Recent Posts

Soundproofing Basics For Musicians, Singers And Students

Musicians, singers, and students need sound advice on how to build their home practice rooms. There is no simple solution to the “sound insulation problem”, and each situation should be assessed individually.

Make A Plan

Making a plan is the first step. Remember the 5 P’s: Proper planning leads to better performance. First, make a thorough inventory of your targeted room and find out where the noise leaks are. A good strategy is to listen very carefully and identify those areas where you can hear the sound coming in and out.

Work through your list, starting with the obvious and easy fixes and then addressing each noise leak individually.

It Is All About Closing Off Escape Routes

All cracks and crevices will offer sound an escape route. Seal all cracks, crevices, and exit paths. Soundproofing a room does not work unless it is thoroughly sealed off, so that sound does not pass through. Like water, sound also goes through cracks. Sealing it all off can be difficult to accomplish sometimes, depending on how many electrical outlets, vents, windows, doors, and other breaks there are in the wall.

Doors And Windows

Be sure that your doors and windows close tightly. The frames of your doors and windows should fit snugly. Making “window plugs” could provide a temporary fix for sound leaky windows. 

Installing acoustical windows, such as the ones manufactured by Soundproof Windows, is a more permanent solution. Their website is at

Studs And Sill Plates

It is important that there are no loose studs, and the sill plates go right to the floor. This is determined by the good workmanship of the builder, but if the workmanship is not ideal, you are going to have to rectify it if you want a well-soundproofed room.

Caulk Everything

All cracks should be caulked with flexible caulk that does not crack during the settling process. Make sure outlets and pipes are not run through sound walls, surface mounted electrical fittings are used and caulking put around any wires that pierce the gypsum.

Some General Sound Theory

Sound will travel through any and all available medium. It will pass through a solid more effectively than it will through the air. The intensity of sound will be reduced during the process of transition from one material substance to another material, as what occurs when the sound goes from air to a solid wall and back again. 

As long as the wall does not move in response to the sound, the amount of sound reduction increases with density. This is called the transmission loss.

Flexibility Allows Coupling

Unfortunately, all walls are flexible. Any movement caused by a sound striking one side will result in the sound being radiated by the opposite side, a phenomenon known as coupling. 

Most isolation methods consist of ways to reduce the coupling effect and also prevent resonances when the sound reaches a resonant frequency with the material.

Soundproofing Floors And Airborne Noise 

MVL A Solution For Airborne Noise

A mass-loaded vinyl sound barrier (MLV) is an effective, relatively inexpensive solution for airborne noise. This type of noise consists primarily of conversations and television, as well as any sound that travels through the air, rather than vibrating from the walls or shaking the windows.

The source of airborne noise – like any other – must be treated. MLV can be used beneath the floor of multi-level buildings to absorb it. 

It can be spread directly across the floor, between sheets of plywood, and even over concrete. It keeps floors comfortable while at the same time absorbing sound. Its easy to clean with water and does not stick or disintegrate.

In addition, it can be used in industrial applications.

High quality MLV sound barriers will not tear or rip over time. 

Don’t Cut Corners When Installing MLV

You should keep in mind that any cracks or holes will allow sound to pass through, and are virtually impossible to repair once installed. Here it doesn’t make sense to cut corners, since the savings aren’t worth the soundproofing compromises that result. You either soundproof or you don’t. Think about it as a bucket with a bunch of holes in it – it is no good for the job intended.  

The best method for preventing footsteps and other airborne noise from disrupting the occupants below is to lay the MLV down on the floor and then add padding and carpet on top of it.

By filling cracks and holes, no matter how small or indirect, you can make a huge contribution toward keeping sound in your room. The MLV sound barrier seams should be caulked with acoustical caulk before starting the next step.

Mass Loaded Vinyl And STC Rating

A lot of people compare MLV to lead because it’s a very heavy, wear-resistant material, which adds mass to the floor and absorbs sound.

