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  • Writer's pictureJulian Rhodes

10 Ways To Soundproof An Existing Internal Wall




Homeowners and tenants are increasingly aware of the need for soundproofing, particularly in urban areas. Whether it’s to block out loud neighbours or to prevent sounds from travelling between rooms, soundproofing existing walls can be a major challenge.


From adding absorptive material to installing sound-blocking panels and doors, there are a number of ways you can make an existing wall soundproof. In this article, we’ll share 10 of the most effective ways to soundproof an internal wall, helping you reduce sound levels and create the perfect environment in your home.


Understanding the Importance of Soundproofing


Are you tired of hearing the sounds of the outside world even when you are inside your home? Do you want to reduce the noise levels and create a peaceful environment for yourself and your family? If yes, then soundproofing your existing internal walls is the solution for you.


Before we dive into the ways of soundproofing your internal walls, let's first understand why it is important. Unwanted noise can have various negative impacts on our physical and mental health. It can cause stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. In addition, it can be a distraction when working from home or when watching a movie. Proper sound insulation is necessary to create a comfortable and peaceful living environment.


Now that we know why soundproofing is essential, let's move on to the ways that can help soundproof your internal walls and reduce noise levels:


1. Enhance the Wall Mass:



The simplest and most intuitive way to soundproof an existing internal wall is by adding mass. This strategy works on the principle that heavier and denser materials are better at blocking sound waves. Consider adding additional layers of drywall or specialized soundproofing materials like mass-loaded vinyl (MLV).


2. Diversify Mass Types:


It's crucial to remember that simply adding more of the same material won't necessarily improve soundproofing. Different materials have different soundproofing properties. So, introducing a variety of materials can help target a broader spectrum of sounds, thereby enhancing overall soundproofing.



3. Decouple the Soundproofing System:


In this strategy, the soundproofing layer is separated or "decoupled" from the existing wall. This can be achieved through techniques like resilient channel or sound isolation clips, which create a small gap between the wall and the soundproofing material, reducing the direct path for sound to travel.


4. Construct a New Frame:


Building a stud or metal frame in front of the existing wall allows you to create an entirely new barrier against sound. This wall-within-a-wall approach can be highly effective, especially when combined with other techniques.



5. Incorporate Insulation:



Adding insulation within the new stud walls can provide significant soundproofing benefits. Acoustic insulation materials like mineral wool or fibreglass are excellent choices as they are designed to absorb and dissipate sound energy.


6. Avoid Sound Absorption Panels:


While acoustic panels are great for controlling echo within a room, they are not the best solution for soundproofing walls. These panels are designed to absorb sound, not block it, making them less effective for wall soundproofing.


7. Ensure Proper Installation:


No matter the soundproofing technique you choose, proper installation is key. Any gaps or holes can significantly undermine the effectiveness of the soundproofing system. Always ensure the soundproofing material completely covers the wall, and seal all joints, edges, and potential sound leaks.


8. Select the Appropriate System:


Different noises require different soundproofing solutions. Identifying the type and level of noise you're dealing with will help you choose the most effective system. For instance, low-frequency noises may require a different approach compared to high-frequency sounds.


9. Use Proven Soundproofing Solutions:


Consider using tried and tested soundproofing solutions like the ProSound™ ReductoClip™. Such products have been designed specifically for soundproofing and can offer excellent performance when installed correctly.


10. Consult with a Soundproofing Expert:



Lastly, don't be afraid to seek professional help. Soundproofing can be a complex task, and a specialist can provide invaluable advice, guiding you to the most effective methods and materials to suit your specific needs.


Identify the Source of Noise


Before you start soundproofing an existing internal wall, you need to identify the source of the noise. The type of noise you're dealing with will determine which soundproofing technique to use.





This type of noise is caused by footsteps, dropping objects, or slamming doors. It's typically low frequency and travels through the structure of the building.


Airborne noise: This type of noise is caused by talking, music, or television. It's typically high frequency and travels through the air.


Once you have identified the source of the noise, you can determine which soundproofing technique to use. For example, if you are dealing with impact noise, you may want to focus on decoupling techniques, such as installing resilient channels or using sound isolation clips.


