Well, the effective ways on soundproofing a wall for the reduction of noise coming from a noisy neighbor are extremely popular and quite easier to do these days and there are various reasons to do so and if you are struggling on how to soundproof a wall from a noisy neighbor then here you go.
Due to increasing population and more demand for renting properties, it has been popular to partition the two houses with a timber board and sometimes with insulated plasterboard, however earlier most of the walls were made of bricks or block.
If you are living beside a noisy neighbor and sharing a common wall then it is obvious that you are struggling with the unwanted noise and to overcome those you can go with either soundproofing or sound-absorbing techniques.
Where soundproofing will help us to unwelcome the unwanted noise coming from noisy neighbor however sound-absorbing will help us to minimize the echos if you are unaware with this concept make sure to read a suggested guide on soundproofing vs sound-absorbing.
Noise is measured on a decibel logarithmic scale which actually tells us the intensity of the noise coming from different sources. Here are few references to the noise such as.
- 20 dB ticking watch
- 30db quiet whisper at 3ft
- 60db: Normal conversation at 3ft.
- 110 Rock music or screaming child
I think all the above are the few intensity of sound we can hear from the other side of the wall hence this guide is to overcome this level of noise step by step with affordable price options.
5 Tips on How to Soundproof a Wall?
The explained tips will explain all the possible ways on soundproofing a wall against noisy neighbor no matter it is a brick block or a plaster wood.
We will discuss all possible ways of fixing the existing wall and what if replacing the existing wall, How to create an acoustic wall and how to prevent noise from the next-door neighbor.
I have been struggling with the same when I recently moved to my new house and searched a lot on soundproofing a room and then specifically on the wall.
I have found the very best optimum solution and I did implement them based on my need and the results were good so I collected all information in a single guide to highlight for you.
There are different ways such as the creation of room inside the room or setting up another wall over the existing wall, hence let learn which one will suit best and how you are going to do this.
Identify the Cracks and Gaps on the wall
This has been observed multiple times that thin plasterboard wall are having gaps and cracks on the walls may be at the corner or another side of the walls.
This cause soundwaves to easily pass through the walls and come to your house and obvious it could be a big threat to privacy.
The most important thing you should work on first is to identify those spot which you can get at night by just close your room light and make sure your neighbor light is on.
You can see the light coming from another side of neighbor to your room and that’s the spot you have to fix first.
You can fill those cracks using the sealant and caulk both are used for the common purpose but there is a slight difference between both.
Sealant – It is more elastic and made of flexible material which can be easily expanded and shrink based on the condition it is made of silicon materials.
It makes sealant ideal for the area which is prone to expand or shrink based on temperature hence it is the best solution to fill the gap and here are few best SoundProofing Sealant(Amazon).
Caulk – It is another kind of insulating soundproofing material but it is rigid in nature when got dry. Hence it is not like a sealant to expand and shrink as it is inelastic in nature.
It makes caulk well fit on those areas where the fixing is permanent and not more prone to shrink or expand based on temperature and here are few best suggestions on best insulating caulk (Amazon).
Both of these can be used on the wall but the most recommended is the insulating sealant due to its elastic nature using the caulking gun.
This will help us to fill the gaps or cracks on the wall if you are partitioned with a thin wall like plasterboard or any wooden board.
Adding Mass loaded Vinyl (MVL)
It is the most effective solution to be added with a ceiling or wall to increase the mass and cause soundproofing in the house.
Usually, mass loaded vinyl is a sandwich in between the sheets of material to create wall-like drywall or for the ceiling which helps them to increase the mass.
MLV is a thin flexible and high STC (sound transmission class) material specially used for blocking the soundwaves. It is made of the vinyl which is a synthetic plastic material.
It doesn’t absorb sound waves as it has a reflective surface but it adds additional mass to the walls to block the pass-through of noise waves.
The other most important element with MLV is calcium silicate which is an additional mass element to make this strong barrier for soundwaves. The best part of MLV is its thickness to mass ratio.
Everything which is thicker in size always has mass but this is not the case with Vinyl which has the best thickness to mass ratio as compared to other heavy materials.
Because of all its outstanding nature, it is recommended to go first with MVL which has the ability to cover the wall with easy installation.
- Cut the MVL sheet with proper sizing of the wall and make sure to have in good shape.
- Make sure to start from the top of the wall to bottom to get a better idea on which side is fitting well.
- Start from the corner of the top of the wall to the ground floor to get proper covering or blocking of noise.
- Make sure to overlap every piece of shit with other at least 1 inch for proper coverage and fewer voids.
Well in terms of price MVL is a bit expensive as compared to other sheet but it gives you an easy way to set up a strong barrier around the wall.
For the best of market price and best suggestion you can check the Mass loaded vinyl (Amazon), make sure to check the customer review as it is a bit expensive.
