Most people might never find the need to soundproof a wall in their home, lucky them! But if you’re here, you probably have noisy neighbours or living with some type of noise coming through a wall that you would like to eliminate! Keep reading on how simple it is to learn how to soundproof a wall!
How to soundproof a wall? The most effective way to soundproof a wall is by adding a second layer of drywall. You should use a 5/8″ drywall as this is more effective for soundproofing a wall than the standard 1/2″ drywall.
Most of these other tips aim to be effective and cheap, as no one wants to have to spend a ton of money soundproofing a wall.
It can be pretty useful to make some subtle changes, but there are times when people need to go ahead and spend the extra money for peace and quiet as well.
Here are the best ways to soundproof a wall as effectively as possible. These are in no way in order of effectiveness. One thing to note is if you’re using more than one soundproofing method this will increase the STC rating of the wall.
Just to be Clear, Some of these methods are more for sound deadening the wall which will make the room sound better which will make it more peaceful.
I will however show you what works for soundproofing and what works for sound deadening.
1. Strategically Placed Furniture In The Right Areas
This might be the cheapest and easiest way to notice some benefits of soundproofing a wall.
A person does not have to spend any additional money, and it just requires a little bit of moving around to make it all work. It is also pretty useful, especially if a person has furniture that really comes in handy.
Perhaps the best piece of furniture to help soundproof a wall is a large bookshelf. This can act as another barrier for the wall, so it automatically becomes thicker.
Some of these bookshelves can take up most if not all of a wall, and it does not even make the rest of the room look out of place.
The general rule of thumb with furniture is that a room needs to be filled to not risk an echo. If the room is entirely empty, it will be very easy for sound to bounce off the walls and become an issue.
The same can be said for a lot of hard surfaces only. That is where actual furniture that we will sit on comes in handy.
The best thing to do is to have a few softer furniture pieces balanced out throughout the room. This helps to absorb sound so that it is not bouncing around nearly as much.
This also works to a certain extent when right up against the walls, but at the same time, people do not want to put their seating areas right up next to a noisy wall.
If the other side of the wall belongs to a person, the same furniture concept is applicable. The goal here is to use furniture as a semi-permanent layer to make the wall as thick as possible.
It makes a pretty big difference once everything goes into place, and a person might not even have to spend any additional money to get it to work.
2. Use Decorations Strategically
Most people are not going to leave their wall completely bare, as it just makes no sense to have a few things up to make everything look complete and moved in. While doing that, they can also act to soundproof the walls to make them a little quieter.
Wall art and decorations by themselves might not do a world of difference, but it does help with noise reduction and soundproofing in general. There are ways to enhance this to work as well.
The first thing to do is to look at wall decorations that have good bulk to them. If they are pretty heavy by themselves, they will create a barrier that helps block sound from coming and going.
Think of something like canvas art, decorative quilts, or even sticking on wallpaper. They all will help to a certain degree, and they can play off of each other in balancing out the room.
Sound can bounce off of walls pretty easily, so it is essential to have some ways to reduce that from occurring. By balancing out the walls with some art and decoration, the chances of noise going around are significantly reduced.
Another way to make wall art and decorations soundproof is to put some material behind them. This will be entirely out of sight so that people are not distracting people from what is placed on the wall, but it adds some bulk if it is not there already.
This works very well behind the artwork, and using some pretty thin material will not make people question anything.
The wallpaper idea is the best for full coverage, but there is only going to be so much wiggle room as far as thickness is concerned.
If the wallpaper is too thick, it is going to look unnatural and stick out. Some people will go as far as using thicker paint and thicker wallpaper to make the walls thicker overall.
3. Acoustic Foam Panels
The first couple of ideas are pretty affordable for anyone who is on a strict budget. Maybe there is not much of a need for soundproofing either, which is another way to make life easier.
However, if they do not work out, there is a way to start installing soundproof foam panels to help balance out a room filled with noisy walls.
It might seem like soundproofing professionally is another way of saying that it will be an expensive endeavor.
The good thing about foam panels is that they are pretty affordable to make, and there are enough competitors out there that a person can find exactly what they are looking for and still stay under budget.
