Generally, the apartment’s walls are found to be thin and if it is too thin then even the general conversation also you can hear clearly and because of this, our daily routine is disturbed.
Sometimes, because of this sound pollution, we have to register a complaint to our secretory of society but in the end, all goes in vain. That’s why here we come with how to soundproof a wall between apartments so that you can live peacefully in your house.
Noisy surroundings can be irritating. It can be as annoying as an airplane taking off beside you. Hence nowadays, it has become essential to soundproof a wall between apartments.
But before we start the main topic, it is very important to know some basic things so that we can understand things easily and that is, what is STC rating and what is NRC rating.
So let’s begin,
What is an STC rating?
STC is the sound transmission class, which indicates how much noise can be blocked by the respective material and it ranges between 0 to 100.
Suppose if any material has an STC rating of 40 then it indicates that it blocks the 40 percent of noise, and the remaining 60 percent of the noise is reflected.
What is the NRC rating?
NRC is the noise reduction coefficient, which indicates how much noise can be reduced/absorbed by the respective material and it ranges between 0 to 1.
Suppose if any material has an NRC rating of 0.4 then it indicates that it reduces/absorbs the 40 percent of noise, and the remaining 60 percent of the noise is reflected.
We have tried to explain some basics here, hope you have understood. So let’s see how to soundproof a wall between apartments,
How To Soundproof A Wall Between Apartments: 10 Best & Effective Ways
The primary thing to do is to analyze the issue by finding out the exact spot which is creating a problem. Find the exact point on the wall which causes more sound to get in. Nowadays, walls are generally thin, so the sound is passed easily through such walls.
When you’re done finding the cause, you can now use some DO IT YOURSELF (DIY) techniques to begin with.
In recent times, late-night parties have become a common thing. Imagine that you’re struggling to sleep due to unnecessary noises after having a tiring day at work. It’ll piss you off! Won’t it?
Now, let’s have a look at how to soundproof a wall between apartments:-
1. Covering Up Empty Spaces
If you have noticed then you must have seen that in the empty room more echoes are heard and it is because of the flat and hard surfaces.
When sound waves are generated in the empty rooms then these sound waves collide to the flat and hard surfaces and then bounce back to the source, in this way echo is generated and it makes your voice quality worst.
If you want to get rid of it, then you can do small changes to your room and for that, you can add some furniture, couches, closets and clothes hanger in your empty room. Furthermore, you can also add closets, bookshelves, wall arts, etc.
Bookshelves are also one of the good options to reduce noise intensity coming to your room, by adding bookshelves, indirectly you are adding an extra mass to your wall and you all know that mass is one of the basic principles of soundproofing.
But do not expect too many positive results from this method. It is just like something is better than nothing.
2. Filling Up Holes, Cracks, Or Gaps On The Wall
Before the soundproofing, you have to inspect your walls thoroughly and you have to find out the holes, cracks, and gaps in the wall. Occasionally, some holes or gaps may remain left on the walls while doing construction work.
The sound waves travel through the air and the air may pass through these gaps or holes very easily and it may lead the noise pollution.
If any holes, cracks, or gaps are available then you have to fix them up on priority with the help of sealant.
If seen it has very few chances, but even then it is very important to inspect the wall thoroughly. Because any small holes, cracks, and gaps may ruin your soundproofing project.
3. Noise Reduction Curtains
You all know about the curtains, generally, curtains are used on the windows. Basically, there are two types of curtains are available in the market, those are Ordinary curtains and Soundproofing curtains.
Now here I am talking about soundproofing curtains. Generally, this type of curtains is used for soundproofing the windows. But Nowadays this type of curtains are also used to soundproof the walls. This is a very simple, affordable, and effective method.
These soundproof curtains you can hang on the wall very easily by yourself, for this you do not need to hire any professional person. These curtains not only soundproof your wall but also enhance the look of your home.
Generally, these curtains are triple-layered.
The first layer is made of 450 thread count premium polyester fabric. The second layer is made of 3mm Sound blanket Mass loaded vinyl (MLV). The third layer is also made of 450 thread count premium polyester fabric.
And this multilayered technique makes them thicker, denser, and heavier which helps to reduce the noise very effectively.
