There are many soundproofing materials on the market today. At best, many are good products and truly useful for soundproofing, and at worst some are of questionable benefit to homeowners. We’ve condensed those products into a list of what we consider to be the 10 materials to soundproof a room in your home.
Most of these products are easily found online, while a few are more specialized and will require a special order. Using this list we’ve created, you can easily soundproof your room in your home from start to finish, and stay within your remodeling budget.
1. Roxul AFB Rockwool Insulation
It’s made of a winning combination of soundproofing rockwool and thermal insulation.It’s low cost and wide availability make it a great choice for your remodeling project.
It’s soft and flexible, making it easy to tightly stuff the batts into standard stud wall cavities. And unlike other types of soundproofing insulation, Roxul AFB can be purchased online.
2. Roxul Safe’N’Sound Insulation
It is made of a natural, fire and moisture resistant material called mineral wool (or rockwool).
Safe’N’Sound is an affordable, high quality material, but it is also hard to find in some areas, unlike the other Roxul products.
3. Green Glue Compound & SealantGreen Glue products are all the rage in soundproofing materials today. Green Glue Compound and Green Glue Sealant come packaged in the familiar caulking style dispensing tubes, making it extremely easy to apply in your project.
Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound is used as a sound dampening material in the construction of soundproof walls. When applied between layers of drywall, it can actually dissipate the sound vibrations that pass through walls and floor.
Green Glue Sealant is used to seal holes, seams, and gaps in walls, ceilings, and open spaces like around electrical boxes, fixtures, and screw holes. These open spaces can be the weak link in your soundproofing project. A sealant will fill in those spaces and reduce noise leakage.
4. Quiet Glue SealantQuietGlue Pro Sealant is a quality, alternative soundproofing material to Green Glue. Quiet Glue can be used in all the same ways as Green Glue Compound, and Green Glue Sealant.
Quiet Coat is is a spray on polymer material, that can be used on a variety of non-porous surfaces to dampen vibration from sound as well.
5. Soundproof Foam PanelsSoundproof (acoustic) foam is a specially formed sheet of material designed to deflect, dampen, and absorb unwanted sounds. They are commonly used in studios and home theater and entertainment centers.
They are typically installed on walls where noise reflection is a problem, or as ceiling tiles to cut down echo and reverberation. Do not compare these products to the “egg crate” variety foam. Acoustic foam panels have been designed and tested for soundproofing/sound absorption use in professional and home use.
6. Resilient Channels, Sound ClipsResilient Channels are specially designed sheet metal rails that are mounted across the studs of walls and ceiling joists. They lay over the soundproofing insulation, and the drywall is attached not to the studs, but directly to the resilient channels. Studies have shown that the typical experience is a gain of up to 5 STC levels when properly installed into a ceiling or wall.
This arrangement may look strange, but in practice it acts as a sound shock absorber of sorts. Rather than the sound being transferred through the standard rigid wall assembly, it is absorbed and redirected by the resilient channels.
7. Soundproof DrywallSoundproof drywall is like sheet rock on steroids. It combines multiple layers of gypsum board, and layers of material like steel, to increase its mass and density, and thereby blocking sound. This increase in mass and density can greatly improve STC ratings when soundproofing a room, or soundproofing walls. While soundproof drywall is more expensive, it may be worth the investment when you consider a potential performance upgrade.
8. Soundproof CurtainsIndustrial noise can be controlled with the installation of sound curtains. These curtains are made of quilted fiberglass or rockwool layers, sandwiched over mass loaded vinyl. These curtains are stiffer than most, and are hung on frames making them mobile and easy to surround a particularly noisy piece of equipment or area.
For the home, acoustic curtains are meant to improve the sound in a room, as opposed to blocking sound from leaving or entering. Our favorite acoustic curtains are the Absolute Zero Blackout Curtains.
A typical acoustic curtain uses quality, heavyweight, plush fabrics combined soundproofing materials like mass loaded vinyl to dampen sound and reduce echo. While these curtains are usually special order products, the alternative is to buy quality, heavyweight blackout curtains. For more info, check out our guide to acoustic curtains for home theaters.
9. Soundproof Paint
Soundproof paint has been called “a myth”, but let’s look at this group of soundproofing materials and you can decide.
Soundproofing paints on the market can be rolled on, or sprayed on. Paints can only be applied in thin layers, so spraying will allow a thicker coat and is the recommended method of application.
Since we know that soundproofing relies on mass to block and absorb sound, you can expect that soundproof paint will not be the magic bullet to your noise problem.
But, the paint manufacturers have claimed you will realize a 3-7 STC point increase from using their product.
10. Soundproof Windows
These specially designed windows are constructed of several thick panes of glass, usually with a layer of air or inert gas trapped in between to prevent sound waves from leaking indoors.
Soundproof windows are most often installed right over the top of the existing window, using spring loaded frames on tracks.
If you live in a big city, the reduction of outside sounds transmitted into your living or working area can be dramatic, and could easily justify their cost.