If you are dealing with airborne noise, you may want to consider adding an additional layer of drywall with Green Glue Compound in between or use acoustic panels.


💡 key Takeaway: Identifying the source of the noise is the first step in deciding which soundproofing technique to use.


Seal Gaps and Cracks in the Wall



Use Acoustic Sealant


Acoustic sealant is a specialized type of sealant that is designed to reduce noise transmission. It forms a flexible, airtight seal that blocks sound waves from passing through gaps and cracks on the wall. Apply acoustic sealant on all the gaps and cracks in the wall, such as around electrical outlets, light switches, and baseboards.


Install Weatherstripping


Weatherstripping is a foam or rubber material that is used to insulate gaps around doors and windows. It can also be used to seal gaps and cracks on walls. Install weatherstripping on the door and window frames or any areas where you notice air leaking through. This will help block sound from entering the room.


Use Soundproof Curtains


Soundproof curtains are made of multiple layers of dense fabric that absorb sound waves. They are designed to hang over windows and doors, but they can also be used to cover gaps and cracks in the wall. You can use adhesive strips or hooks to attach the curtains to the wall.


Apply Green Glue


Green Glue is a noise-proofing compound that is applied between two layers of drywall. It converts sound energy into heat energy by creating a vibration-damping barrier. You can also apply Green Glue as a sealant on the existing drywall to reduce noise transmission. Apply it to the back of the drywall layer before installing it to the wall.


💡 key Takeaway: Sealing gaps and cracks on the wall is an effective way to reduce noise transmission. Use acoustic sealant, weatherstripping, soundproof curtains or Green Glue to prevent sound waves from entering the room through gaps and cracks.


Use Mass Loaded Vinyl Mats




How to Install MLV Mats:


Here are the basic steps to follow when installing MLV mats:

Measure the dimension of the wall you want to soundproof and calculate the total area you need to cover.


Cut the MLV mats to the required dimensions. It is recommended to leave a little extra space on each side to ensure the maximum soundproofing effect.

Clean the surface where you plan to install the mats.


Use a high-quality adhesive to stick the mats firmly to the wall. For better results, use nails or screws to secure the MLV mats in place.


Advantages of MLV Mats:


Here are a few reasons to consider MLV mats for soundproofing your existing internal wall:

MLV mats provide excellent sound-blocking performance, reducing noise transfer by up to 30 dB.


They are easy to install, saving you time and effort.

MLV mats are relatively affordable compared to other soundproofing solutions, such as acoustic panels or soundproof curtains.


These mats have excellent fire resistance, making them a safe choice for your home.

They are flexible and can be easily cut to fit any wall size or shape.


According to the Soundproofing Company, "Mass Loaded Vinyl is the industry standard for soundproofing walls, floors and ceilings. It is effective, easy to install, and long-lasting."


💡 key Takeaway: Using mass-loaded vinyl mats is an effective and affordable way to soundproof an existing internal wall. With excellent sound-blocking properties and a relatively simple installation process, MLV mats are a great option for anyone looking to reduce noise transfer in their home or workspace.


Install Acoustic Foam Panels



💡 key Takeaway: Acoustic foam panels are an affordable and effective way to soundproof an existing internal wall. When installing the panels, it's important to choose the right type, cover the entire wall, and seal any gaps to achieve optimal soundproofing results.


Add Carpet or Curtains




Build a Second Wall or a False Ceiling


If you're struggling with noise pollution in your home, soundproofing your existing walls can be a practical solution. A resilient channel is a common way to add an extra layer of sound insulation. But sometimes, even that's not enough. In that case, building a second wall or a false ceiling can be an effective soundproofing measure.


1. What is a Second Wall or a False Ceiling?


A second wall or false ceiling is basically an addition of an extra layer of wall or ceiling on top of your existing one, with a gap in between. This gap works as an acoustic barrier, reducing the amount of sound transmitted from one room to another.


2. How to Build a Second Wall?


To build a second wall, you'll start by framing out the new wall, leaving a gap between it and the existing one. You'll then add insulation between the two walls before attaching drywall to the new frame. This is a relatively straightforward process, but it can be time-consuming and may require professional help.