This soundproofing curtain has a good NRC rating but it doesn’t completely block the sound. It can easily reduce the noise up to 15 dB.
These curtains are low maintenance since they are easy to clean with a wet cloth or vacuum cleaners. If you’re looking for noise reduction curtains, always opt for a curtain with a higher NRC rating or score.
You can mount a curtain rod on your wall and then hang these curtains on that rod just like our usual curtains. However, if you don’t want to drill your walls, sticky Velcro tapes can also be used on the wall and curtains to hang these.
4. Soundproofing Paint (Acoustic Paint)
Outside noise is really annoying, it disturbs our day-to-day routine and it also disturbs our night sleep and you already know that if we did not sleep at night, then our whole day is spoiled.
So the soundproofing of a room is the best solution for this problem and the wall is the major contributor of sound that’s why soundproofing a wall between apartments is very important.
There are various techniques to reduce noise and soundproof paint is one of them. It is a good and effective solution for minimizing the intensity of sound.
Generally, this type of paint is a thicker, fast-drying, and water-based viscoelastic compound with the ability to minimize noises and vibrations. Soundproofing paint is nonhazardous and suitable for both interior and exterior use.
This acoustic paint is made of vinyl acrylic generally, it is also known as latex. This vinyl acrylic is specifically made to provide both soundproofing and thermal insulation on the surface where it is applied.
This type of paint contains some soundproofing fillers which increases its noise absorbing properties and these fillers are generally known as ceramic microspheres.
This type of paint generally works in both direction, It will minimize the intensity of sound waves that comes into your home by absorbing the part of it and it will also reduce the sound which is created at your home.
This acoustic paint also helps to reduce the reverberation and by doing this, it indirectly minimizes the intensity of sound waves but it all depends on the thickness of the paint, if the material is thicker then you will see better soundproofing results.
That’s why always recommended that apply at least 3 coats of acoustic paint for optimum results.
Soundproofing paint reduces the transmission of noise through the walls by 2 to 3 dB/coat. That’s why always recommended that apply at least 3 layers of paint on each wall then you will get the noise reduction up to 6 to 9 dB.
If you combine this step with other methods of soundproofing walls then you will get a better result.
Now you are just a few steps away to finish this article, so stay tuned with how to soundproof a wall between apartments.
5. Using Acoustic Foam
If you’re belonging to a musical background, using acoustic foam is an effective way to soundproof a wall and is also readily available. This usually is an absorbent.
In short, it absorbs the kinetic energy of sound and converts it to small amounts of heat energy.
Acoustic foam is a good option but it is the better option for those who want to make their sound quality better.
Acoustic foams work on the principle of NRC (Noise Reduction Co-efficient). NRC ranges from 0 to 1.0. Simply put, the higher the NRC, the higher will be the sound absorption.
For example – If the NRC is 0.05, it will absorb only 5% of the sound and reflect the remaining 95% of the sound.
Acoustic foams have an NRC of 0.80, It all depends upon how thicker and denser it is. It means that it absorbs 80% of the sound and reflects 20% of the sound. So always opt for acoustic foams with higher NRC.
Installation of acoustic foam is very simple. Just clean the surface with the help of a damp cloth and then apply command strips on each of the four corners of acoustic foam. Place the foam on the wall and press it gently for at least 15 seconds.
6. Soundproof Blankets
Please do not get confused about blankets generally there are two types of blankets are available in the market and that are moving blankets and soundproofing blankets. When it comes to soundproofing, always go with a soundproof blanket.
A soundproof blanket is also used for making the window and door soundproof. Soundproof blankets work on the absorption principle of soundproofing that’s why it has an NRC rating. This soundproof blanket has an NRC rating of 0.8 which is good.
Soundproof blankets are not designed to block the sound, they are designed to absorb the sound and by doing this it makes your room echo or reverberation free.
You can hang these blankets on your wall using screws that come along with these blankets and nowadays these blankets also come with grommets so that you can directly hang them on the rod, just like a curtain.
However, if you don’t want to drill your wall then you can use velcro and with the help of this velcro, you can easily stick it to your walls.
