How to Soundproof a Wall? {7 Effective ways}

How to Soundproof a Wall? {7 Effective ways}

Is noisy traffic or loud neighbors driving you crazy?

We’ve all been there, and it’s no fun when you can’t get a good night’s sleep or concentrate on your tasks because of all the noises. 

But don’t worry—soundproofing your walls can help you because it has helped me. 

Whether you want to soundproof walls between rooms, or from noisy neighbors, this article is going to help you.

In this article, we’ll share 7 effective ways to soundproof your walls so that you can get a good night’s sleep and work more productively and effectively without distracting from those noises.

Let’s get started…

7 Ways to soundproof an existing wall

So get straight to the point and uncover the 7 most effective ways to soundproof an existing wall.

1

Find gaps and cracks in the wall and seal them

Fixing gaps and cracks in the wall is really, really important. Seriously, this can’t be overstated—it’s incredibly important!

Even the tiniest crack can let in a surprising amount of noise, making all your other soundproofing efforts less effective.    

First, take a good look at your walls using a flashlight. Pay close attention to spots around windows, doors, and electrical outlets.

Once you’ve found the gaps, it’s time to seal them up. Grab an acoustic sealant and simply fill in all the gaps and cracks you found. It’s a relatively easy and affordable task, so it’s a great place to start

2

Install acoustic wood wall panels

wood diffusion panels

If you are hunting for an easy to do and an aesthetically pleasing way to soundproof your wall then install acoustic wood wall panels to your wall. 

It is a highly effective type of panel that can reduce noise by up to 23 dB which is massive.

They are very good at sound absorbing but the in-built wood also helps in blocking some sound.

Installation is very easy, all you need to do is attach them to the wall and secure them with nails. That’s it! 

3

Fill the wall cavity with mineral wool insulation

how to soundproof wall

If your wall is hollow, the best thing you can do to soundproof your wall is to fill it with mineral wool insulation.

Also known as rock wool, this type of insulation is highly effective for soundproofing because it’s denser than other types, making it excellent at dampening sound.

Here are the steps you need to take to soundproof your wall by filling the wall cavities with mineral wool insulation:

Assess Your Wall:

  • Determine if your walls are already open or if you need to create access points. If your walls are closed, you might need to remove some drywall to get to the wall cavities.

Gather Your Materials:

Prepare the Area:

  • Ensure you have easy access to the wall cavities.
  • Wear gloves, a mask, and goggles to protect yourself from dust and fibers.

Cut the Insulation:

  • Measure the height and width of the wall cavities.
  • Use a utility knife or insulation saw to cut the mineral wool to size. It’s better to cut the pieces slightly larger than the cavity for a snug fit.

Install the Insulation:

  • Insert the cut pieces of mineral wool into the wall cavities, ensuring there are no gaps.
  • For best results, compress the insulation slightly to ensure it fills the entire space.
  • Use insulation supports or staples to secure the insulation if necessary.

Seal and Close the Wall:

  • Once all the cavities are filled, seal any openings with caulk or acoustic sealant to prevent sound leakage.
  • Replace the drywall or any wall coverings you removed earlier.

Finishing Touches:

  • If you’ve had to cut into your drywall, patch and paint the wall to restore its appearance.
4

Install another layer of drywall

Add a layer of the drywall sheet on the wall

Adding an extra layer of drywall is a highly effective method to enhance soundproofing in your space.

This technique not only adds mass to the wall, which helps block sound waves,

but it also creates an additional barrier that noise has to pass through, making it much more difficult for sound to travel from one side to the other.

Here are steps to install an additional layer of drywall for soundproofing a wall:

Materials and Tools You’ll Need:

  • Drywall sheets
  • Green Glue (soundproofing compound)
  • Drywall screws
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Drywall joint tape
  • Joint compound
  • Sanding block or sandpaper
  • Safety gear (gloves, mask, goggles)

Steps to Install Another Layer of Drywall:

  1. Prepare the Wall:
    • Clear the area and remove any obstacles from the wall.
    • Make sure the existing wall surface is clean and free of any protrusions.
  2. Measure and Cut Drywall:
    • Measure the dimensions of your wall to determine how many sheets of drywall you’ll need.
    • Use a utility knife to cut the drywall sheets to the correct size.
  3. Apply Green Glue:
    • Apply Green Glue to the back of each drywall sheet. Green Glue is a viscoelastic compound that helps to dampen sound vibrations.
    • Spread the glue evenly over the entire surface, using a caulking gun for application.
  4. Install the Drywall:
    • Press the drywall sheet firmly against the existing wall, ensuring it’s properly aligned.
    • Use drywall screws to secure the new drywall to the studs. Screws should be placed about 16 inches apart along the edges and in the center of the sheet.
    • Repeat this process for each drywall sheet, ensuring they fit snugly together.
  5. Seal the Seams:
    • Apply drywall joint tape over the seams where the sheets meet.
    • Use a putty knife to apply joint compound over the tape, smoothing it out to create a seamless finish.
    • Allow the compound to dry, then sand it down to a smooth surface.
  6. Finishing Touches:
    • Once all seams are sealed and sanded, you can prime and paint the new drywall to match your room’s décor.
5

Install MLV with drywall

Adding Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) with drywall is a fantastic way to boost the soundproofing of your walls.

