How to Soundproof a Stud Wall
Your home should be a haven, and an office must promote productivity. But despite the two having very different purposes, they have one thing in common; both have a problem with letting in noise.
The last thing you want is to hear your neighbours arguing, or someone in the next office to you talking loudly, but it’s such a common problem for people. Luckily, when it comes to stud walls, there are numerous sound insulation solutions available.
So, in this post, we’ll discuss how to soundproof your stud wall and reveal some of the best options for both home and office use. If you’re sick of trying to drown out voices, footsteps and other peoples’ televisions, then we’re here to help.
If you’re unfamiliar with how stud walls are made, it’s a relatively simple process. Vertical wooden planks (also known as the studs) with drywall on both sides. Basic stud walls have empty cavities between the drywall, which often creates issues with noise transfer.
When sound carries through the drywall, it creates an echo that becomes louder, so you hear the sound. New-built homes especially have this problem because they’re manufactured as a cost-effective solution for buyers – but they suffer due to the noise transfer.
So, with this in mind, there are basic principles for soundproofing a stud wall.
Mass is an essential element of soundproofing because it creates a barrier between the stud wall and drywalling. There are plenty of solutions to increase the mass in your wall, which we’ll go through in a bit.
Although mass works well to absorb noise, you still need to minimise the impact. Decoupling involves isolating the sides of the wall by adding staggered studying to the drywall. While this can be an effective method, it’s also challenging if you’re not a DIY expert.
Adding the correct type of insulation can make a significant difference to your soundproofing efforts. While mass matters, the material you use will ultimately be instrumental in dampening any sound waves that make their way through.
The Best Soundproofing Methods
It’s essential to use the correct methodology, which depends on whether you have an existing stud wall that needs soundproofing or building a wall.
Soundproofing An Existing Wall
It’s a lot easier to soundproof your existing stud wall, but you still need to be careful about the process. You will need to remove the wall, which can cause a lot of mess, so make sure you lay down a protective floor and remove any materials you don’t want to get damaged.
The first thing you’ll need to do is remove one side of the wall and add the insulation. If you’re insulating your living room, then it’s best to take down the side of the wall that needs the most soundproofing.
Fill the cavity with your choice of insulation (we’ll cover that later).
Next, you’ll need to add more mass to the cavity to improve the soundproofing quality. Most people add another layer of drywall, but double-layer mass loaded vinyl is a lot better because it blocks more echo.
Building a New Wall
If you want a completely effective soundproofing solution, it’s best to build a new wall. A lot of people might struggle with this because it is an extensive DIY job, so many choose to incorporate temporary walling systems to save them time and money.
Temporary walls are excellent if you want to soundproof an office or home because you can add them to the exterior of your wall and move the wall if you need to.
If you do decide to create a new wall, it’s best to use a wooden frame and build around it and combine mass-loaded vinyl with double sets of drywall.
The Best Insulation Materials
If you’re willing to spend time and money on insulating a wall, it’s important to choose the best materials that will provide a long-term solution.
While there are many insulation materials to choose between, some outperform others.
Fibreglass is one of the most effective soundproofing solutions, and it offers a great deal of protection. The thermal qualities of fibreglass trap sound, which stops it from travelling through the wall.
If you decide to use fibreglass, it’s crucial to think about the thickness before making a purchase. Naturally, thicker variations will block higher sound levels, but they also cost more – so it’s important to think about the level of protection you need.
Acoustic Mineral Wool
Mineral wool is another fantastic insulator because the spun fibre doesn’t absorb water and isn’t combustible. If you want to block sound, then it’s one of the best options available.
Foam is a cost-effective soundproofing solution that comes in either a spray or boards. The foam creates a thermal barrier that blocks sound to a certain extent. It’s not the most effective solution, but if you’re working with a small budget, you’ll probably find fibreglass and acoustic wool too expensive.
The Bottom Line
Soundproofing offers a lot of benefits, and it makes your home and work life a lot easier. It’s no secret that sound can be challenging to deal with, and when it comes through your walls, your sleep quality, happiness and leisure time can also be impacted.
Whether you decide to implement insulation to your existing walls or choose temporary walling slats to add an extra layer of protection to your existing wall surface, you should think about which is the most convenient solution for your needs.
While adding insulation to your current walls is a permanent solution, temporary walling is more flexible, which is great if you’re attending a trade show or are renting a property.
Conex Temporary Walling Systems offers a range of practical solutions, which are perfect if you’re looking for sound insulation or want to make a great impression at trade shows. We accommodate any budget and are proud of our reputation for offering value for money.
You can see our range of walling systems here.