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How to Soundproof an Existing Wall

February 28, 2024
How to Soundproof an Existing Wall

In the world of making homes more comfortable, there's one aspect that often gets overlooked: noise. You might not realize it, but unwanted noise from outside or even within your own home can disrupt your peace and quiet.

Whether it's the neighbor's TV blaring or the sounds of traffic, these noises can affect your ability to relax or concentrate.

That's why it's important to learn how to soundproof your walls effectively. In this guide, we'll take you through the process step by step, so you can enjoy a quieter and more peaceful living environment.

Understanding Existing Walls

The first step in making your walls quieter is to understand what they're made of. Walls can be made of various materials such as drywall, bricks, or concrete.

Each material behaves differently when it comes to letting sound pass through. For instance, drywall is common in many homes and can allow sound to travel easily if not treated properly.

Conversely, brick or concrete walls tend to block more sound, although some noise may still penetrate them. Knowing the composition of your walls is essential for selecting the most effective soundproofing methods.


Before you start making your walls soundproof, it's important to get everything ready. That means gathering all the things you'll need, like special caulk, Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), and insulation.

Make sure you have everything before you begin so you don't have to stop in the middle. Also, clear out your workspace by moving any furniture or stuff that might get in your way. This will give you plenty of space to work comfortably.

Assessing Sound Issues

The next step is to figure out where the noise is coming from. Is it from outside, like traffic or neighbors, or is it from inside your home, like appliances or voices?

 Understanding where the noise is coming from will help you decide how to best tackle the problem.

You can listen carefully to pinpoint the sources of noise and determine which areas of your walls are most affected.

This will guide you in choosing the right soundproofing solutions to effectively reduce the noise and create a quieter environment.

Methods of Soundproofing

When it comes to making your walls quieter, there are several methods you can try:

  • Filling Gaps and Cracks: Look for any gaps or cracks in your walls and seal them with special caulking. This will help prevent sound from leaking in or out.
  • Adding Mass: Adding heavier materials to your walls, like Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), can help block sound from passing through. You can attach MLV directly to your existing walls for added soundproofing.
  • Soundproofing Insulation: Installing soundproofing insulation inside your walls can help absorb and dampen sound waves, reducing noise transmission. Materials like mineral wool or cellulose are commonly used for this purpose.
  • Double Drywall Technique: Adding a second layer of drywall to your existing walls can create an extra barrier against sound. Make sure to use resilient channels or sound isolation clips to minimize sound transmission between the layers.
  • Green Glue Compound: Applying Green Glue compound between layers of drywall can help dissipate sound energy, further reducing noise transmission.
  • Decoupling the Wall: Decoupling involves creating separation between wall surfaces to minimize direct contact and sound transmission. Techniques like staggered studs or double stud construction can be effective for decoupling walls.    

     Practical Steps

Now that you know the methods, it's time to put them into action. Here are some practical steps to follow:


Filling Gaps and Cracks

To start making your wall quieter, first, look for any small holes or cracks. These openings let sound through easily, so you need to close them up. Here's what you do:

  • Find Holes and Cracks: Use a flashlight to check your wall for any gaps or cracks. Look closely around windows, doors, and other spots where there might be openings.
  • Clean the Area: Before you seal anything, make sure the wall is clean. Use a damp cloth or vacuum to get rid of any dirt or dust.
  • Get the Right Stuff: You'll need special caulk called acoustical caulk. It's made for filling gaps in walls and stopping sound from getting through.
  • Put on the Caulk: Load the acoustical caulk into a caulking gun and squeeze it into the gaps or cracks. Make sure you cover the whole thing.
  • Smooth it Out: After you've put the caulk on, use your finger or a tool to smooth it out. This makes it look nice and stops any extra caulk from sticking out.
  • Let it Dry: Leave the caulk to dry for a day or so. Once it's dry, you can move on to the next step in making your wall quieter.


