There are many reasons why you might want to create a sound barrier in your home. If noise outside your of the home or coming from other rooms is disruptive, or if a family wishes to increase privacy, there are ways to create a soundproof barrier using drywall. Typically, drywall doesn’t do more than muffle sound coming from outside of a particular room. This can create difficulty if you live in an urban environment or near an airport, if you wish to maintain additional privacy, or if you’re just extra sensitive to noise.
Conventional drywall won’t do the trick if you are hoping to block out noise. Most drywall has a solid core made of gypsum, a mineral made of calcium sulfate that is commonly used in building projects. This creates a rigid piece of drywall that vibrates along with sounds waves and allows the noise to pass through into a room or home. Even though there a many do-it-yourself strategies for creating a soundproof wall, like layering eight sheets of standard drywall, the simplest and most effective method is through the installation of specialty soundproof drywall products.
How Does Soundproof Drywall Work?
Building experts argue that a single layer of soundproof drywall is equivalent to eight layers of conventional drywall. Replacing the solid gypsum core found in most drywalls is a layer made from the gypsum, viscoelastic, and ceramics. These materials work together to create a barrier that blocks noise from passing through the drywall.
Cost Comparison: 8 Layers of Standard Drywall or Soundproof Drywall?
Many homeowners are concerned about the cost effectiveness of using soundproof drywall in their home. Soundproof drywall is definitely expensive, costing $40 or more for a single sheet compared to standard drywall that costs an estimated $10 per sheet. Still, the math is fairly simply, even at the cheap price of $10 each, eight sheets of drywall costs twice as much as a single sheet of a soundproof option. In addition to cost, layering drywall isn’t always possible, eight sheets of drywall is too heavy for the ceiling and takes up valuable floor space.
For homeowners who are concerned about the effect using a soundproof drywall option will have on their budget, we suggest limiting use of soundproof drywall to the rooms of the home where noise is the concern or when you desire added privacy. Use your chosen standard drywall throughout your home and reserve soundproof drywall in the bedrooms or the office.
Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your current home, it is important to carefully consider how noisy your surrounding is or whether you have a need for additional privacy in your home. The availability of high quality, soundproof drywall makes it possible for homeowners to increase the comfort of their home by creating quiet bedrooms. offices, and family spaces.
Home improvement and construction efforts have created a rating system for determining the effectiveness of products intended for soundproofing called Sound Transmission Class Levels, or STC. A rating indicates the transmission loss, or the difference between the volume of a particular noise on either side of a wall. In general, a piece of drywall that is more effective at blocking sound from entering the home will have a higher STC number and will be more costly as a result.
Drywall Soundproofing Options
Brands producing soundproofing drywall are not as numerous as conventional drywall manufacturers. Still, there are a few different options on the market that have maintained a reputation for creating materials that successfully reduce noise inside or outside of a room.
QuietRock: QuietRock is able to boast of being the very first manufacturer of soundproof drywall, which they developed in 2003. This award-winning product is not only soundproof, it is also fireproof and is manufactured using less labor and lower quantities of products and ultimately takes up less space in the home when compared with other soundproof drywall options. QuietRock has a Sound Transmission Class Level of 72.
QuietWood: This particular type of soundproof drywall isn’t actually drywall at all. QuietWood is the only wood panelling product that provides effective sound dampening. This is accomplished through wood panels that have been internally reinforced with soundproofing materials. This product is most suited for new construction products and can be used in place of conventional plywood products.
QuietCoat: This products is manufactured by QuietRock and is a great option for those who cannot replace their drywall entirely. This product goes on like paint and works to lower noise from appliances and electronics typically known for producing bothersome noise. This product can be applied on a wide variety of surfaces, and is commonly used on air conditioning units, computers, and appliances.
Soundbreak® XP®: This brand of drywall is acoustically enhanced drywall with a Sound Transmission Class Level of between 55 and 60. While the STC of this particular soundproof drywall is lower than others, this is a more affordable option compared to QuietRock options and is also thinner and more lightweight.