Green Glue is the most popular noise damping compound on the market, used extensively by professionals in the acoustics industry as well as remodelers and the DIY type for all kinds of new constructions and renovations.
The problem is Green Glue can be expensive to use on larger projects. Consider that a $200+ case of 12 tubes would cover only 4 to 6 pieces of 4’ x 8’ drywall. At the recommended coverage an average-sized home theater room could run close to $1,000 in noise proofing compound!
If you are starting a new project it is worth looking into your options for a Green Glue alternative. This guide will walk you through what Green Glue is, the top alternatives, and some products you should not use to save you time and money.
The Top Alternatives are:
What is Green Glue?
When most people say “Green Glue” they are referring to the tubes of light green Noiseproofing Compound that is applied between layers of drywall. But there are actually two Green Glue products with two distinct purposes.
- Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound: is a viscoelastic polymer (both viscous and elastic after curing) that converts sound energy into heat energy. When used between two layers of material, the compound isolates noise from transmitting between rooms. It has the texture of caulk and a light green color.
- Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant: is an off-white caulk like compound designed to acoustically seal drywall seams and around electrical fixtures. Like the Noiseproofing Compound, the sealant remains flexible after curing, reducing sound transmission that would normally leak through any unsealed gaps in the drywall.
Green Glue can be used in any building project, whether a remodel job or new construction. It is not just for residential use, as commercial buildings, apartment complexes, manufacturing buildings, and more can use Green Glue.
Anyone can apply Green Glue using a caulking gun and easily apply it between soundproofing building materials like drywall and another layer of gypsum.
- 6 Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant Tubes w/ nozzles - each tube is 29 oz
- Includes Specialty Cleanup wipes and TMS installation guide
- Sound rated caulk - Seal penetrations and perimeter gaps from sound leaks
How Green Glue Works
Green Glue compound works because it acts as a damping layer between rigid wall materials like drywall. It maintains a viscoelastic form after curing, which means it is both elastic and liquid at the same time. This converts sound energy into heat energy rather than transmitting through the hard surfaces of the wall.
Simply put, it means fewer sound waves traveling from the room being treated into other rooms.
To get the best results, Green Glue data suggests that the thicker the wall material, and additional materials such as fiberglass, can increase the Sound Transmission Class rating. Adding mass to the wall assembly only brings out the benefits of Green Glue. The studs can also make a difference, with steel studs adding more to the sound dampening abilities of Green Glue.
Installing Green Glue
Part of the appeal of the Green Glue compound is how easy it is to install. All you need is a caulk gun to evenly disperse large beads of the compound onto the backside of the second drywall layer.
There is no special dispensing pattern needed, just cover all areas and the compound will smoosh across the surface area when the new gypsum board is attached to the existing drywall. After 30 days the compound will be fully cured.
Keep in mind Green Glue compound is not actually an adhesive. You must screw the second layer of drywall into the studs according to your local building codes.
How much Green Glue would you need?
- Budget Install: 1 tube per 4ft x 8ft drywall sheet
- Standard Install: 2 tubes per sheet for 30%
- Optimal Install: 3 tubes per sheet for best low-frequency performance
When you calculate the amount of material need for your project, you might be surprised at the dollar amount needed. This is why alternatives to Green Glue are always in demand, despite the great performance.
Top Green Glue Alternatives
When researching alternatives to Green Glue, be sure you are comparing something that does the same thing. Comparing a noise proofing compound to an acoustic sealant is counterproductive. We’ve compiled a list of suitable products that are a comparable alternative to Green Glue.
1. QuietGlue Pro Damping Compound
While there are many acoustic sealant alternatives, QuietGlue Pro is the only real alternative around to Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound.
Quiet Glue Pro is the only other material specifically sold as a sound dampening compound. It also comes in large (28oz) tubes and applied on the backside of the drywall. It’s a low-odor water-based compound that is easy to use, ideal for any wood or drywall construction.
