Soundproofing your walls is crucial to effectively soundproofing any room.
Walls take up the most surface area in any room so there are plenty of opportunities for sound to leak through all over the place. Because of the size of your walls soundproofing them is likely to make a far more significant impact than soundproofing your doors or windows will alone.
Modern internal walls are quick, cheap, easy and efficient to install. Unfortunately they are not particularly soundproof at all.
The empty void inside a stud wall allows sound to echo creating a drum effect which amplifies the sound.
Mass is very important for blocking sound and stud walls have very little mass, usually their mass consists 12mm of plasterboard on either side of the joists and nothing more.
Solid brick walls are far better at preventing the transfer of sound but some walls are too solid for their own good, walls which have been built without a cavity in the middle will carry vibrations straight through from one side to the other.
This is not great if you have a neighbour who loves loud music, loud TV, loud DIY or anything loud to be honest!
Brick walls and stud walls present different challenges and there are different ways of soundproofing them.
Here are some of the best ways to tackle each type of wall:
Stud walls are timber-framed walls which do not bear much weight but rather divide up space in your home.
They’re quick, easy and efficient to put together however they are not good at preventing noise from travelling through your home as they are usually hollow with no insulation.
There are many different methods you can use to soundproof a stud wall, ranging from creating a room inside a room (this is meant to be the most effective method of soundproofing however it reduces the space inside your room so isn’t desirable for many people) to using soundproof paint or soundproof wallpaper (both of these are not particularly useful except for very low-level noise) or simple whacking on some soundproofing panels and leaving it at that.
Our guide to turning your stud walls from echo chambers into impenetrable sound barriers won’t make your room a foot smaller but it is far more effective than just doing the bear minimum.
You will need the following soundproofing materials:
Once you have assembled the necessary tools and equipment take the following steps:
If your internal wall has an air vent in it this can be a big sound leak, it's no good soundproofing your entire wall only to have all the sound continue to leak through the air vent, so check out this article for some tips on how to soundproof an air vent.
Brick walls will typically be the external wall on your house, your may share a brick wall with a noisy neighbour (these are also known as party walls as they are shared between two parties).
Soundproofing your external brick walls can turn an awful living situation into a comfortable one where you can sleep peacefully at night.
Brick walls present a different challenge to stud walls. They can often be far easier to soundproof as there is much less you can do with them.
The easiest way to soundproof a party wall is to install soundproofing panels.
Soundproofing panels work by reducing vibrations through your wall, they are typically between 25mm to 40mm thick they do a great job of absorbing all the vibrations that solid walls are sometimes all too good at transmitting!
Depending on the panels you buy they will come in sizes of around 1m x 1m. Simply buy enough to cover your problem wall.
Screw them into place (you will have to cut the panels at the edge of the wall to fit) and then decorate over them and you’re good to go!
If the reason for your soundproofing project is that you are building yourself a recording studio or a home cinema then creating a room with minimal sound distortion, vibration and echo is crucial.
Simply soundproofing your walls isn’t enough as sound will easily bounce off them straight back into your microphone making your recording sound cheap and echoey or reducing the perceived quality of the audio of the film you are watching.
To build a room which allows for optimal recording conditions you must clad the completed wall with acoustic foam wedge tiles.
These absorb sound rather than allowing it to bounce around the room, this will give your studio the professional sounding edge that you need.
Acoustic foam will also reduce the amount of sound that escapes from a room too.
Installing acoustic foam is quite simple, simply follow these steps: