easiest ways for noise to escape out of a home as well as enter.
It is frustrating for people to search for a solution that actually works. Not only is sound a concern, but so is the weather, light, and more.
One solution that helps fix a few of these problems at once is the installation of soundproof curtains. They are not quite as useful as soundproof blankets, but they do fit into the rest of the house in a way that makes it pretty stylish for people who might worry about that.
This is a way for people to soundproof windows without making it look painfully obvious and an eyesore.
There used to be only a few solutions for people who wanted to invest in soundproofing curtains. Now there are more options than ever, and some of them are very stylish.
They also act as a way to completely block light during the day, which comes in handy for people who are trying to keep energy bills down and a room particularly dark.
Soundproofing curtains work well around windows, but they are also perfectly fine to use along walls without windows as well. It is sometimes a little more stylish for people to install these on the walls and let them do their job. (Source)
5. Putty Pads
Putty pads (Amazon) are something that a lot of people use when covering up electrical outlets and other smaller, essential areas like that. They are very heavy and thick, and the consistency comes in handy to protect.
The main use is to prevent the chance of a fire starting, but the mass added also helps with sound. It might not make a huge difference for some people, but it is part of the process that no one should ever overlook.
6. 5/8” Drywall
Drywall is extremely common in any type of construction, and with so many different variations, it just makes sense for people who are soundproofing a room to look into different options. One variation that makes a lot of sense for sound purposes is QuietRock.
Available as 5/8 inch drywall, it does a great job of eliminating the need for quite as many soundproofing methods people have come to rely on. By helping kill sound from the very beginning, it makes the entire construction process that much easier.
How exactly does it work? There is a thin layer of soundproofing material inside the drywall that is more resistant than anything else on the market. This means that it has a reduced ability to transmit sound waves they come in contact with.
Just making the adjustment from standard drywall to this can be a noticeable difference.
A single layer of soundproofing drywall should work just fine, and it is comparable to using several layers of standard drywall in that regard.
Unfortunately, that is also factored into the price as well. Many people are shocked to see just how much more expensive soundproofing drywall is compared to standard drywall, but when looking at buying other materials to fix the problem, it is still a pretty good value.
7. Resilient Channel
A resilient channel (Amazon) is used when installing walls and ceilings as part of a soundproofing design. The channel is meant to isolate drywall from any of the framing stud work, killing soundwaves significantly.
A typical resilient channel is a thin piece of metal that might not seem like much, but it does just enough to offer separation. Depending on how many walls need soundproof, it can end up costing a decent amount of money.
Buying the resilient channels is essential though, and makes a huge difference in just how much sound is audible after the fact.
The installation process for a resistant channel is fairly straightforward for people who are trying to do it themselves. It just involves some basic measuring and lining things up properly so that everything fits.
If there is any type of issue whatsoever, there is the opportunity to hire a professional who will have the ability to handle everything. (Source)
8. Mass Loaded Vinyl Sound Barrier
It doesn’t take long for people to research soundproofing before they come across mass loaded vinyl. It is perhaps the best tool of them all for adding a pretty significant amount of mass to the walls, floors and ceilings. This is all done without adding bulk.
What makes this such a great option is that it is thin and flexible. There are a lot of other products that might be usable, but while they block sound well, they don’t fit into so many different setups.
MLV (Amazon) can block sound extremely well, and it is flexible enough to work on more than just walls. Some people use MLV around pipes, air ducts and other places that have a lot of curvatures.
If it sounds like this stuff is too good to be true, there is one caveat that people need to keep in mind. It is pretty expensive, so lining an entire home with MLV is unrealistic for some people.
There are a growing number of options that are coming from different manufacturers, which is lowering the price a bit. Don’t be afraid to look into the different prices out there, and see what ends up working. (Study)
9. Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation
The best type of products for any kind of construction have multiple purposes. The goal with any insulation in a home is to stop air from seeping through. This insulation works very well for that, but it also does an excellent job of helping kill sound as well.
Some people argue between acoustic mineral wool and batt insulation as the two best options for controlling sound. Batt might provide a bit better soundproofing value, but people still gravitate towards acoustic mineral wool insulation.
Keep in mind that insulation will react differently in different homes, so try out a setup first before deciding. (Study)
10. Floor Mats
Most people focus on the walls and ceilings when soundproofing at home. There is not a lot of sound coming from the ground, but when it does happen, it is a major nuesense. When that happens, people are always looking for methods that they can use that will show instant improvement.
Floor mats, specifically ones that help with significantly reducing vibration, help out a lot for any type of appliance that is making noise.
How do they help? By reducing vibration, an appliance stabilizes quite a bit, and sound does not echo through the entire home.