In fact, soundproofing panels are now so much better in today’s world. A lot of companies offer very versatile options that come in different colors and even patterns.
People can start to incorporate these panels into their home design so that it does not stick out. They are doubling his wall art in some scenarios, even if it might not look quite as fancy.
The installation process of soundproofing foam panels is where things get a little tricky. As long as people are willing to put in some time in researching where everything goes, they could probably do it themselves.
Having professionals install these panels also helps tremendously. The key is putting them where the reflection points are throughout the room.
This makes it possible for people not to fill the entire room with a bunch of foam panels, making it that much more efficient.
4. Fabric Panels
Foam panels are pretty popular these days, but fabric wall panels can work in many similar ways. They are a little more expensive than foam, but many people like the way they look and the way they perform. They do a pretty good job of absorbing sound, and they can be made it look pretty nice as well.
The key with fabric panels is to look at the NRC rating to see if they are living up to expectations. It is one thing if they look great, but not all fabric panels are created equally. (Source)
Some companies are even going as far as exploring customers because people automatically think that it is better. It is still very much part of the solution to research everything and find out just how great it is at soundproofing.
What type of fabric do people use with fabric panels? The two to look out for are jute and microsuede.
Microsuede is indeed a little more expensive, but people like the fact that it gives off a slightly classier look. Either option tends to work pretty well, but microsuede fabric panels are definitely worth considering.
5. Sealing Cracks, Holes & Crevices
It is pretty surprising to some people just how quickly walls can form cracks and even holes. It does not take much for everything to happen, and when it does, it gets really frustrating.
The good news is that there are many ways to make fixes without ever having to hire a professional. With a few solutions meant to make things pretty easy, the drywall can easily be spruced up.
Out of all the different types of sealants out there for cracks, perhaps the best of the best in acoustic caulk. It is still a relatively new product compared to others, but as the name implies, it does a much better job with sound in general.
The way acoustic caulk works is that it is a rubber type of material that is pretty easy to apply for anyone who has given it a try. It does not change shape, as long as it is properly put onto a wall.
It is a permanent type of solution that will still stay flexible, which is precisely what a person wants with a wall. Most importantly, it will not shrink or even crack during the entire time.
People might initially realize that they need to use more acoustic caulk and other forms of cracks that start showing, but they will not have to be going over their previous work again and again.
Some companies call it acoustic caulk, while others will refer to it as noise proofing or sound sealant. Whatever the cases, the application process is certainly not tricky by any means. In fact, a lot of people will start the planning process and begin on the very same day.
These are the keys to ensuring that the first application of acoustic caulk will be the last. By following a simple guide, people will see better results that will encourage them to use this process for other troubles as well.
Acoustic caulk is not the most toxic material by any means, but people still need to be in a well-ventilated area with protection. The smell can make people a little dizzy at times, and there is also a chance of the caulk getting on hand.
Make sure to invest in some gloves and maybe even some eyewear for added protection. Of course, only apply the acoustic car while wearing clothing that might not make that much of a difference if it is ruined or not.
Clean Off The Wall
The wall needs to be as clean as possible when applying to keep the caulk. If it is dirty and a person tries to fill in the cracks anyway, it will not be nearly as effective.
Take the time to clean the wall off in the very beginning. If done correctly, there will be no need of having to fix things later on.
Invest In A Caulking Machine
It is technically possible to apply acoustic caulk without using a caulking device (Amazon), but it just makes life so much easier to use one instead. Having a fine nozzle to get into any crevice, it makes life a whole lot easier.
Put in a good amount of caulk in the beginning and do not worry about putting too much. It is better to get everything appropriately filled instead of having to go back and do it again.
Clean Off Excess Caulk
It is better to put too much into an area instead of too little because it is pretty easy to smooth things out. Just use a tool that usually comes with a caulking set to ensure that the wall goes back to being as flat as possible.
Some people even use their fingers if it is still pretty fresh and easy to scrape off. Some people go the extra mile and sand things down, but it is not always necessary depending on where a person is situated.