3. How to Build a False Ceiling?


A false ceiling follows the same principle as a second wall creating a gap between two layers of ceilings that can work as an acoustic barrier. To build a false ceiling, you'll typically use metal tracks attached to the existing ceiling and then add channels and insulation before finishing with drywall.


4. Benefits of Building a Second Wall or a False Ceiling


Apart from being an excellent sound barrier, constructing a second wall or a false ceiling provides many other benefits:


Temperature insulation:


The gap between the two walls or ceilings can also work as a thermal insulation layer.


Additional room:


Building a second wall or false ceiling can create extra space between floors or walls suitable for storage.


Increase property value:


A well-designed soundproofing system is a desirable feature for potential home buyers, increasing the value of the property.


5. The Cost of Building a Second Wall or a False Ceiling


The cost of building a second wall or false ceiling depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the room, the complexity of the design, and the materials used. Still, it typically costs around £20-£30 per square foot.


It's essential to factor in the cost of professional help as constructing a second wall or false ceiling can be challenging.


Consult a Professional


If you're struggling to soundproof an existing internal wall on your own, it may be time to call in the experts.


Professional soundproofers have the knowledge, experience, and specialized tools needed to create a highly effective sound barrier that can significantly reduce noise transfer between rooms.


When looking for a professional soundproofing contractor, it's important to find someone who has experience in soundproofing internal walls specifically, as this type of soundproofing requires different techniques than, say, soundproofing a ceiling or floor.


Conclusion


Internal walls can be an obstacle to communication and collaboration within an organization. They can also create a sense of isolation and division, which can lead to decreased productivity and morale.


There are a number of ways to soundproof an existing internal wall, and each has its own benefits. Some methods, such as acoustic foam, are temporary and can be easily installed.


Other methods, such as soundproofing panels, are more permanent and require a bit more work. Whatever method you choose, make sure you research the available options and choose the most effective solution for your situation.


You also need to be aware of the legal implications of soundproofing your internal wall, in order to avoid any potential problems down the road. Stay tuned for more tips on how to soundproof your home.


FAQs


Q: How do you soundproof a wall that's already built?

Soundproofing an already-built wall can be achieved through a variety of methods. You can add mass to the existing structure using materials like mass-loaded vinyl or extra layers of drywall. You can also decouple the soundproofing system, effectively creating a gap between the wall and the soundproofing material to reduce sound transmission. Other methods include building a new stud or metal frame in front of the existing wall or using proven soundproofing solutions like the ProSound™ ReductoClip™. Remember, the effectiveness of these methods greatly depends on proper installation.


Q: Can you soundproof internal walls?

Yes, internal walls can be soundproofed. This can be done through the methods mentioned above such as adding mass, creating a decoupled system, or constructing a new frame. Adding insulation within the new walls can also significantly enhance soundproofing. It's important to note that the choice of method depends on the type and level of noise you want to block.


Q: Can you soundproof a wall without removing drywall?

Absolutely, soundproofing a wall without removing drywall is possible. You can add an additional layer of drywall with a damping compound between the layers to reduce sound transmission. Another method is to apply mass-loaded vinyl directly onto the drywall to increase mass and reduce sound leakage. For even better results, you might consider a combination of these methods.


Q: What is the cheapest way to soundproof an internal wall?

While soundproofing can involve some investment, there are cost-effective methods available. Adding an extra layer of drywall can be an affordable option, especially if you can do the work yourself. You might also consider soundproofing paint, although it's less effective than other methods. Another affordable solution is the use of weatherstripping tape around doors and windows to seal potential sound leaks. Remember, effectiveness may vary, and sometimes a combination of methods works best.


Q: Will soundproofing a wall work for noisy neighbours?

Yes, soundproofing can significantly reduce the noise coming from your neighbours. However, the effectiveness depends on the method used and the type of noise you're dealing with. For instance, low-frequency noises like bass sounds from music or voices can be more challenging to block. In such cases, a combination of soundproofing techniques might be needed to achieve the desired results.


Q: Will soundproofing a wall keep noise out?

Soundproofing a wall can certainly help keep noise out. The goal of soundproofing is to reduce the transmission of sound through a barrier, such as a wall. While it may not entirely eliminate all noise, a well-soundproofed wall can significantly decrease the level of sound that penetrates it, making your living or working space much quieter.

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