There are many reasons why you might want to create a sound barrier in your home. Your home may reside on a busy street or intersection, or you may notice noise leaking from one room into another. If you are looking for increased privacy, quiet, and comfort inside of your home, there are ways to create a soundproof barrier using drywall.
While conventional drywall will help muffle sound, it won’t completely 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 sound waves and allows the noise to pass through into a room or home.
There are many do-it-yourself strategies, however, the simplest and most effective method to preserve the quiet of your home is through the installation of specialty soundproof drywall products.
How Does Soundproof Drywall Work?
Drywall is primarily comprised of gypsum or calcium sulfate. Gypsum is the core component to drywall, as it is affordable, fire-proof, and helps dampen noise. In specialized, soundproof drywall the solid gypsum core is replaced with an inner layer of gypsum, viscoelastic, and ceramics. These materials work together to create a better barrier to block noise.
Cost Comparison: Standard Drywall or Soundproof Drywall
Many homeowners are concerned about the cost-effectiveness of using soundproof drywall in their home.
Soundproof drywall is an investment, costing $40 or more for a single sheet compared to standard drywall that costs an estimated $10 per sheet. To be mindful of your home improvement budget, you may choose to limit the soundproof drywall to the rooms of your home where noise is the largest concern. While you may have standard drywall throughout your home, reserve soundproof drywall for the bedrooms or office.
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.
Soundproof Drywall Brands and 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 also fireproof and is manufactured using less labor and lower quantities of products. QuietgRock’s products take up less space in the home when compared with other soundproof drywall options. QuietRock’s 545 has a Sound Transmission Class Level of 80.
QuietRock also offers QuietCoat, which is a great option for homeowners 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.
You can also learn more about soundproof windows for your home.