6. Curtains and Blankets For Soundproofing
It should be clear by now that thick fabric can help with soundproofing in just about any area. People have been using different fabrics as a way to soundproof where they live for quite a while now, and two pretty easy ways to go about it is to utilize soundproofing curtains or blankets.
They are both made of similar materials, and they are pretty easy to put just about anywhere. Curtains obviously make a lot more sense around windows, but either option can help complete a wall.
Soundproofing curtains (Amazon) are beneficial for people who are trying to not only control sound but the light that comes into their home as well.
There is nothing worse than having a lot of distracting sun coming into a home and really causing trouble.
No one wants to have to deal with super sunny rooms that it becomes impossible to sit in during certain parts of the day. That is when the curtains can be pulled, and light can be all but eliminated.
The same goes for sound, only it can act as a sound barrier 24 hours a day. Windows can be a pretty vulnerable area for the home compared to the rest of the wall. Having curtains that are easy to pull adds an extra layer of protection that everyone can count on in the end.
The great thing about using blankets is that they will do an excellent job of being moved where every person needs them.
Some people will put moving blankets or soundproofing blankets up on a semi-permanent basis, while others will use them when necessary.
For example, if there is sound coming from an area that is going to be only temporary, it can go over a particular part of the wall to add some layers.
It is a little tricky to hang moving blankets to a wall, but some come with grommets that make it a little easier.
When that is the case, they go up the same way that curtains go up in many instances, and can be pretty valuable overall.
With a person ultimately decide to go with curtains or blankets, keep in mind that even adding both can provide some temporary value.
Most people will not go with both since they look a little weird on a permanent basis, but it is always worth trying out if nothing else seems to be working.
7. Mass Loaded Vinyl
People are pretty well aware of soundproofing mats from a floor standpoint, but there are actually options for the walls as well.
They will be made up of some quality high-density materials that can help block the sound coming from all angles.
It is usually pretty easy to install since they are so thin as well, making it not stand out as much as some people might think.
The good thing about adding these types of mats is that they can go over or under the drywall. If a person is installing drywall, it obviously makes more sense to go underneath to hide it.
If it is going over drywall, there might be a chance to put something else over the top so that they do not stand out as much.
The drawback is that most of the mats are only going to come in the color black. It is definitely not the best for a designer’s look and feels, but they are effective.
A lot of people use them because they are one of the most effective options out there without having to break the bank.
Mass-loaded vinyl, in particular, is what a lot of professionals will use if they will need to make sure that their walls are as soundproof as possible.
A lot of people would love to have a room with just standard walls from a soundproofing perspective. It would make no sense controlling sound, but that it is never the actual set up.
There are many obstacles that people need to overcome if they want to make sure that their room is as soundproof as possible. The walls might actually be the easiest part, but those weaker areas need treatment as well.
When does the first thing that most people will pay attention to, as even thicker window panes are thinner than a typical wall.
Just about every room will have at least one window, and some will find it to be a real issue when it comes to controlling sound. Sounds can come from interior walls or exterior walls, frustrating people to no end.
The best ways to make a big difference with windows are looking into a higher quality piece of glass or installing curtains.
Windows can be pretty expensive if they have a build specific for controlling sound. Some people are able to afford it, but others do not want to waste that extra bit of money.
The good news is that a person might only need to invest in a new window or two in specific areas. The whole house might not need the same level of soundproofing so that a person can save a little bit of money there.
So many people think of curtains (Amazon) as the only way to control the light coming in and out of the room. If it is made of thick, dense material, it can also be beneficial for soundproofing.
They make so many different options as far as soundproof curtains are concerned that they can find what they need without breaking the bank.
Pay attention to thread count, how tightly woven the curtains are, and even the layers provided. It is best to make sure that the curtains are able to cover the window fully, as even a little bit of exposed area will let lights and sound in.
Insulation is just the same as any other set of curtains. Some people will do it themselves, but others will rely on past rods left from previous curtains.
Ensure that everything is measured properly and that it matches the way the rest of the room looks, and people should be good to go.
In order to get into a room, every place needs at least one door. These doors are usually not the greatest for controlling sound, especially if they are interior doors.
A lot of designers will skimp on interior doors, making them mostly hollow and pretty lightweight overall. Couple that with the space in between the door frame and floor, and this can be a vulnerable area.