An appliance that is vibrating a lot can also pass sound along to walls, other furniture and more. All of a sudden, one noisy appliance is making noise that is filling up a room or even an entire home.
11. Soundproofing Wallpaper And Paint (MINIMAL EFFECT)
There are some people who firmly believe that soundproofing wallpaper and paint can actually help, while others are not quite as convinced. There are a number of options out there for people who want to try them out, and there is an opportunity to see some results.
The first thing to realize is that using wallpaper or paint to soundproof is not going to be the only method. Most of the time, people are using other methods, and this is just used for the finishing touches.
People need to put wallpaper on or paint anyway, so why not use an option that is supposed to help with soundproofing?
When looking at the different paint options, they all contain latex. Rubber is often used for soundproofing the entire home, so paint with latex in it could help a little.
More people are convinced that soundproofing wallpaper actually works, but even then, it is only adding a very thin layer to the wall. It is not going to make the same type of impact as so many other products out there, but if the right design is found, it’s worth going with it.
12. Acoustic Panels
As long as a person understands what these panels are capable of doing, there is no doubt that Acoustic panels are very beneficial.
They offer some great noise absorption, which enhances the sound of a recording area, or even an entertainment center. Many people like the idea of having some acoustic foam in strategic areas to make the entire home sound that much better. (Study)
In an empty home, sound can bounce around all over the place. It gets a little better once a family moves in, But there might still be some spots that need improved audio quality. The goal in this area isn’t to soundproof the room, but make noises that are supposed to be in there a lot better.
Foam is very easy to find and install to try out initially. In most cases, a person can set up some acoustic foam and see some results right away. It sometimes takes quite a few panels to make a difference in larger rooms, but it does work.
To maximize effectiveness, try to put any acoustic foam opposite of where sound might be coming from. For example, if there is a speaker on one wall, put the foam opposite for the clear sound. This makes sure that when the noise bounces off the opposite wall, it is not ricocheting around and not sounding as it should.
There are plenty of companies that sell panels now for a very low price. Don’t worry about buying them in bulk, because they can be used for something around the home. They have so many different uses that it always helps to have a few around the home for any type of project that might come up.
It might not seem like that big of a deal, but weatherstripping is essential when soundproofing a door as well as windows. There are different materials available for the right weatherstripping job, and it all works well as long as a person takes the time to install correctly.
For doors and windows that are opened and closed a lot, going with hollow rubber weatherstripping tapes might be the way to go. They compress when the window or door is closed, which forms a very tight seal. The seal will not only keep the outdoor weather from coming in, but it does an excellent job handling any sound as well.
Bigger gaps are easiest to deal with by using a foam tape that will contort in shape a little. This is great for anyone who might not know exactly how much coverage they need, so they are willing to make adjustments here and there and hope for the best.
Finally, felt tape is a solution some people swear by with weatherstripping. It is something that can be cut into different shapes and sizes to fit nearly any gap, and it’s easy to apply in a matter of seconds.
Many people are under the assumption that weatherstripping is a tough task to pull off. For people who are doing it themselves, it’s a simple as trying a few different things and seeing what makes the biggest impact.
Make sure to clean the area on the door as much as possible before applying any of the weatherstripping out there. This will allow for a much easier application, as well as removal if it doesn’t work.
Weatherstripping is not only going to make a lot of people happy from a sound perspective, but it helps out tremendously with weather as well. This is especially true if the door is being used on leads directly to the outdoors.
14. Door Sweep Rubber Bottom
If weatherstripping alone doesn’t do the job, using a door sweep rubber bottom is a perfect solution for people who still are satisfied with noise control. A lot of people look at this as only a way to control the weather coming in and out of the door, but sweeps and seals help a lot with noise.
The typical sweep is made of rubber, but there are some that come as a dense brush as well.
Most people tend to say that the rubber ones are a little more dependable, as the material is dense enough to stop sound from coming in. The only downfall is that they do not have nearly the same shelf life, because every time the door is moving, it scrapes up against the floor.
If durability is a major concern, the dense brush sweeps do work very well. The good news is that either option is pretty inexpensive, so if one does not end up working, the other one might be the one that does the trick. Make sure to do all the proper measurements beforehand, saving some time and energy when it comes to the installation process.
Weatherstripping and a door sweep together can really help out people who are finding it a major struggle to get the door just right. When the door is leading to the outside and making a lot of noise, it can be just loud enough that frustrates people throughout the night.
15. Furniture, Household Items, and More
The final soundproofing materials to make this list don’t really count as specific to soundproofing. However, there is something to be said for filling up the room and strategically doing so in order to reduce sound.