While Green Glue has a 15 minute work time, Quiet Glue Pro has a longer 1-2 hour work time, buying you some precious time to set up and prepare to screw the drywall boards to the wall or ceiling.
QuietGlue Pro is advertised as being high-performance yet less expensive than Green Glue. But there are some reasons to question this.
- First, there are no published tests on the effectiveness of a QuietGlue installation. Green Glue has tested and published dozens of test studies.
- Second, there are multiple concerning reviews who had difficulty with the material failing to cure causing a slow dripping mess.
If you choose to try QuietGlue Pro we recommend you buy a single tube to test on scrap material before committing a big purchase.
2. Auralex Acoustics STOPGAP Sealant
Auralex StopGap Sealant is water-based, viscoelastic, and great for reducing sound transmissions around gaps in your wall structures, with a decent STC value at that.
- Stopgap Acoustical Sealant is a highly elastic, water-based sealant used for reducing sound...
- Stopgap is paintable and nonstinging
- meets ASTM C-834 standards for flame
While the Stopgap compound has a different formula than Green Glue Sealant, both are water-based and help dampen sound transmission. The sealant is satisfactory for small sound reductions but does not provide the full benefits of Green Glue.
It is possible to achieve an STC of up to 53 using the StopGap sealant by applying two beads of sealant on all the perimeter edges, from top to bottom.
Because it is a sealant, you may paint on it when it’s dry, just like the Green Glue sealant. It comes in a large 28oz caulking tube, requiring a large-sized caulking gun.
3. OSI SC175 Acoustical Sound Sealant
The OSI SC175 Acoustical Sound Sealant is a cheaper Green Glue alternative. A case of 12 tubes is nearly half that of Green Glue sealant, making it a great budget-friendly choice.
- Designed for use on sound-rated wall systems
- Reduces draft and sound transmission
- Sealant is permanently flexible
This sealant is very thick compared to the others, yet maintains flexibility after cure. Make sure you have a strong and quality caulking gun to push out the material. The thickness also leads to little shrinkage, which is helpful when putting finishing touches on your project.
Beware of the poor shipping practices of vendors of this product. If you receive tubes with bent or caved in tips, don’t hesitate to demand a refund for the broken tubes!
With a double bead of SC175 on all perimeter edges of the drywall on both sides of the wall partition, it is possible to achieve an STC of 55, which is right in line with Green Glue.
4. TMS Acoustic Caulk
TMS Acoustic Caulk is a latex-based sealant made in the United States. It can apply to wood, drywall, concrete, metal studs, and more.
- SOUND, DRAFT AND SMOKE SEALANT - Provides an effective barrier to the transmission of airborne...
- MADE IN THE USA, HIGH QUALITY LATEX BASED SEALANT - Adheres to drywall, wood, concrete, metal studs...
- SPECIALLY FORMULATED FOR ACOUSTICAL/SOUND LEAK PROTECTION - Designed to maintain required STC...
While its primary purpose is sound leak protection, it can also provide a significant barrier against smoke and dust.
Latex is a moderately good sound dampening material thanks to its elongation abilities. Because of its flexible nature, the sound dampening is more effective when sound vibrations attempt to penetrate wall structures.
5. Titebond 2892 Sound Sealant
Titebond 2892 Sound Sealant is an inexpensive Green Glue alternative that is LEED v4 certified, VOC compliant, and mold and mildew resistant. Its primary purpose is to seal gaps and cracks to reduce sound and airflow.
- 28 oz. Professional Acoustical Sound Sealant
- Above 0.1-percent eliminates sound transmission and seals air gaps
- Repairs cracks and eliminates rattles in drywall and plaster
The sealant is designed for use on perimeter joints and cutouts in gypsum drywall, plaster veneers, wood, concrete, brick, and stone wall constructions. Titebond maintains a 25% flexibility, making it a great option for sound sealing your wall gaps.