The STC rating is twofold when MLV is installed inside a wall. One example is a standard hollow sheetrock wall, with a thickness of 1/2″ Gypsum board, attached to metal studs, with a STC rating of approximately 23. With this configuration, ordinary conversation is understandable through it. The STC rating increases to about 49 after adding the MLV sound barrier. This is an amazing improvement!

Use Soundproofing Vibration Pads

Soundproofing vibration pads should be used to mount speakers and heavy appliances. Elastomeric neoprene is used to make the pads, which can support 50 pounds per square inch. It comes with or without cork – the cork being for heavier loads.

Residential Construction and Insulation

It’s best to build a house with the most effective soundproofing from the earliest possible stage. In a residential setting, walls typically consist of frames made as 2×4 wood studs covered with 5/8″ or 1/2″ gypsum board. The isolation will be around 35 dB the case where there are no holes in it. R-7 fiberglass filler will reduce that sound level by 5 up to 8 dB and reduce wall resonance. Acoustic properties of this insulation are limited, and it is designed primarily for its thermal insulation properties . That’s because it wasn’t meant for noise prevention, but rather for climate control.

Structural Noise and Preventing It

Increasing the thickness rating of gypsum can increase the sound isolation by 2 to 4 dB – a relatively minor amount , but its most important action is to lower the resonant frequency to at least below the audible range.

Reducing Coupling

The following are some strategies to reduce coupling between the outside and inside of the wall.

It is possible to make this connection springy or flexible by hanging a second layer of gypsum on resilient metal channels (i.e. RC-1 or RC-2), perpendicular to the studs, 24″ o.c.

Another variation is to use hat track channel and isolation clips (a little more effective but somewhat more costly) between the two layers of gypsum. These isolation clips are made of neoprene, and they have hat track channels that fit on top of the gypsum board to isolate the second layer from the first.

Another solution is to incorporate separated studs for the face of each wall causing there to be no direct connection from one face to the other, thereby creating a double wall. It tends to take up a lot of space, but the transmission loss is over 60 dB – exactly what is needed. This results in an outcome better than using cinder blocks and concrete.

This same principle can be applied to ceilings and floors. A ceiling that (where there is adequate head space) can be installed with a MLV sound barrier, followed by RC-2 Channel and a second layer of drywall.

You can replicate the performance of a double wall using a false ceiling hanging on springs.

It can be more challenging to deal with the transmission of sound through the frame of the building. Problems are sometimes caused by machinery such as air conditioners and refrigerators, which are often mounted on floors and walls and shake the structure. A similar effect can also be caused by footsteps, although less so. Bass frequencies also vibrate through the building structure, rattling windows throughout the house if they aren’t isolated.

Acoustic Conditioning Is Not The Main Issue

Building a music space requires that space be soundproofed first, before considering any acoustic conditioning for the room.

Keeping Bass Frequencies Contained

It can be difficult to keep bass frequencies contained, as much as outside noise from mingling with the music being played inside the room. Getting it right is especially challenging in recording or performing situations. However, it is not impossible! Soundproofing experts can help with your most challenging projects and ensure the job gets done right the first time.


In a wooden house, sound tends to be transmitted along the floor joists. You may need to ensure that any load noisy machines such as fridges or aircondiioners are moved from connected joists that go into the room you want to isolate.

A studio floor in most existing concrete and steel buildings is usually completely “floated”, a very complex and expensive operation.

Generally, the fewer walls that connect the floor with the rest of the building, the better. The basement is best (if you have one). Garages usually heat and cool unevenly, and it feels like being outdoors – so not the best option.

Doors And Door Frames Are Critical

Generally speaking, the worst source of sound leakage is around doors. It is advisable to replace hollow doors with solid ones, and to make sure they are tightly sealed.

Flat rubber gaskets are used on doors that don’t fit well. Rubber and metal gaskets work well on doors that fit well already. The brush material is a good choice for all sliding surfaces. Don’t forget the bottom of the door – spring-loaded gaskets work the best.

Once the door is sealed, there still may be leaks around the doorframe. After removing the trim carefully, any gaps between the gypsum board adn frame must be caulked or spray filled with polystyrene foam. As long as you are pulling off trim, check for gaps behind the baseboards and around any window frames as well.