Adding Mass

Another way to make your wall quieter is by making it heavier. You can do this by using something called Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV). MLV is really heavy, so it stops sound from getting through easily. Here's how you do it:

First, measure the part of your wall you want to make heavier. Then, cut the MLV to fit that area. After that, stick it onto your wall using glue or screws.

Make sure to cover the whole area you want to make quieter. If you don't want to see the MLV, you can cover it with fabric or wallpaper.


Soundproofing Insulation

Soundproofing insulation helps make your wall quieter by absorbing sound. Here's how you can use it:

First, pick the right kind of insulation, like mineral wool or cellulose. These types are better at blocking sound. Then, make sure the area where you want to put the insulation is clean.

Cut the insulation to fit the space and put it in. Fill the space completely and make sure it fits snugly. Seal any gaps around the edges with special caulk.

Finally, cover the wall with drywall to add more soundproofing. By using soundproofing insulation, you can make your home quieter and more comfortable.


The double drywall technique involves adding

another layer of drywall to your existing wall to make it thicker and better at blocking noise. First, attach resilient channels or sound isolation clips to the wall.

Then, hang the second layer of drywall over the first, leaving a small gap between them. Secure the second layer with screws and seal any gaps with caulk. This creates a thicker barrier against noise, making your room quieter.


Green Glue Compound

Using Green Glue compound between layers of drywall helps absorb and spread out sound, making walls better at blocking noise.

Apply it evenly, press the layers firmly, create a random pattern, and let it dry for a week. Seal any gaps with caulk for maximum effectiveness in keeping noise out and making your room quieter.


Decoupling the Wall

Decoupling the wall means making a gap between its layers to lower sound. Here's how: First, pick a method like staggered studs or double stud construction.

This breaks the connection between the layers. Measure and add the decoupling stuff right, like more studs or space between existing ones. Or, use clips that keep one layer of the wall separate from the other.

These clips take in and spread out sound. After putting in the decoupling stuff, attach the drywall. Leave a small gap between layers to stop them from touching. Lastly, seal any gaps with special caulk.

This stops sound from leaking out. By decoupling the wall, you can make your room quieter.

Additional Considerations

When you're working on making your wall quieter, there are a few more things to think about. First, think about what kind of noise you're dealing with. Is it loud talking, music, or footsteps?

Knowing this helps you choose the best way to make your wall quieter. Second, if you don't want to spend a lot of money, there are still ways to make your wall quieter without spending too much.

Look for materials and ways that aren't too expensive but still work well. Also, remember that every room is different. What works in one room might not work in another. So, be ready to try different things to see what works best.

Lastly, if you're not sure what to do, it's okay to ask for help. A person who knows about soundproofing can give you advice based on what you need.

Thinking about these extra things will help you make your wall quieter in the best way possible. 


Making your wall quieter is a good idea for a more peaceful home. By understanding what your wall is made of and where the noise comes from, you can pick the best way to stop it.

There are many methods, like filling gaps, adding heavy stuff like Mass Loaded Vinyl, using special insulation, putting on a second layer of drywall, using Green Glue, or separating the layers of the wall.

You can also think about things like what kind of noise bothers you, how much money you want to spend, and asking for help if you need it.

By doing these things, you can make your home quieter and more comfortable to live in.


What materials are best for soundproofing walls?

Some effective materials for soundproofing walls include Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), soundproofing insulation, acoustic panels, and Green Glue compound. Each material has its own properties and benefits for reducing noise transmission.

Can I soundproof an existing wall myself?

Yes, it is possible to soundproof an existing wall yourself with the right materials and techniques. There are many DIY soundproofing solutions available, but it's important to research and follow proper instructions for best results.

How much does it cost to soundproof a wall?

The cost of soundproofing a wall can vary depending on factors such as the size of the wall, the materials used, and whether professional help is needed. DIY methods can be more budget-friendly, while hiring professionals may incur higher costs