If a person wants to treat the door directly, there are a few different solutions. If a person has the money, they can replace the entire door and go with something built for control and sound a little more.
Look for something that is thick and not hollow, providing people with a lot of the same material that they can get from A wall.
It will make a little bit of difference right away, but there is still something to be said for those areas where the sound has a chance to leak through.
In those areas, look to put a doorstop or sweep at the base of the door. This is going to close that gap while still allowing people to come in and out.
These are usually pretty affordable to invest in, and they are inexpensive enough that people are not going to be in too tough of a situation.
Not everyone wants to install a brand new door, so there is either installing soundproofing material inside or outside the door, and giving it a bit of a redesign.
If this door is leading into a room that constantly has sound problems, it is usually worth putting in the extra effort to make it a permanent solution.
Moving blankets really come in handy when trying to soundproof a door as quickly as possible. There are a lot of people who will make sure that they have blankets readily available so that they can be put onto the door as quickly as possible.
It may not be a permanent solution, but it does do the trick if nothing else is working at the time. There are way too many people who do not give this option to try, simply because it might not look as nice as some of the other options. However, there is not always a need to have a permanent solution.
It is important to have air vents in a room to help with temperature control, circulate air, and so much more.
The bad part is that they are not the best for controlling sound, and people are constantly trying to fight against them so that they do not become a distraction.
No one should be recommending that air vents are completely blocked off or even removed. Since that is not a solution, most people are looking for something that is a little bit temporary to be quieter when it needs to most.
The best way to do that is to count on moving blankets. They can be put up for a short amount of time, and then easily removed when the air vents need to actually work.
If the air vent itself is making a lot of noise throughout the day, it is worth repairing or totally replacing instead of just trying to live with it.
There are way too many people who do not put in that extra bit of effort to fix everything, and it can be frustrating, to say the least.
If the room has too many air vents or does not really work at all, it is worth blocking it entirely. It will not compromise how the room operates at all, and it just becomes a place for sound to become a nuisance.
There are way too many people who have air vents that are no longer working, and they do not seem to make any changes to get them out of the way.
9. Building a Brand New Wall on Top of the Old One
If there’s space available, a do-it-yourself method that seems drastic but works wonders is to build a brand new wall to count on.
This is going to cost additional money when first starting out, but it’s a long-term solution that is better than knocking everything down and starting from scratch.
Having a double layer of wall inside of a room is going to really help with killing sound before it even goes through.
Sound will bounce off the new drywall before hitting the actual wall and going through it. To make it even better, there is now a cavity available to put in all types of material to help with soundproofing even more.
Think about throwing in some spray foam between the two layers, or anything for that matter that adds mass.
Try to allow at least a little bit of space between the walls, but not too much that the room shrinks too much. This could be done for one troublesome wall, or the entire room if necessary.
This might seem like a huge task to take on without any professional assistance, but plenty of people have been able to do it and have success.
It all comes down to following instructions and being patient with the process. Once a single wall is finished and ready to go, it gets pretty easy from there.
10. Soundproofing Methods That Do Not Work as Advertised?
Since so many people are looking for ways to improve their homes from a soundproofing perspective, it is easy to fall int the trap of using some methods that do not exactly work that well. While they may help out some, most people need to do more than just the bare minimum to really see (and hear) results.
Some of these tips have already been discussed above, but they should only be looked at as an additional option instead of something to really provide soundproofing assistance.
For example, if a person does plan on painting or using wallpaper, it is worth the extra effort to invest in something to help with soundproofing. Just do not expect it to make much of a difference by itself.
If this sounds like it is too good to be true, that is because it actually is. Soundproofing paint is going to work in a lot of the same ways as regular paint, and that also means it is not going to do much for noise.
Putting on any layer of paint is only going to add a little bit of mass to the wall, and no paint is strong enough to make any type of significant difference.
Yes, thicker paint or multiple layers of paint will technically make some of a difference, but none of the people should be thinking of this as a true solution.
Only invest in this type of paint if the goal was to put new paint on the wall in the first place. Otherwise, it is a waste of time to paint everything the same color.
