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Acoustical wallpaper, also known as soundproof wallpaper, isn’t your typical wallpaper. It’s a dense and thick wallpaper similar to any other standard wallpaper in appearance but will help dampen the sound coming into your room.
But let’s be clear from the word go.
Regardless of its density or material used, don’t expect it to transform any room, sounding like a night club to something as quiet as a library.
Here’s a fact buddy,
Acoustical wallpaper will only make a minimal difference in reducing the amount of outside noise getting into your room.
For effectiveness, I would recommend combining this method with other soundproofing methods.
For example, you can use green glue or its alternatives to seal cracks on the wall before installing the wallpaper or apply soundproof paint, among other methods.
What Is Acoustical Wallpaper and How Does It Work?
It may not be something that comes into your mind when buying wallpaper, but some wallpapers can dampen noise.
However, you can’t expect acoustical wallpaper to entirely deaden the sound, but it can help reduce the level of noise.
There are several reasons to buy acoustical wallpaper. They include:
- You share a common wall with a neighbor and would like to reduce daily noises
- If you entertain friends around your home and would like to keep the noise down when high volume friends come knocking.
- You have a children’s nursery/playroom and would want to keep their noises down during playtime.
- You reside in a very noisy neighborhood and would like to block out outside noises.
One of the main reasons why an acoustical wallpaper reduces noise levels is due to its layered nature.
It features an additional layer of either latex or foam mix that can really dampen noise in the room and coming from the outside.
The best part is that the additional latex or foam materials don’t affect the way or the rooms you hang these wallpapers.
Additionally, you can hang the wallpaper in your garage to help dampen the sounds of your garage door opening and closings or the sounds of garage tools such as shop vacuum cleaner and air compressors.
What are the Benefits of Acoustical Wallpaper?
Now that you’re aware of what an acoustic wallpaper is and how it works let’s have a look at some of its benefits.
1. Easy installation
The installation is quick and easy, just as installing a traditional wallpaper. Paste your walls and then stick the wallpaper to the walls.
Ensure it’s hanging straight.
It should take a few hours or minutes to install in a single room. Below is a video guide on how to install wallpaper.
2. Add style to the interior décor
These wallpapers are available in different colors and styles, allowing you to choose one that complements the interior décor of your home.
You will be getting 2 benefits in 1. Not only will the wallpaper reduce outside noise, but it will also help beautify your house interiors.
Fire & smoke resistance
Like regular wallpapers, acoustical wallpapers are designed to meet recommended interior fire and smoke standards.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about them being a fire hazard.
Not only easy to install, but acoustical wallpapers are also much affordable than most other soundproofing methods.
You won’t break the bank if you go the wallpaper way.
If you’re looking for other ways to soundproof a room, check out this article.
Acoustical Paint and Wallpaper
Let’s be honest, some soundproofing materials can be costly. And if you have a large room to soundproof, you may end up spending thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, to save some bucks on, you can combine acoustical paint and wallpapers to help dampen noise further.
However, it’s important to note that acoustical paint only addresses mid-frequency noises. This means you can’t soundproof against bass noise or high-frequency noises.
You can’t soundproof against high frequency sounds like the sound of a flute or low-frequency noises like outside traffic or planes.
Acoustical paint is a cheap cost solution for those looking to enhance the acoustical properties of their space and the appearance of their rooms.
However, there are a few restrictions when it comes to soundproofing paint:
- Soundproofing paint doesn’t make a huge difference. Human beings perceive a loss of 10dB to be 50% quieter. Acoustical paint doesn’t soundproof but instead aids in sound-absorbing.
- Acoustical paint leaves a very thick coating on the wall producing a raised/speckled surface. To achieve good soundproofing results, you have to apply multiple coats, which leads to a more raised surface.
- Acoustic paint can only be tinted to lighter pastel colors because of its high pigment content. Therefore, your interior décor options are restricted with acoustic paint.
Acoustical Wallpaper Alternatives That Work
If you feel that acoustical wallpaper isn’t the right product for you, there are some alternatives that you can try. Let’s get started:
Acoustic Foam Panels
Foam panels are available in a variety of patterns, colors, thickness, and varying sound ratings.
They are easy to install and help absorb multi-frequency sounds, improves acoustics, minimizes echoes, and keeps sound from escaping from the four walls you hang them on.
If you have a home theater and want to improve the acoustics, you can try hanging some foam panels on the walls. Also, check out this guide on quiet projectors for gaming and home theater.
For a low budget recording studio, you can try soundproofing it with acoustic foam panels. These panels are also perfect for:
- Gun ranges, compressor enclosures, engine compartments, manufacturing facilities
- Ceiling tiles, equipment enclosures, utility rooms, machine rooms
- Computer rooms, medical facilities, offices, and clean rooms.
Mass loaded vinyl is yet another soundproofing material you can use if you have a more serious noise problem.
For effectiveness, you can combine MLV with wallpaper to make the room quieter. Unfortunately, I won’t recommend you to hang mass loaded vinyl in your living room or bedroom.
They may interfere with the interior decors of your rooms. Same case with the acoustic foam panels.
Unfortunately, MLV is more expensive than acoustical wallpaper.
This is a cost-free method that you could also combine with either soundproofing paint or wallpaper.
Because sound travels and bounces of the hard surfaces such as walls in your house, covering the walls with paint, bookshelves, and furniture will not only improve the acoustics of your room but will also reduce unwanted noise.
Cellulose insulation is also considered as a good way of reducing noise. This material can be very effective in noise reduction; however, it needs to be installed the right way or else the soundproofing won’t work.
Cellulose is mainly used for heat insulation rather than sound dampening, but it will help with some noise insulation.
Final Thoughts on Acoustical Wallpaper
Does acoustical wallpaper work? Yes, it does work, and its effectiveness can be enhanced by combining with other soundproofing methods.
While wallpaper may not be as effective as other costly soundproofing methods, it surely does help reduce noise levels in your house without breaking the bank.