Many if not most interior doors are hollow and very light in structure, They do not stop sound well, even when tightly fitted with gaskets. Doors like this need to be replaced with a solid ones. Check manufacturer data on levels of sound transmission loss a given door provides. A think layer of plywood can also be applied to the door to reinforce it, also hanging a second reverse-opening door in the frame opposite it can make the nesseary isolation break. If none of this is practical, a heavy acustic curtain hung over the door will provide some help.

Acustic Drapes May Assist

A drape that consists of heavy material will also help block sound from doors and windows. Check out these options from Amazon.

Manageing Electrical Fittings

Electrical fittings are another source of leakage. Take the plates off light switches and receptacles, fill the gaps between the box and the gypsum, and add a sealing gasket when you put the plate back on. If switches or receptacles are found back to back in both sides of the wall, the gasket will not be enough to stop sound. Replace the electrical box with a surface mount type, and patch over the original hole. If rewiring is not an option, cover the offending outlets with a weatherproof-hinged cover.

Use closed cell foam to wrap around electrical plugs that are a source of noise leakage, and water pipes, air ducts, etc . If possible, encase noisy air conditioners and air ducts in an enclosure designed lined with closed cell foam. Visit to purchase this type of foam.

Even if there is no direct air route for sound to follow, there can be flanking paths around heavy walls through thin ceilings or floors. The sound will subsequently pass through the crawl space or attic into adjoining areas.

For Musicians

Build a separate room within a room to allow for truly isolated spaces. The external room and the internal room have to be as tight and heavy as possible and the floor must not connect the two. There are prefabricated isolation rooms on the market for a hefty cost, or you can build your own using construction techniques similar to those mentioned above. It would be more appropriate if an architect designed something like this for your specific situation, but here is an example to give you an idea of what it could look like.

Floating Floor in a Room within a Room

There is an inner room built on a platform of 2 X4’s covered in two layers of 3/4 inch plywood. The platform is supported by neoprene pads that line up with the floor joists. It must be self-contained in the house so its walls and ceiling are only constructed inside the walls, containing 2X4 studs and two-inch gypsum. It is advisable to line the space between the walls with MLV Sound Barrier and to leave at least one inch between the walls (a higher number is preferable). The air duct needs to be very long, lined with sound-deadening (also called American MLV) material.  Order at this website:

Room Treatment

We know that the shape of a room and its furnishings have an impact on how things sound – we’ve all experienced echoing bathrooms and overcrowded restaurants. A studio can easily be affected in a subtle manner by these effects, causing inaccuracies in the monitors’ sound. During the recording or mixing process, the music is constantly tweaked until it is just right, but once it is played in a neutral arena, the music sounds strange.

A lot of expensive instruments can be used to measure the acoustic quality of a space, but the best ones are those you use on your head. Listening to familiar recordings allows you to compare spaces. 

When you are playing in the right room, you hear deep bass, clear cymbals, and understand the words without effort. It appears that the mono signal is coming from a point exactly in the middle of the speakers, and it does not jump around with changes in pitch. Then listen to the silence– can you hear traffic from the street, a television, a refrigerator? Clap your hands, because it should widen the sound, but there should be little resonance and no echoes.

This will tell you whether the room has severe problems, or if there’s a more subtle issue showing up in the music. You might be surprised to learn how easy and inexpensive it is to control the sound level of a room.

Some More Theory

This is really just about how the sound gets from the speakers to the ears without messing it up. This is really just a subject of what happens after it passes your ears.

Essentially, three things that can occur when sound hits a given wall. It can be diffused, reflected, or absorbed.

The sound will be echoed from hard and flat walls. An echo is an example of a single strong reflection, but in general many reflections will interact in multiple ways to create reverberation. The reverberation period is the time it takes for a short loud sound to fade away. The “fading away” can be described scientifically as a drop in loudness of 60 decibels, hence the term RT60.

The amount of reverberation desired in a room depends on the activity taking place within the space. For musicians, the right amount of reverberation time between one and two seconds is preferred. This lets them hear themselves playing and increases the harmonic effects in the music. 

