There are many different ways to divide up space in a home, and nothing should be overlooked when it comes to making a space a little bit more livable. One option that a lot of people are turning to is utilizing flex walls to divide up large spaces. Instead of making any permanent changes to a home, this is a relatively quick and easy way to switch up a look without much effort.
With convenience and a temporary feel, the drawback always seems to be about true isolation when creating this brand new room. Since it is not the same as a standard room, it is hard to block out sound completely. Often times, a flex wall consists of just one sheet of drywall, so it is unrealistic to think that it is going to block too much sound by itself.
The good news is that soundproofing material is relatively easy to find these days, and a little bit of work can go along way towards making things better.
Soundproofing a flex wall does not have to be difficult, and although the results might not be the exact same as a standard wall, it is still going to be a lot quieter.
Below, we take a look at two methods that work the best for soundproofing a flex wall. Install results are possible, and there are some add-ons to consider as well for more noise control.
Materials for Soundproofing a Flex Wall
The biggest issue for any flex wall is that it lacks the same amount of mass as a standard wall. That is why it is imperative to add mass, and sometimes it takes layers of it to make a difference.
Mass Loading Drywall
Mass loaded vinyl is probably the best option for those to turn to that need soundproofing done on a flex wall. This vinyl sheeting is very dense, and it has a good amount of weight as well. Some people will use just a single layer to help out, while others will add as much as possible.
Mass loaded vinyl is used pretty frequently in other types of construction as well, so keep that in mind. It can be cut and shaped for any location, so do not throw away any extra pieces.
A lot of people like the fact that mass loaded vinyl is non-toxic, although it does smell a bit odd at first when new packaging is opened. It is made of synthetic materials, and that usually leads to a weird odor at first. There is nothing to be worried about, but some people are turned off by that.
This material works best at fighting against airborne noise. It still handles impact noise fairly well, but not to the same level overall. With that said, mass loaded vinyl is the first option any person should turn to for a flex wall.
Additional Drywall Layers
As mentioned before, a lot of flex walls consist of just one layer of drywall. It might be the easiest way to set up a separate room, but it is not exactly going to do much for controlling sound.
One method a lot of people use to help kill sound is to work on decoupling with the layers of drywall. This is to create a little bit of space in between the two layers so that sound waves find it very difficult to pass through.
The problem a lot of people face is that they want to utilize as much space as possible, but they also do not want to eat into the workable space they have in their new area.
Make sure to use an acoustic compound (Amazon) to close up any gaps with existing and new drywall to help out with the soundproofing process. There are bound to be a few spots that are vulnerable to sounds passing through, so it is important to utilize an acoustic sealant (Amazon).
Another thing that helps is adding dense insulation foam with the layers of drywall. This ends up taking up a bit more space, but it helps significantly with soundproofing as well.
It is just a matter of how much sound is becoming an issue inside a closed-off area. People want to find that balance that works for them, without giving up too much valuable space.
Keep in mind that not everyone is going to have the opportunity to use additional drywall to help with a flex wall. If a person is renting instead of owning, they might be limited to what they can and can’t do. It is important to ask before starting any new project because it could break any agreements with the landlord.
Methods That Do Very Little For Soundproofing Flex Walls
There might be some people out there passing along information that just does not work on a flex wall. In fact, these solutions should probably be avoided altogether, as they usually take up more space than they are worth.
Anything super lightweight like acoustic foam and egg boxes do not work with these projects. Acoustic foam is more for acoustic conditioning, not soundproofing.
Egg boxes really show minimal signs of helping control sounds at all. It is more of a myth at this point to use this household item, even if they resemble soundproofing material.
Anything that takes up a lot of space is just a counterproductive way to go about soundproofing a flex wall. People use a flex wall for the sole purpose of creating space quickly and keeping things very efficient. If layers and layers are added, the space shrinks quickly and starts to look bad.
Soundproof curtains work to a certain extent, but most people will find better options out there. It is a quick way to make some changes, but it is often not recommended over adding mass loaded vinyl or another layer of drywall.
The only benefit is that it is very easy to put up, and then take down if needed. Nothing technically needs to be installed, although it usually looks better if the curtains are hung a certain way.
How Realistic is Soundproofing a Flexible Wall?
It is not exactly a straightforward process when soundproofing a flex wall, and there are challenges that a person faces that just are not there with a standard wall.
Since it is not a permanent structure, a person does not start with the same type of construction to add mass. This makes things a little difficult, but most people find a way to see some results that they can be pleased about.
Most people will be able to try out some methods without having to hire someone else to help with soundproofing. If it does need an extra layer of drywall, that might be where people draw the line and hire a contractor to help out. Adding temporary soundproofing solutions, or mass loaded vinyl is very straightforward and relatively inexpensive.
Most people find out that mass loaded vinyl is far and away, the best option for a flex wall. If it does a sufficient job of helping with sound, this is the perfect material that does not take up too much space. Simply add a layer or two, and experience the difference.
Not all mass loaded vinyl is created the same. In fact, the same goes for any material used for soundproofing. Make sure to find high-quality material to use that will be the most efficient at all times. The last thing a person should do is skimp on something like this. High-quality materials will last for a long time if installed correctly.
Filling all the gaps is extremely important when using anything for soundproofing methods. Just a little bit of a gap can let sound leak in and out of a closed-off area. This is where an acoustic sealant like Green Glue really comes in handy.
Finally, as straightforward as it all might seem, do not be afraid to ask for assistance if the project becomes too much. Yes, it will end up costing a little more money, but it is worth it in the end for people who want meaningful results.