7. Acoustic Panels
Generally, the acoustic panel is made from denser polyester composite material. It also works on the absorption principle of soundproofing. It has an NRC rating of 0.85 to 0.95 which totally depends upon how thicker, denser, and heavier it is.
This acoustic panel absorbs the sound and makes your sound echo or reverberation free and by doing this it indirectly reduces the noise. It is good for mid and high-range frequency sounds.
In short, it absorbs the kinetic energy of sound and converts it to small amounts of heat energy.
This is comparatively more effective than acoustic foam and more costly as well. Acoustic panels can be installed using wall mounts, or else you can screw panels directly on your wall.
8. Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) can be used as a good sound barrier. It is usually made of PVC with a combination of some other highly dense materials such as Calcium Carbonate. It is not only used for soundproofing but also thermal insulation.
A single layer of MLV sheet has an STC score of about 20-32 and it all depends upon its lb or how thicker, denser and heavier it is.
You can add more layers to increase your STC score. MLV installed between two drywalls can give you an STC score of about 45-50. This is usually a costly process.
The installation process of this method is very easy, you can install MLV directly on the wall with the help of a green glue compound but the reality is that it does not look so good, that’s why you have to apply other stuff like drywall over it. So that MLV is not visible to others.
A green glue compound itself is a soundproofing compound and we get good results when we used it in between two stuff. If you do not want to go with MLV due to its high price then you can also go with the mass-loaded vinyl alternative like Mutex.
9. Add Mass To The Existing Wall: Use Quiet-Rock Panel
Actually, its name indicates its function. Quietrock is a sound barrier product that is made up of gypsum material and a viscoelastic material is sandwiched between the two layers of gypsum. Both these materials help to reduce the transmission of sound.
It has a good STC rating of 47 – 75, it all depends upon how thicker, denser, and heavier it is. You can also check its datasheet here.
Installation of Quiterock panel is very similar to drywall. First, apply the green glue compound over the Quiterock and then place this Quiterock panel over your existing wall and hold it gently for 20 to 30 seconds. Remember always to use a 5/8″ thick Quiterock panel for better results.
Of note, when we use a green glue compound between the two layers of drywall then it acts as a soundproofing compound.
10. Insulate Your Wall
If you want the pin-drop silence in your room and did not get the expected results from the above steps then this method is for you.
Actually, this method is quite expensive as well as space and time consuming but its results are very good. This method is not a DIY method. In this method, you have to hire a professional person.
Now in this method, you have to make a wooden stud structure for your wall and then fill the Rockwool insulation in between the stud cavities.
- Rockwool is the best sound-absorbing insulation, Its mesh-like structure prevents the transmission of sound from one pocket to another. In this way, it works and helps you to reduce the intensity of noise in your room.
Now apply the MLV over the stud and staple it with the help of an air stapler then apply the resilient channel in the perpendicular direction of the stud over the MLV and screw this resilient channel to the stud then apply quiet-rock drywall over the resilient channel and screw it.
- You all know that the MLV and the Quiet-Rock drywall are good sound blockers as you have seen in the above methods.
- The Resilient channel is used to create a dead air zone by splitting two parts so that most of the sound waves lose their energy in this zone and the rest of the sound energy is absorbed and distributed by this resilient channel.
Then check the result, if you are satisfied with the result then it is ok and if you are not satisfied with the result then apply another 5/8 inch thick quiet-rock drywall with the help of a green glue compound.
- A green glue compound is the soundproofing compound and when it is used in between two stuff then you get a better result. This green glue compound converts the sound energy into a small amount of heat and in this way, sound waves lose their energy.
So these are all methods by which you can make a wall soundproof. You can also apply one or more methods to make a wall soundproof. Hope you got the solution to your problem of how to soundproof a wall between apartments.
Hence to conclude, These above-mentioned methods and techniques should be used according to one’s own wish and one’s own budget in order to how to soundproof a wall between apartments.
Also, you should be aware and not opt for common myths of soundproofing such as using egg carton crates, using yoga mats, hanging ordinary curtains, and applying dark color on your wall, applying extra layers of paint, etc.
All things considered, soundproofing a wall between apartments should be done because in the end, ” To be silent is to be beautiful! “. Hope this article “how to soundproof a wall between apartments” will guide you in the right direction.