MLV is a dense, flexible material designed specifically for soundproofing, effectively blocking sound waves due to its high mass.

When combined with drywall, it creates a formidable barrier against noise. Here are the steps you need to take.

Materials and Tools You’ll Need:

  • Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
  • Drywall sheets
  • Drywall screws
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Adhesive (optional, for attaching MLV)
  • Green Glue (optional, for additional soundproofing)
  • Drywall joint tape
  • Joint compound
  • Sanding block or sandpaper
  • Safety gear (gloves, mask, goggles)

Steps to Install MLV with Drywall:

  1. Prepare the Wall:
    • Clear the area around the wall to ensure you have enough space to work.
    • Make sure the existing wall surface is clean and free of any protrusions or obstructions.
  2. Measure and Cut MLV:
    • Measure the dimensions of your wall to determine how much MLV you’ll need.
    • Use a utility knife to cut the MLV to size. MLV is typically sold in rolls, so cut pieces to fit the height and width of your wall.
  3. Attach MLV to the Wall:
    • Option 1 – Adhesive: Apply adhesive to the back of the MLV and press it firmly against the wall. Make sure it is smooth and free of wrinkles.
    • Option 2 – Mechanical Fastening: Use nails or staples to attach the MLV to the wall studs. Place fasteners about 16 inches apart along the edges and in the middle of the sheet.
    • Overlap the edges of the MLV pieces by a few inches to ensure there are no gaps where sound can leak through.
  4. Install Drywall:
    • If you’re using Green Glue, apply it to the back of the drywall sheet. Green Glue is a viscoelastic compound that helps to dampen sound vibrations.
    • Press the drywall sheet against the MLV-covered wall, ensuring it’s properly aligned.
    • Use drywall screws to secure the new drywall to the studs. Screws should be placed about 16 inches apart along the edges and in the center of the sheet.
    • Repeat this process for each drywall sheet, ensuring they fit snugly together.
  5. Seal the Seams:
    • Apply drywall joint tape over the seams where the sheets meet.
    • Use a putty knife to apply joint compound over the tape, smoothing it out to create a seamless finish.
    • Allow the compound to dry, then sand it down to a smooth surface.
  6. Finishing Touches:
    • Once all seams are sealed and sanded, you can prime and paint the new drywall to match your room’s decor.
    • Clean up any dust and debris from the installation process.
6

Hang high STC soundproof blanket

how to soundproof an existing wall

This technique is particular best for soundproofing apartment walls.

High STC (Sound Transmission Class) soundproof blankets are an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce noise.

These blankets are made from thick, dense materials that absorb sound waves, making them an excellent choice for improving soundproofing in your home or office.

Unlike some other soundproofing methods, soundproof blankets are easy to hang and require minimal effort.

They can be easily removed and repositioned as needed. 

Here how to get it done:

Materials and Tools You’ll Need:

  • High STC soundproof blankets
  • Hooks or nails
  • Ladder (if needed)

Steps to Hang High STC Soundproof Blankets:

  1. Choose Attachment Points:
  • Decide where you will attach the hooks or nails to hang the blankets.
  • For the best results, place hooks or nails at the top of the wall and, if necessary, along the sides and bottom to secure the blankets firmly in place.
  1. Install Hooks or Nails:
  • Use a ladder if needed to reach the top of the wall.
  • Install hooks or nails at the chosen attachment points, ensuring they are securely fastened to support the weight of the blankets.
  1. Hang the Blankets:
  • Start by hanging the first blanket at one end of the wall.
  • Attach the top edge of the blanket to the hooks or nails, ensuring it hangs straight and covers the wall evenly.
  • If the blanket is not wide enough to cover the entire wall, hang additional blankets next to each other, overlapping the edges slightly to prevent sound from leaking through gaps.
7

Use combination of materials for more superior soundproofing

Combining different soundproofing materials and techniques can provide a more comprehensive and effective solution to noise problems.

By layering and mixing methods, you can address a wider range of sound frequencies and sources.

For example, you can combine using Mineral wool + MLV + drywall to get a superior level of noise reduction.