If a room or home doesn’t sound exactly right, it could come down to not having the right layout. If rooms are too empty, or there are too many flat surfaces that are easy for noise to bounce off of, it just makes no sense to not do something about it.
Use furniture and household items spread out across the home to kill sound naturally. It might make more of a difference than anyone could ever initially imagine.
The 5 Pricipals of Soundproofing
When looking to soundproof any type of environment, there are five important principals that governs the sound isolation of any partitions.
Let’s take a closer look at what we need to be looking for when soundproofing any type of wall, window or door.
In theory, increasing the mass by two folds of a wall without leaving an air gap will increase the soundproofing performance by approximately 6dB, depending on what type of drywall you use, of course. Here we are using the example of using 5/8″ drywall.
Another thing to understand while adding mass is what type of mass you are adding to the wall. Not all “mass” is created equal. Drywall will yield different results as Mass Loaded Vinyl.
To really improve the sound-dampening qualities of your wall, you need to not only keep adding mass but also improve on the other four principles.
If you’ve watched any of my videos on YouTube you will know by now that decoupling is one of the most important pricipals of soundproofing.
Air is a much better sound isolator than mass. Just think of a train. You can’t hear the far away train if you’re standing on railroad tracks but if you place your ear on the rails, you will begin to hear something. This is all due to vibrational noise.
By adding an air gap between two layers of drywall using a resilient channel or another mean of decoupling you will stop that vibrational sound in it’s tracks. (Source)
Another important aspect of soundproofing is sound absobtion. If you add acoustic insulation inside a wall, you will be lower the resonant frequency of decoupled walls. This however works better on low frequency sounds.
Another way that sound absorbers work is by adding acoustic material on the walls. You might think that adding acoustic foam or panels have nothing to do with soundproofing but you’d be wrong.
Having these types of materials on a wall will lower the amount of echo in a room making it sound better.
The resonance sound is in basic terms the vibrations of the sounds going through the wall. A resonnace frequency will vibrate very easily though mass and even though decoupled walls.
One way to combat the resonance going through a wall is by adding an acoustic compound to break the resonace down. Adding something like green glue between two layers of drywall will cut some of the resonance from coming thought the wall.
The easiest way to understand conduction of sound is to understand the sound transmission class (STC). Watch the video bellow to help you understand the basics of STC.
What Makes Certain Material Soundproofing?
It is easy to understand the general concept of soundproofing, but when looking for different materials, it helps to know something beyond that. The basics will go a long way towards successfully soundproofing certain parts of the home in the cheapest way possible.
Soundproofing is a way to reduce sound pressure and vibration in a certain area. That means keeping sounds out of the room or home, and not letting sounds inside release.
Materials that do a great job of soundproofing would also do well containing water and air. Think about that when looking at different soundproofing materials to better differentiate between soundproofing and sound-absorbing.
Is Soundproofing the Same as Sound Absorbing?
It’s very common to get these two concepts missed up. Sound absorption is just one of many elements of soundproofing. To explain it as simply as possible, sound-absorbing material only improves the acoustics of a room. People looking for soundproofing material want something that prevents sound from entering or leaving.
The best use for sound-absorbing material is to help reduce reverberations and echoes in a room. That is why sound-absorbing material is very prevalent in
churches, music rooms, community centers, and more. This material can’t stop sound from entering or leaving the room, but it does cut down on the distracting noises that make it impossible to hear clearly.
For the best type of sound in a room, soundproofing material and sound-absorbing material is needed. The soundproofing material helps get a good base for the room itself, while the absorbent material will put the finishing touches on the sound.
How Much Soundproofing Can Be Done Without Professional Assistance?
Every single soundproofing method talked about in this article is possible without hiring a professional to help out. A lot of people consider soundproofing a room or home as a do-it-yourself project. Some tasks are harder than others, but nothing is too crazy that it is impossible to try.
Another added bonus is that most of the material is pretty inexpensive. If a mess up occurs in some way, a person doesn’t feel like they wasted a ton of money trying to do things themselves.
Plenty of professionals can install soundproofing material so that it looks good and performs at the highest level, but it’s never necessary to make that hire.
Why Home Soundproofing Materials Matter
Having a good amount of soundproofing material for the home can really improve the quality of life. Too many people are worried about not having peaceful nights because certain areas in a home don’t sound as they should. It might be annoying to deal with at first, but addressing the situation can get things fixed in a hurry.
Don’t be afraid to try a few different methods out, and see what material works best. There are countless options out there in today’s world, and most of them are easy to order from the comfort of a person’s home. The other option is to run to any local stores that sell home supplies to get what is needed for more urgent upgrades.