The more reverb the better in larger rooms since it fills the hall with sound. Listen to loudspeakers or speakers to hear speech or music. The amount of reverb that would be acceptable for critical listening would be somewhere around .8 to .1 seconds.

A reduction in the reverberation time can be achieved by replacing hard surfaces with more absorptive sections of the walls. The absorption qualities of all materials can be described by their coefficients of absorption, ranging in value from 0 to 1. The lower the number, the more reflective the material. The effective absorption of a surface is simply the COE times the area of the surface in square feet. For instance, the Coefficient of emissivity of brick is 0.04, while that of heavy drapes is around 0.6. Material absorption rates are complex, and for most materials, frequency dependence is significant. If the numbers used to compare materials are used, the predictability of treatment results is greatly enhanced.

The standing wave is the worst effect produced by reflections off flat walls.

Standing Waves

Two parallel walls will create standing waves. Specified frequencies are reinforced by the distance between walls (the sound travels exactly round trips on the speaker’s cycles, thereby causing a pressure front to pile up). 

The depth of tone of a voice is helped in bathrooms where several walls are parallel to each other, and the proportions are usually just right for music. In this instance, a ceiling height of 8 feet reinforces the 70 Hz frequency, referred to as a room mode.

A room with parallel walls can be designed to resist this phenomenon, or an existing room can be made to absorb sound by making one wall absorbent or breaking up its planes. Reflecting sound off a rounded surface or a complex surface diffuses it throughout the room. Diffusion works to remove “dead spots” in a room by spreading the reverberating sound evenly throughout the space, preventing standing waves.

The shapes and sizes for diffusers vary depending on taste and cost. Diffusers can be hung over a flat surface to break it up. Usually, pyramid shapes, lattices, or computer-generated random surfaces are best, but refrain from concave-shaped surfaces, which focus the sound rather than disperse it. The lowest frequency that can be affected by a diffuser that is one foot deep is 160 Hz.

Reflections can become more problematic when loudspeakers are the main form of entertainment in a room.


Phase interference is sometimes encountered when recording with multiple microphones. So if two sound waves arrive at the same point at slightly varying times, something will happen to the frequencies arriving at the same place at slightly different times. By placing your ear close to a wall, you will be able to tell that the direct sound will be interfered with by the reflections off the wall. If the direct distance is only slightly longer than the reflected distance, the effect is at its worst.

In order to combat phase interference, careful consideration must be given to speaker placement and listener placement. Avoid placing either so as to create short reflective paths off equipment, walls, or ceilings. The worst of problems tend to occur when speakers line up with a wall corner. If this cannot be avoided, make sure to design a wall or ceiling surface that will absorb the reflections.


The reverberation becomes increasingly bass in tone as absorption increases in a room, so the high-frequency sound becomes more easily absorbed than the low-frequency sound. The room develops a tubby response when the coloring gets too intense. It is possible to block out low-frequency music by using devices known as bass traps and Helmholtz resonators, which absorb certain frequencies. The general rule is that the larger they are, the lower the frequency will be. Absorption should never be used in excessive amounts, and only sound-absorbing materials should be used.

Using thicker material for bass music in the studio requires covering 50-70% of the wall space. Moreover, foam DOES NOT OPPOSE sounds from passing through the walls. Foam lowers reverberation. It is vital to listen and identify trouble spots once a room has been built. The acoustic treatment of a music room is the final step to do it. It’s like the cherry on top, so to speak.


There is no substitute for “listening” and identifying the trouble spots when a room is almost finished. Acoustic treatment is the last thing to be done to a music room. It is the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Whether you are muting the high-end hiss of your microphones with pyramid panels, or putting up bass traps in the corners of the room to even out the low frequencies, you must first use your keen for those musicians who are building a recording studio. The average home does not have any need for pyramid panels, bass traps, or acoustic treatment of its walls. However, if you are a serious recording artist or music engineer and responsible for producing that perfect sound, you might be inclined to use these products. We will be happy to assist you with purchasing the right products for your particular needs, so please call us, and allow us to assist you.

