Soundproof wallpapers sound too good to be true, the concept is simple enough; dense paper which can be pasted onto the wall, just like any other wallpaper but which will help dampen sound coming into the room.
Let’s be clear; no paper, no matter how thick it is, will transform any room from sounding like the inside of a drum to the inside of a library.
But can wallpaper really make a noticeable difference? Is it worth bothering with?
Does Soundproof Wallpaper Work?
Acoustic wallpaper works by layering, instead of just being made up of a simple patterned sheet like most wallpapers is.
It is made from multiple layers which help break up and disrupt sound waves as they travel through it.
Some soundproof wallpapers also contain a layer of insulation inside them which further dampens your wall against sound.
If you buy a decent soundproof wallpaper then yes, it will work. However, as with all things soundproofing, it will work only to a certain extent.
It will not stop loud noises getting through however it may take the edge off low background ambient noises such as conversation which can be faintly heard through a wall.
However if you are hoping that thick wallpaper will provide the solution to the problem of your neighbours loud music or the fierce rumbling traffic going past your house then you will be disappointed.
Sound resistant wallpaper works only if you don’t expect too much of it!
Benefits Of Sound Resistant Wallpapers
So we have established that Acoustic Wallpaper is not fiction, it does exist and it does work..to a limited extent.
If by this point you have realistic expectations of what soundproof wallpaper can do for you and are still interested in finding out more, then it is worth knowing what the benefits of it are and why you might consider it over other soundproofing methods:
The primary benefit of soundproof wallpaper is that is is significantly cheaper than other soundproofing methods. You don’t have to spend half of your family budget wallpaper your home.
Sure it’s effectiveness is reflected in it’s cheap price but if you are just looking to turn down ambient background noises then there is no need to break the bank to do it.
Adds Style To Your Home
Wallpaper adds a splash of colour and style to your home, normally decoration is something which has to be done after a soundproofing project has been completed.
With wallpaper decoration is at the heart of the project, so once you’re done your room will look great and no further decoration will be required to finish your soundproofing project off.
Quick & Easy Installation
Installation is quick and simple, paste your wall and stick the paper to it (making sure it is hanging straight), it’s the same method you would use for any wallpaper whether it is acoustic or not.
Cut the ends off and you’re done! It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, providing you’re not papering a mansion!
High Stereo Experience
Sound resistant wallpapers not only help (slightly) in providing a barrier from sounds entering your homes but also from them leaving as well.
Watching movies, sports, games, music or basically, any form of stereo media just got better. It can help your lounge feel more like the local Odeon when you dim the lights and get a good film on.
Fire and Smoke Resistance
Soundproof wallpapers are designed to meet the required interior smoke and fire standards, so you needn’t have to worry about it being a fire hazard. Adding thick sound resistant wallpaper will increase the fire resistance of your room.
Additional Ways To Increase The Effectiveness of Your Sound Resistant Wallpaper
Wallpaper, no matter how thick or sound resistant it claims to be, has its limitations, but there are things you can pair with it to improve its performance:
These soundproof paints help in damping mid-range sound waves at a budget price. It has a thin layer of about 30 to 40 thousandths of an inch.
These are even less effective than wallpaper at blocking sound however if you paint a few coats underneath your wallpaper the cumulative effect of the two combined can be noticeable.
- Quite appealing to the eye.
- Easy to apply.
- Thin layer means it doesn’t take up much space.
- Paints offer extremely minimal noise protection.
- Relatively expensive compared to standard paints.
- Comes in a limited range of colours (though this isn’t a problem if you are putting it behind your wallpaper).
This is one of the oldest forms of commonly used insulation, it is simple and effective. And can be blown into your cavity wall using a big machine, however it is more typically used for heat insulation than sound, but it will transfer some sound insulation.
- Provides protection from heat and cold.
- Limited noise insulation.
- Fairly expensive.
Acoustic foam panels:
These soft sponge-like materials form foam panels that help absorb sound and prevent sound reverberating around a room.
- Cheap and very easy to install.
- They look quite ugly!
- Requires regular cleaning to prevent the gathering of dust and dirt.
- They don’t block sound they instead absorb it, so they are better for improving the acoustics of a cinema room than they are for stopping sound leaving a room.
These are very effective sound barriers especially which are typically hung on a stud wall frame so will require significantly more work than wallpaper to install them correctly.
- Good at deadening airborne sounds.
- Require more work to install.
- More expensive than wallpaper
Decorations and Wall Hangings:
This method employs the basic knowledge that it’s much harder for sound to travel in a filled up room.
Wall hangings and furniture can be used to achieve this, plants, pictures, paintings and more can be used to cover up walls thereby disrupting soundwaves.
- Easy to apply
- Improves the appearance of your apartment
- Cost is totally up to you and depends on your preferences
- The room could easily become congested thereby restricting movement.