Unlike other acoustic sealants, Titebond has an impressive wide temperature range of 40F to 120F, and is freeze and thaw stable. Even so, you should only use Titebond on interior builds.
7. QuietRock Drywall
Don’t want to mess with messy applications of noise proofing compound? Acoustic drywall might be the right product for you. QuietRock drywall are multilayered gypsum panels designed to reduce the noise transfer of wall assemblies without all the extra glue.
There are 6 different QuietRock panels, ranging from 1/2″ thick double layered boards, to 1-3/8″ thick panels with 5 layers. The QuietRock website has great info on the different STC that can be achieved with different wall designs and building materials.
Example: With a standard wood stud wall and QuietRock 510 on both sides, an STC of 52 can be achieved.
8. TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is often touted as an alternative to expensive soundproofing compounds. MLV is a dense material and can be install either “limp” in between layers of drywall, or a constrained layer sandwiched between the drywall.
- Best Seller, SUPER HEAVY - Made in the USA!
- 1/8 of an inch thick - 27 STC - Highest Quality!
- NO ODOR - Extruded Virgin material (no regrind or recycled material).
The problem is to cover your room with mass loaded vinyl, you will end up spending more than you would have with Green Glue. The square footage adds up quickly when you are doing entire walls and rooms. There are even studies showing Green Glue vs MLV outperforming the vinyl by 10-15 dB.
If you still want to experiment with it, TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl is some of the best. You can buy huge 4’x10′ and 4’x25′ rolls, as well as 4’x4′ squares. But it’s pricey!
Poor Alternatives to Green Glue (Don’t Use!)
Green Glue is the best in the industry, but also expensive. It is a fair idea to find an alternative that works just as good, but there are inferior Green Glue alternatives you may have to avoid.
A common mistake is using any sealant with little to no soundproofing capabilities. Different sealants have different purposes, and while they may be useful for its category, such as sealing cracks in bathtubs, it does not mean it can be a Green Glue alternative.
1. Silicone Sealants
Silicone sealants, such as the DAP Dynaflex 230, which are flexible after curing, are not the alternative to Green Glue alternative you are looking for regarding sound dissipation.
In general, silicone sealants are only suitable for sealing gaps, cracks, and blemishes in bathrooms and other damp locations. Dynaflex 230 mildew and mold resistant, which is excellent, but does little to nothing when it comes to soundproofing.
2. Polyurethane Sealants
Like Loctite PL Construction Adhesive, polyurethane adhesives have their purpose but are not good for noise proofing applications.
Urethane-based adhesive get too hard after curing. While it is known as a strong adhesive for both interior and exterior projects, particularly subfloor projects.
Bottom line, polyurethane are great building materials for construction projects but does not have any soundproofing capabilities!
3. Rubber Sealants
Rubber sealants like Flex Seal are ncie for home improvement but have no place in soundproofing. These thick liquid rubberized coatings are useful for repairing and renovating surfaces such as concrete, glass, brick, wood, plastic, and more. It’s non-toxic, non-flammable, chemical, mildew, and UV resistant.
Final Thoughts – Green Glue or the Alternatives?
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve learned what makes Green Glue so effective, and why it’s considered the leader in noise proofing compounds and sealants. And as stated, it will be a fairly significant expense for your building project!
Green Glue is the most tested, and effective sound dampening compound to date. It has been through a multitude of acoustic lab tests throughout the years, and still, today has the highest ratings out of all its competitors.
So is it worth the risk of buying untested substitute materials, or go with the best product from the start at a slightly extra cost? Let’s review the Pros & Cons.
- Extensively tested and proven to work.
- Easy to install, easy to clean up.
- Excellent reputation among professionals and DIY’ers.
- More expensive than the alternatives
- Takes 30 days to completely cure
Our take is that you can safely use one of the alternative acoustic sealants, but for sound damping between drywall layers it is clearly better to save up and buy the real deal Green Glue Compound.
*Last updated 2021-01-22 at 12:26 / Product Links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API