Closed Cell Foam For Noise Reduction

Closed Cell Foam reduces noise from machines, engines, loud pipes, etc.

This is a synthetic rubber that reduces the transmission of structural and airborne sound waves. It is designed to achieve maximum attenuation over a broad frequency range. Closed-cell foam has excellent noise reduction capability and will resist moisture and mildew.It is easy to cut and apply with contact adhesive. This product is great for lining enclosures of all types, where noise reduction is desired. It may be used as a liner under automobile hoods, boat engines, etc.  It makes excellent insulation for aircraft, due to its lightweight. It is durable and efficient.

Excellent absorber and insulator for acoustic and thermal applications. It is used in the music industry to reduce reverb and create a “dead” room, void of reverberations. This is a lightweight, easy to apply foam which can be mounted on any surface with contact adhesive. It comes in several thicknesses, of which 1/2″ and 1″ are the most common.Many people have discovered that it can be used to make a window plug, keeping out noise from the street and neighbors. Other applications include wrapping noisy pipes, lining ducts and enclosures such as hot tubs.One of our favorite applications is to use closed cell foam to quiet motors, and both Idaho State and Kettering University Snowmobile Teams demonstrated this on their prize-winning snowmobiles in the 2003 Ethanol Challenge. They came in First and Second Place, respectively, and had the quietest snowmobiles in the competition.FEATURES:Closed cell, Inherent Vapor Retarder, Non-Wicking, Low Water AbsorptionBENEFITS:Improved Air Quality, Abuse Resistant, Easy to Install, Washable, Cost Effective, Fiber Free

Vinyl Foam Barrier Composite

Vinyl Composite Barrier

There is an approach you can take for creating a floor based sound barrier where you can take our sound barrier vinyl (typically called mass loaded vinyl or MLV) and laminate it to a 1/4″ foam mat and create a sound barrier composite. This added foam layer helps to dampen impact and structural noise, while the MLV controls mostly airborne noise.

This composite is used as both a barrier/absorber material and for vibration control. The foam side needs to be installed against the vibrating surface. All seams need to be caulked with a non-hardening caulking to prevent sound from passing through the cracks. 


This is a product for floor underlayment where noise is  transmitting up through the floor from the room down below and for reducing impact noise.


Use the same techniques as used in the installation of mass loaded vinyl of second story floors as discussed here, but with the addition of the foam layer. Also, a modification of this approach is to glue it face down as a floor substrate prior to carpeting.


  • Common walls
  • Placed over drop-in ceiling systems
  • New  construction/between studs
  • Under carpet and floors to lower sound transmission