Setup Drywall on top of the wall
It is the most effective solution to fix the existing solid or thin wall with the addition of mass will make that wall area denser and your job easier to trap the noise.
It will help to minimize most of the noise as it has to pass through the multiple layers instead of the earlier thin layer.
It is obvious that this is going to be a burden on your hard-earned pocket money but for quiet, peace and privacy it is worth to invest in.
Drywall is a readymade wall which prepared in a machinery house to get easy setup at the construction site and certainly cheaper as compared to cement and plaster we did in the past.
It is a Gypsum panel which is made of calcium sulfate dihydrate and some other additives depend on the purpose of their use, where all such materials are pushed between two thick sheet paper. Here both papers are designed in a way to make one as the front face and other as backed.
But having single drywall always have a problem of noise coming from the noisy neighbor so how to soundproof a wall using a layer of drywall on top of the existing wall.
Setup Resilient Channel- You can not directly drill the existing drywall to cover up with new drywall, there must be some fixing which helps you to setup layer of drywall.
This can be done through the resilient channel, it creates a decouple between the two walls and cause noise got trapped and reduce the forward movement.
It is a thin Metalic rail which screwed with the existing wall and on top of that, we can screw the new drywall as the first layer.
DryWall – It helps us to add the mass on top of the existing Drywall which in result the width of the existing wall get increase and due to screw with the resilient channel it also creates decoupling.
While considering the drywall which is having a common stud connected to both sides of the wall. If we set a resilient channel and fit another drywall on top of that will create an air pocket in between both of the walls.
Which means if your neighbor wall vibrates there is no direct connection with your wall cause less vibration on your side of the wall. Which is called the decoupling in soundwave transmission.
It is what we can refer room within a room which lose its connectivity from the neighbor wall and less transmission of the noise or soundwaves.
While setting up drywall make sure to cut its frame in size same as the wall and mark each point on the wall to which you are expecting to fit this.
Reduce the resonance using Green Glue
It is obvious that you can set drywall on top of the existing drywall which may help us to create a decouple zone where the noise waves can be trapped.
This decoupling can help us to isolate the higher frequency but not good enough for low frequencies but the air inside the cavity will transmit the trapped lower frequencies to one of the walls.
This transmission of low frequencies to your wall can be minimized by using Green glue.
Green Glue is a viscoelastic compound helpful in dampening the noise in between the two layers of drywall.
Green glue has its ability to convert the soundwaves into the heat and quite effective in dealing with the low-frequency soundwaves and reduce the sound to the interior of the structure.
This does not act as sound deadener or sound absorber but act as a sound-dampening source, So how does this work?
Remembers soundwaves is an energy wave. Which travels through the air by moving the air particles which is sort of mechanical energy hence Green glue will absorb that mechanical energy and convert that to heat.
It is another type of material which is cheap and not necessary to install but advisable in case you are struggling with low noise frequencies. Here is best of suggestion for Green Glue(Amazon).
Hence not directly but indirectly green glue can help us to dampen the soundwaves and reduce the resonance and best effective solution on How to Soundproof a Wall.
Setting up Acoustic Mat close to the wall
It is the concept of flanking noise where the soundwaves trapped in between the drywall get resonated and amplify and find out space to coming out from the wall.
Which in result more reflection, vibration, and generation of echos which further amplify and escape to your wall void area.
The best possible way to coming out is the joints around the side corners and gaps close to the ground on the room and wall.
To overcome this it is advisable to set up an acoustic mat close to the wall which could absorb as much echo as the possible and minimum transmission of the soundwaves to the room.
If there is any void left around the joints make sure to fill that with acoustic sealant as we discussed earlier.
Make sure to set up this mat in a way which connects wall with the ground and should be dense enough to absorb as much as it can.
In such a way using external mat you can soundproof a wall and Here are few you can check for reference, Best Acoustic Mat(Amazon)
Bonus Tips on Soundproof a Wall
There are few ways to overcome noise coming from the walls not by covering the wall but by fixing the room such as we set up noise absorbing material around the wall.
You can take help of the soundproof blanket to cover the wall whenever you are getting an unbearable noise which helps to absorb the echos generated in the room.
Every soft thing installed in the room is the highest source of absorbing the soundwaves and cause less reflection of the soundwaves.
So make sure to cover your window or door with soundproof curtains and set soft things like cuisine, sofas and if possible set bookshelves near the wall which has the ability to absorb the soundwaves.
If getting more echos in the room after noise coming from the other side of the wall make sure to set Acoustic foam on every possible corner of the wall where echos generated.
The best part is to cover every possible area which is a source of noise incoming and you need to make sure that part is covered with acoustic materials.
Here is all you have to try if really keen on how to soundproof a wall and let us know your comment to get a better overview for our future user users.