Soundproofing Your Walls

Imagine a loud stereo next door. This airborne noise immediately enters his wall drywall and vibrates the wall studs in the wall between the two of you. This vibration will race through the wall framing and start entering your room. The framing is very conductive, so vibration passes through very easily. Your wall drywall is rigidly attached to this vibrating framing, so the vibration easily enters your wall drywall and then hits you.

Another problem with vibration entering the wall framing is that your ceiling and floor are connected to this same wall. So his sound is also entering your room through your floor and ceiling. This is known as flanking noise. Not as much sound will come through the floor and ceiling, but perhaps 30% as much as the wall, and you’re hearing it in stereo.

Solutions for Soundproofing your walls

We would prefer to treat the wall from his side to immediately destroy the vibration before it gets into your wall framing. This is generally not possible, and he probably doesn’t want to help you anyway. So really all you can do is treat the wall on your side..


Option 1 – Add drywall and Green Glue

Add two layers of standard 5/8” drywall and Green Glue. Make the wall as heavy as possible with standard $8 drywall. Install a medium coverage of Green Glue between the layers. This will reduce a great deal of the vibration, but certainly not all, since the vibration is racing through the wall framing behind the new drywall layer.
View Wall Details

Add Green Glue to your wall assembly

Option 2 – Remove drywall & add Sound Isolation Clips to the wall framing members

Remove your existing wall drywall and install standard R13 fiberglass (nothing thicker or expensive).

Then install the less expensive decoupling clips and channel. This will reduce the physical contact points when you add your new drywall and quite effectively decouple your new drywall from that original wall framing. Then double drywall and Green Glue. This solution utilizes all 4 Elements of Soundproofing.

View Wall Details
Best Soundproof Wall Assembly - STC 66


What Won't Work

NO

Installing Mass Loaded Vinyl.

Although MLV will help to some degree it is not optimal for this application. It is simply not heavy enough and will not damp the vibration in the drywall itself, which is key. MLV is also too expensive for this application.
NO

Installing Resilient Clips directly to your existing wall drywall.

We sell resilient clips, but they cannot be used on existing drywall surfaces. The small air cavity you trap will act as an amplifier for voices. Clips need to be installed on bare framing, not drywall.
NO

Simply adding more drywall.

This will make the wall heavier, but the drywall will still be very resonant and conduct vibration allowing it to continue to ring like a bell and not really improve things very much.

Soundproofing Expectations

In any soundproofing project, we would prefer to install the treatment on the sound-producing side of the wall or ceiling, though this is generally not possible. Because sound is entering your room from various points, it is not realistic or possible to remove all incoming noise. While you will never have complete silence, it is certainly possible to achieve dramatic noise reduction.

SPC - Wall Assembly Solutions