Additional Online Resources That May Be Useful

  • Acoustic Composite and Vinyl Barrier – Memtech AcousticalAcoustic Composite combines Willtec acoustical foam and the noise containment of vinyl barrier. Prospec composite is used for absorbing and blocking noise.
  • Vinyl Barrier Foam Composites Products & Suppliers .Find Vinyl Barrier Foam Composites related suppliers, manufacturers, products and specifications on GlobalSpec – a trusted source of Vinyl Barrier Foam Composites information.
  • Technical Specifications Vinyl/Foam Insulation – SoundownTechnical Specifications Vinyl/Foam Insulation SOUNDOWN?S Vinyl/Foam composite insulation is an effective . Barrier Foam Composites
  • Mass Loaded Vinyl Acoustical SolutionsMass Loaded Vinyl is a limp-mass material sound barrier made of high-temperature fused vinyl and no lead fillers. Mass Loaded Vinyl is a limp-mass . Acoustic Foam;
  • Soundown IVF1015MNSFT12 SOUNDOWN COMPOSITE INSULATION .Find best value and selection for your Soundown IVF1015MNSFT12 SOUNDOWN COMPOSITE INSULATION VINYL FOAM search on eBay. World’s leading marketplace.
  • Soundown Composite Insulation Vinyl/Foam SheetsSoundown composite foam and vinyl insulation sheets effectively quiet and dampen noise created by engines, generators, and other equipment.
  • Foam Barrier Composite : Steven Klein’s Sound Control Room .Foam Barrier Composite : . Foam Barrier Composites are made of open-cell foam combined with 1 pound Mass Loaded Vinyl and available in flat or mini-wedge faced foam.
  • Noise Control Barrier Absorber CompositesNoise Control Barrier Composite, Absorber Composites. . then a 1/10″ QVC vinyl, and a 1″ foam faced with a protective aluminized . Acoustical Foam Barrier Composite;
  • Loaded Vinyl / Foam Composite Sound TechnologyLoaded vinyl / foam composite is a noise-blocking limp mass barrier laminated to an acoustic foam isolation layer. The foam layer decouples the barrier and increases .
  • Noise Control and sound BarriersVinyl Sound Barrier. . Noise Control Barrier Composite This is a combination of 1 ?” thick foam, then a 1/10″ QVC vinyl, .
  • Barrier/Absorber Polyurethane Foam Composite PanelsNoise S.T.O.P. Noise? Barrier/Absorber Polyurethane Composite . Polyurethane Foam Composite . sq. ft. mass loaded Vinyl Noise Barrier with Polyurethane Foam .
  • Technical Specifications Vinyl/Foam Barrier CompositeTechnical Specifications Vinyl/Foam Barrier Composite 2011.2.F SOUNDOWN’S Vinyl/Foam composite insulation is designed to reduce airborne noise that radiates .
  • Composite Barriers Sound TechnologyComposite Barriers. . Loaded Vinyl / Foam Composite; Foil-Faced Barrier with Quilted Fiberglass; Aluminized Foam with Barrier; Composite Floormatting Products.
  • Sound Insulation – Vinyl Foam Barrier Composite – Soundtec .Save More on Your Soundtec Sound Insulation – Vinyl Foam Barrier Composite at Fisheries Supply. Excellent Customer Service, Ready to Ship. Marine Supplies Since 1928!
  • Premium Soundproof Barrier Material and Solutions .Soundproof barriers are ideal for . Soundproof barriers use composite layers of vinyl, foam or fiberglass to . Order your foam composite soundproofing barriers now!
  • Prospec Composite – Soundproof Foam & Vinyl Barrier ComboProspec Composite combines the benefits of both willtec? acoustical foam and the noise containment capabilities of vinyl soundproof barrier into one.
  • Composite Barriers Sound TechnologyComposite Barriers. Composite materials perform the dual function of absorbing and blocking noise. Composite Barrier Products. Loaded Vinyl / Foam Composite.
  • Soundproofing Barrier Composite. – Noise ControlAcoustical Soundproofing Foam Barrier Composites to Reduce Noise in Machine Enclosures, Truck Cab Linings, Walls, & More
  • SOUNDOWN COMPOSITE INSULATION VINYL/FOAM (#378 .SOUNDOWN COMPOSITE INSULATION VINYL/FOAM. An effective treatment for airborne noise that radiates from engines, and other machinery. The standard composite consists of a layer of mass loaded vinyl, sandwiched between two layers of polyether fire retardant foam, covered by a thin attractive vapor barrier facing.
  • Soundproofing Noise Barrier and Isolation MaterialsSOUNDPROOF BARRIER PRODUCTS. Barrier materials are used to block sound . without the need for composite . layers of acoustical foam, a loaded vinyl barrier and an .
  • Vinyl Foam Composite – Multi-GlassVinyl/Foam composite insulation is an effective treatment for airborne noise that radiates from engines, and other machinery. The standard composite consis
  • Premium Soundproof Barrier Material and Solutions .Soundproof barriers use composite layers of vinyl, foam or . Soundproofing Barriers are . members of the Soundproof Cow soundproof barrier .

The Secret To Soundproof Between Floors

These days, the trend is people staying at home to work. Of course the whole COVID-19 thing has powered that up enormously. It has also led to a ramping up of the tendency to work from home. 

The thing is, in many ways our homes are not set up for sharing spaces together in a work context. One of the things that are particularly inconvenient is the transfer of noise in a residential setting, especially between floors. The question is, is there a simple and cost effective way to soundproof an upstairs room so everyone downstairs is acoustically isolated so you can get on with your important work.