Even though you are not satisfied with the level of noise reduction, you can go with a soundproof blanket over it for even more noise reduction.

How much does it cost to soundproof a wall?

Soundproofing a wall can cost from $7 to up to $1,600 depending on the method and you are using to soundproof your wall.

Here’s an estimate for each soundproofing method mentioned in the article.

1. Seal Gaps and Cracks

  • Acoustic Sealant (per tube): $7 – $15
  • Average Coverage: 1 tube covers about 20 linear feet.

2. Acoustic Wood Wall Panels

  • Acoustic Wood Wall Panels (per panel): $50 – $200
  • Average Coverage per Panel: 8 square feet
  • Panels for a 100 sq ft wall (assuming 8 panels): $400 – $1,600

3. Mineral Wool Insulation

  • Mineral Wool Insulation (per batt): $50 – $70
  • Coverage per Batt: About 40 sq ft
  • Insulation for a 100 sq ft wall (assuming 3 batts): $150 – $210

4. Extra Layer of Drywall

  • Drywall Sheets (4’x8′, per sheet): $10 – $20
  • Sheets for a 100 sq ft wall (assuming 3 sheets): $30 – $60
  • Green Glue (per tube): $15 – $25
  • Green Glue for a 100 sq ft wall (assuming 3 tubes): $45 – $75
  • Drywall Screws, Tape, and Compound: $20 – $50

5. Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)

  • MLV (per square foot): $2 – $3
  • MLV for a 100 sq ft wall: $200 – $300
  • Drywall (same as above): $30 – $60
  • Green Glue (same as above): $45 – $75
  • Drywall Screws, Tape, and Compound (same as above): $20 – $50

6. High STC Soundproof Blankets

  • Soundproof Blankets (per blanket): $40 – $100
  • Blankets for a 100 sq ft wall (assuming 4 blankets): $160 – $400
  • Hooks or Nails: $10 – $20

7. Combination of Methods

  • Mineral Wool Insulation: $150 – $210
  • MLV: $200 – $300
  • Extra Layer of Drywall (including Green Glue, Screws, Tape, and Compound): $95 – $185
  • Optional Soundproof Blankets: $160 – $400

Know more: https://www.secondskinaudio.com/sound-blocking/cost-of-soundproofing-walls/

#

How to effectively soundproof wall from neighbors?

You already know how much noise can impact your life.

If you’re living in an apartment, your neighbors are likely the main source of that noise. To reduce it, soundproofing is essential.

To soundproof a wall from noisy neighbors, consider installing acoustic wood wall panels or hanging soundproof curtains or blankets with a high NRC rating to absorb as much noise as possible.

If you have a bigger budget, you can explore more advanced methods detailed in this article. For a mid-range budget, combining wood panels with soundproof blankets can provide significant noise reduction.

#

How to soundproof bedroom wall?

In my opinion, the best way to soundproof a bedroom wall is to attach acoustic wood wall panels. These panels look great and blend seamlessly with your decor, unlike curtains.

Another effective technique is to add a layer of drywall. If the wall is hollow, fill it with acoustic mineral wool insulation to increase its mass and block noise.

For even better results, add mass loaded vinyl (MLV) and another layer of drywall over the insulation.

#

How to soundproof wood walls?

Soundproofing a wood wall requires a bit more work than other walls, but it can be done effectively by following these steps:

  • First of all, inspect the wood wall for any gaps or cracks that might let sound through and seal them using acoustic sealant.
    • Pay special attention to areas around windows, doors, and electrical outlets.
  • Next, purchase acoustic wood wall panels according to your wall size.
    • And attach these panels to the wall using screws.
  • For even better results, you can attach Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) to the back of the wood wall panels.
    • Cut the MLV to size and secure it with heavy-duty staples.
    • Then, attach this combination to the walls using screws.

In my opinion, this method is the best way to soundproof a wood wall and can reduce noise by up to 33 to 35 decibels.

All the products required for this method are highlighted in blue for your convenience.

Conclusion

Soundproofing a wall can be achieved through a mix of sealing gaps, adding insulation, and layering soundproofing materials like MLV and drywall.

Tailor your approach to your specific needs, whether it’s a full-scale soundproofing project or a budget-friendly solution.

With these strategies, you can create a quieter, more peaceful environment in your home or office.

Happy soundproofing! 😊

Author

  • Mr. Ashish

    Hey there, I am Ashish, the founder and editor of SoundProof-Addict. With over 6 years of experience in soundproofing. My dedication to detail and pursuit of excellence has earned me a reputation for consistently delivering high-quality results. I also have almost 2 years of experience in interior designing. Other than that, I like soundproofing my cat.

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