Best soundproofing for walls (Top 5 methods)
What to look for when choosing the best soundproofing for walls.
Living with noisy neighbours can cause stress, interrupt your sleep or just be a general nuisance. Fortunately, if it’s time to take action and invest in some soundproofing you have a lot of choices! It’s really important to make the right choice to find a solution that works for the noise you’re dealing with and your budget. To choose the best soundproofing for walls you will need to take all the science into account. All sound is a form of vibrations, so you want to reduce the vibrations created by external noise from transferring into your wall.
To choose the best soundproofing for walls you will need to take all the science into account. All sound is a form of vibrations, so you want to reduce the vibrations created by external noise from transferring into your wall.
How to achieve quality soundproofing for walls
This is done by efficiently de-coupling the heavy soundproofing materials from the wall which are emitting the noise. You can achieve this in several ways. One of the best options for soundproofing a wall is a fully independent stud frame stood off the wall, this is attached to the adjacent walls, floor and ceiling. You use an Isolation Strip F5 around the perimeter of this stud frame to again reduce the vibrations in the wall. Finally, you attach a wide range of systems to this independent stud frame.
We have options for multiple layers of soundproofing materials attached to stud frames or more simple soundproofing boards (MuteBoards) which can be fixed directly to a stud frame.
If you layer materials up yourself, you may save some money but inevitably it will take longer than a single-board option. There are advantages to both so we can guide you through what is going to be best for you.
How effective is soundproofing for walls?
It can be highly effective when done right! Some people think you need to improve a wall by 50-60dB to achieve a good result, this is not quite right. Your wall will already be performing at around 40dB and you only need to bring the sound below the background sound level to make the sound coming through the wall inaudible.
Let’s walk through an example to put this into perspective. A standard brick wall is likely to achieve around a 40dB airborne reduction.
A TV on at a normal level is around 90dB. This means 50dB of the sound will come through the wall after the wall has reduced this by 40dB.
Now the important thing is to remember that you only need to bring this below the background sound level. Background sound level will vary across the country, on different days and times of day but this is commonly between 30-40dB. (in the day around 40dB)
So, the sound currently coming through the wall at 50dB is 10dB above the background sound level, therefore it is the 10dB you can hear in your room. This 10dB is what you are looking to reduce.
An introduction to the MuteClip
Before you decide which soundproofing for walls is right for you it’s important to understand what a MuteClip is. These clever little clips work as a method to secure a new soundproof wall to an existing wall whilst hugely reducing the transfer of vibrations. The dual impedance silicone makes contact with the existing wall and hugely reduces the ability for vibrations to transfer into the new wall whilst creating a secure mount. MuteClip channel bars can then run through these clips and soundproof plasterboard can be attached to the channels.
Best soundproofing for existing walls.
The best soundproofing for existing walls is to build a new decoupled wall in front of the existing wall. This means you’re able to stop vibration travelling through your existing wall into your new acoustic wall. Not everyone has the space or time for a project like this so an alternative is direct to wall soundproofing panels which we discuss in detail below.
Direct to wall soundproofing panels.
Not all soundproofing for walls requires building a de-coupled stud frame. Our direct to wall soundproofing panels are the MuteBoard range. With these soundproofing panels, you can attach them straight to an existing wall. They have an acoustic plasterboard front so they are ready to be skimmed and look no different from a normal wall. When fixing to a brick wall we usually recommend the MuteBoard 3. This allows the high mass materials to be de-coupled from the masonry wall with a 6mm closed cell foam to maximize the sound reduction within a very slimline soundproofing panel.
Cheapest Timber wall soundproofing
The cheapest timber wall soundproofing is not always the best but there are more cost-effective upgrades available. The most important upgrade is the de-coupling so spending a little extra on the MuteClip isolation mounts can translate to a far higher-performing soundproof partition. Other lower-cost upgrades include upgrading the mineral wool and plasterboard layers.
Another cheap option is just too overboard an existing timber stud frame wall with the MuteBoard 2. This adds high mass and vibration dampening material to the partition to reduce the sound from transferring through.
Best timber wall soundproofing (mute clip double)
The best timber soundproofing for walls solution would be to remove the existing plasterboard and fit the MuteClip double system. It is essential to remove the plasterboard from 1 side of the wall if the wall sounds hollow when you knock on this. If the wall does not sound hollow and you know that acoustic mineral wool has been used within the cavity, then you can attach the MuteClip system over the current plasterboard as long as you use a joist scanner or similar to locate all the joists and fix the clips through.
Best soundproofing for brick walls.
The very best way to soundproof a brick wall is to build an independent stud frame off the existing wall. This can be built using either a timber stud frame or a metal frame and you will use a different isolation strip for either one. An isolation strip is strip of ruber that helps reduce vibration transmitting from the existing structure to the new wall. Timber isolation strips Metal isolation strips
This frame is attached to the adjacent walls, floor and ceiling and does not touch the original wall. If the wall is over 2.8m then you will need to use a thicker stud frame to brace this with stud ties such as the MuteClip MP.
You can then attach the dual impedance isolation mounts to the independent stud frame ready to attach your soundproofing acoustic plasterboard and Tecsound Layers seen in the system below.
In Summary, the way to soundproof a wall is by efficiently de-coupled high mass materials. This is easier to achieve when you have more space to lose from the wall. It is always a battle between space and performance as everyone wants the best possible, but people do not want to lose the space in their homes.
Try to move your furniture forward by 80mm to see if you notice the difference. If you don’t notice the difference then you can go ahead with the system or even consider something thicker, if you can’t live with losing that space then try one of the more slimline options available.
If you think the thickest system is overkill, then you can downgrade this but the ‘belt a braces’ approach is always favourable when space is not an issue as some of the thicker systems are cheaper!
If all of this feels a bit overwhelming, pop onto our live chat or call: 01937 588226 and we’ll connect you to our team of acoustic consultants free of charge who will be able to advise you on the best soundproofing for walls solution for you.