You’ll be happy to know that yes indeed there is a simple and cost effective way forward. Lets get into the detail of the secret of how to soundproof between floors. 

Many Challenges To Soundproofing Residential Spaces

There are so many challenges when you’re trying to keep a place quiet. Buildings are being constructed faster and faster using lighter and lighter materials.

The reality is that when it comes to residential construction, there is no building code that is going to ensure your room is quiet and acoustically separated from the rest of the house. 

You won’t be able to soundproof your office, either upstairs or down, if you work at home and your office is upstairs or downstairs. 

Traditional Approaches For Soundproofing Very Expensive

The traditional approaches, while effective at creating an acoustically isolated space, are not at all cheap – in fact they are very expensive. 

For example, to properly soundproof through floors in a way that not only muffles conversation but completely stops its transmission, as well as greatly reducing impact noise in a modern house built from light materials such as half inch drywall in walls and five eighths OSB plywood in between floors, you’re up for a very significant cost of about 15 to 20 dollars per square foot of ceiling / floor area.

Even though these standard soundproofing techniques and technologies are expensive, they are very effective in giving you that nice, quiet, peaceful life.

This traditional approach is based on what is called a hat channel along with soundproof clips (with thick rubber pads) attached to it and screwed into floor joists to minimize surface area contact. The other important part of the process is specialist green glue noise proofing compound. It’s about $40 of green glue required for every four by eight sheet of drywall – and that is before any installation costs. 

A Simpler, Cheaper Alternative To Soundproofing Between Floors

No don’t think that if you put a little bit of insulation in your ceiling, and cover it up, that it’s going to work. If you do that, you’re going to be disappointed. Even if it meets minimum code requirements, it is not going to deliver the outcome you really need.

There is a simpler and cheaper way to stop sound transmission from upstairs onto the main floor downstairs. It will solve transmission of most of the noise coming from upstairs of people walking and talking. 

It is as simple as changing your flooring to something that is much more soundproof.

You just need to remove the existing flooring upstairs and change it to something that is more soundproof. 

Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) For Soundproofing Between Floors

That material is called mass loaded vinyl. It is a material with metal particles embedded. It is used to add a mass to walls, ceilings and flooring to help with soundproofing and area. The most common place that MLV is used is between two layers of drywall or sheetrock.

So what you want to do is you want to go into that room upstairs, take off the baseboard, take out your existing flooring such as the carpet – it will only take a few minutes. And then proceed to roll out the mass loaded vinyl right across the room. 

You can purchase it in one eight of an inch thick (one pound per square foot) or the thicker product of two pounds per square foot. The heavier (and thicker) it is, the quieter it is. 

So for the best soundproofing outcome, you want to get the two pound mass vinyl. You can buy it in the 25 foot rolls that weigh 200 pounds (90kg) so it is quite heavy. 

You can also buy it in smaller rolls, but the bigger the role, the cheaper it is. 

It is best to have a helper around when installing it.

So how does it compare price wise to the standard options? It is just $1 a square foot. This allows plenty of latitude to buy some new vinyl tile to go on top for about $3 per square foot. 

So for $4 a square foot, you can do it yourself. You don’t have to hire a pro to put new flooring in, put the trim back on and you’re done. 

If you had a room that was 12 by 12 feet (144 square feet), you’d have it fully done for $400 in materials, all done as a saturday project – boom!

More Details Of Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)

Sound Barrier Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is the most popular noise barrier in the U.S. 

If you need a soundproofing barrier for your home, that is durable, economical and relatively easy to install, you can pat yourself on the back because you’ve found the ideal product.

Product Description For This Extreme Soundproofing Soun Barrier:

  • Fire Rating:  Fire Resistant SE “0”
  • Color is black only.
  • Temperature Limits: Service range of -20° to 160° F.
  • Certified flame retardant by California State Fire Marshal Registration No. F-5 1.1.
  • Vinyl noise barrier is tough and durable.
  • Will not rot or disintegrate under adverse conditions
  • Easy to install – may be cut with scissors or utility knife.
  • Barrier is safe and non-toxic. Contains no asbestos or lead.
  • It should not be installed too close to a heat source.