Wallpaper is meant to be thin so it can go against everything to get a really heavy and thick option on the wall. Not only will it look weird, but there is a chance that it will not be able to hold up for long periods of time. The reason why wallpaper is lightweight is so that the walls can keep things up for a long time.
Between paint and wallpaper, wallpaper might make slightly more of a difference. However, people should ultimately go with whatever option they want from a design standpoint.
It is not going to make any type of difference that a person should change exactly how their home looks for very minimal changes.
Not all foams are created equally, and a common misconception is that rubber foam is going to actually help with soundproofing.
Think about the type of foam used for an exercise mat, a mouse pad, or other uses around the home. It does not have the type of materials needed to help with noise reduction, and that makes it worthless to install.
There are foams that do work but make sure that they have an NRC rating and are meant for soundproofing walls.
It needs to be able to absorb sound and also add some mass to the flat surfaces. Just collecting a bunch of foam rubber around the home and hoping for the best is not going to work.
Soundproofing Everything But The Walls
Adding carpet, rugs, and many other options out there can help to a certain degree, but their walls will still be a huge noisemaker. They are one of the most essential surfaces to treat in every single home, so blowing that part off does not make any sense.
Yes, it is easier to throw a few things down the ground and not have to worry too much about anything else. Soundproofing the floor is important to a certain extent, especially if there is sound coming from below.
However, walls produce sound from all angles, and no one wants to have to deal with the huge hassle that is going on at all times.
Having bare walls does not make sense in the first place, so putting something up will make at least somewhat of a difference.
Think of every single thing added to other flat surfaces as a bit of a bonus. At the end of the day, it all comes down to making sure the walls are covered, and that sound is not becoming a huge issue.
There are way too many people out there who think that they just have to live with what type of walls they are dealt with. Trust in the products that do work, and do not fall in love with fixes that seem too good to be true.
11. Soundproofing Insulation
Insulation is almost always linked with controlling temperature. While insulation does a great job with that, it also is very beneficial for soundproofing.
Remember that it is the same as adding in other types of mass, but the tricky part is actually getting insulation inside of an existing wall.
New construction can do this pretty easily with an added step. It’s not going to cost much at all, and it’s best to do before moving in.
For those who are trying to soundproof an existing wall, blowing insulation in the wall might be the easiest way.
Some people are very comfortable doing it themselves, but professionals can make this a pretty quick process overall.
It’s not a messy process, and doesn’t cost a lot of money either. For that reason, some will just go with a professional who has a specialized machine that will put a small hole in the wall and go from there.
Fiberglass is usually the most common material found in blowing insulation. Cellulose is another option, and the same goes for a few other similar products.
They need to be fairly lightweight, and it helps to be fire retardant as well. After all, the last thing anyone wants to do is put in a material in the wall that could end up backfiring in the end.
12. Full Wall Coverings
We’ve already talked about acoustic foam and fabric panels a bit, but there is an option to go with that is a complete wall covering. They act very similarly, but they are a bit more stylish so they fit in with a modern type of look.
Wall coverings are becoming more and more popular, which is great news for people who want to look good without necessarily spending a ton of money and wasting away with different options out there.
It’s good for those who want to do everything themselves, since they go on pretty easily as well. There’s even some textured options out there that don’t look any different from what someone would put on their walls in the first place.
Pricing is pretty affordable, which is good news for people who don’t want to waste a lot of money on something that they aren’t entirely sure about.
If a wall covering works for one area, it could end up being a perfect solution for other parts of the home as well.
Why You Should Look Into Soundproofing Walls
Most people would love to have a quieter home or business when inside. It is easy to limit distractions, it allows people to hear the sound they want to, making the area that much more welcoming.
There used to be a time when people did not really have much to fix a noisy area, but now the materials are out there to make changes without spending a lot of money.
Whether a person ultimately wants to do all of the fixtures themselves or hire a professional team to take care of things, it is worth soundproofing walls in every place else inside.
No one should be putting up with poor acoustics, especially if a room is designed for entertainment, recording, or other sound-related activities.
It might be worth giving smaller solutions a try before investing in more serious solutions if it does not seem to work.