 Additional Tips For Installation Of MLV

The mass (weight) of the MLV is what makes the product work to reduce airborne sound. Cut the pieces into smaller, more manageable sizes as you install it. This heavy layer is placed under the carpet and padding for optimum impact and noise control.

MLV can be laid directly on or under an existing tile or wood floor to make the floor both more comfortable and to reduce transfer of airborne noise.

It is recommended that caulking the edges with Acoustical caulk.  Use a fine bead of caulk all around the seams of the MLV, sealing any potential leaks.  Much like water, sound will pass through the smallest crack, therefore, it is recommended that all seams be caulked or overlapped. 

Sound Barrier vinyl may also be laid between two layers of plywood, in a sandwich fashion, in either walls or ceilings.

Physical Properties MASS LOADED VINYL Sound Barrier

Physical PropertiesTest MethodResults
Weight1lb.per square foot
TensileASTM D412284lb. per square inch
ElongationASTM D412104%
TearASTM D62467lb. per inch
Weight Loss70 hours@ 300 degrees4% (Maximum)
Dimensional Stability70 hours@ 300 degrees2 – 3.5%
Flammability-FoamUL-94 HF-1Passes
Flammability – VinylMVSS lb.302Passes
Roll Size25′ x 48″  Rolls
TemperatureRange-30°F to +225°F

Test Results

Frequency (Hz)125250500100020004000STC
Transmission Loss (dB)14182027354126

DIY Sound Proofing Ideas

When it comes to sound proofing, all those clever people out there have come up with some innovative ways to control their environment when it comes to sound. Here are a few of the clever ways to do it on a budget.

How To Make High Performance Sound Absorption Panels For $5

I watched this YouTube video a couple of years ago and wanted to rush out and try what looks like a very cool way to absorb sound in a non-permanent way in s recording studio or for those making podcasts or YouTube videos in the bedroom or spare room. I didn’t quite get there because it seemed I needed an inordinate number of old towels to get the job done. But I’ve just re-inspired my self. I’m going to go down to the local op-shop, pick up a bunch of second-hand towels and give it a go. I’ll report back here how it went soon. Anyway, here is the original YouTube Video on the DIY Perks channel. The whole channel is very cool actually – well worth a look if you’re into DIY generally.


Acoustifence has extraordinary sound absorption, which makes it superior to wood fences and landscaping. It takes less than one hour to install or remove for two people. This ‘made-in-the-USA’ material is totally mold-resistant and UV-resistant, virtually indestructible and great for sound barriers.

The Sound Transmission Class (STC) of Acoustifence material is 28, which represents approximately an 85% reduction in sound to the human ear. But results will differ depending on the amount of the fence installed and surrounding sound absorbing objects such as buildings.

According to the manufacturer, the noise source should be considered like a bright light bulb on a dark night. 

The first step to reduce that light is to place a barrier between it and you, which will block direct light. The sound equivalent of that barrier is Acoustifence.

Light sources that are not blocked by a barrier will still reflect some light to you. Sound will act the same as light does with regards to acoustifence.

Acoustifence has excellent environmental credentials as it is made of 64% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable.

Acoustifence Installation 

  • Number of people: 2 
  • Time required: 20/30 min. 
  • Items: Utility Knife, Pliers, 70 lb. wire ties (included with purchase).

Steps To Complete Installation

  1. The plastic wrap must be cut and removed from the roll. 
  2. The roll should be leaned against the fence with the grommet edge at the top, aligning the top of the roll with the top of the fence or at the desired height. 
  3. As the Acoustifence material is unrolled along the fence, one person unrolls the material while the second person inserts the ties at each grommet. Keep the material taut while installing the wire ties to prevent sagging. 
  4. Remove the tape and roll the core. 
  5. Pull each cable tie so that the Acoustifence is properly lined up at the desired height. DO NOT make the cable tie tight! It must be loose enough to allow the eyelet to pivot freely. Try to distribute weight equally. 
  6. Do not trim off the end of the cable tie until you are sure weight is distributed equally.