As a tenant, noise can be something quite frustrating. With the influx of modern housing, developers are rushing to cash in big bucks by minimizing the cost and maximizing the profits. As a result, we end up having structures that bleeds noise.
Creating a temporary soundproof wall is one of the most viable options for anyone living in a rental unit. This means that you won’t interfere with the existing wall structure, which could otherwise get you evicted, and also, with temporary soundproofing, you’re able to remove the soundproofing materials when relocating to another neighborhood.
When it comes to soundproofing a wall, it’s important to understand the types of noises that transmit through walls and the different materials that best deal with the noise problem. Below is a detailed guide on temporary soundproof a wall.
What is a Temporary Soundproof Wall?
As the name suggests, a temporary soundproof wall mainly offers “temporary” soundproofing benefits. Temporary doesn’t mean that it’s limited by a short span period, but instead, it’s something sort of flexible.
For example, mass loaded vinyl can temporarily soundproof a wall since you only need to hang the sheet on the wall to block noise and remove it whenever needed.
Temporary soundproofing is perfect for tenants who are restricted from altering their rental units. Additionally, this method is perfect for anyone looking for affordable yet effective ways to reduce noise transmission.
On the other hand, permanent soundproofing solutions are mostly done during the construction phase or renovation period and require extensive work because they interfere with the existing walls.
How Do I Temporarily Soundproof a Wall?
For a temporary soundproof wall, you will need noninvasive soundproofing methods on your existing walls or a shared wall adjacent to the source of the noise. The materials used in this case don’t interfere or damage the walls.
Additionally, the materials used are removable just in case you need t change neighborhoods or when noise is no longer a threat to you.
But to soundproof a wall, there are important steps that you should follow. They include:
- Inspect your walls for possible cracks, gaps and holes.
- Determine the noise source; you should only aim to soundproof the wall adjacent to the noise source unless you experience noise from multiple sources.
- Seal the seams
Temporary Soundproof Wall DIY Methods that Work!
Soundproofing a wall is quite simple if you know what materials to use and build it. If you get good results, then great. However, don’t be surprised if the methods described below don’t give you 100% sound insulation, but you will enjoy considerable sound insulation.
1. Soundproof Curtains
A soundproof curtain works by blocking out sounds from reaching your ears, whether those sounds originate from outside or inside your home (like loud neighbors or barking dogs). Some curtains also help keep outside noise from coming into your home as well as trap heat to reduce energy costs.
One of the most common fabrics used in soundproof curtains is a cotton/polyester blend because it’s highly durable and good at blocking both high and low frequencies. Cotton/polyester blend curtains are also easy to maintain, meaning you don’t have to worry about special cleaning instructions to keep them looking great for years to come.
They typically consist of multiple layers of a soundproof material, a specially-designed fabric that can help insulate your home and block out noise.
2. Soundproof Wallpapers
Soundproof wallpapers are a simple, eco-friendly solution that allows people to reduce the amount of outside sound in their apartments. People who have thin walls or neighbors with loud subwoofers can use this method to prevent loud music from disturbing them throughout the night.
All one has to do is apply wallpaper over the existing wall. This will create air pockets between two layers of paper which help block out noise. These wallpapers are a great solution for soundproofing your walls at home, office or even a music studio.
They are easy to install and reduce the noise of talking people around you, snoring partner or even baby crying. Sticking these decals on your wall will absorb the noise, which means no more echoing noise in your house. If you are tired of constantly repeating yourself when speaking with other people in the same room or simply want some peace and quiet so you can read, study or work without distractions, this is exactly what you need.
3. Soundproof Blankets
Soundproof Blankets prevent noise from entering your room and keep loud noises inside, allowing you to sleep better without distractions so you can wake up feeling rested. When placed under a window, they prevent the decibel level in the room from rising as high as it does, with no insulation present.
The idea is to place the Soundproof Blankets around your room’s noisy areas to soundproof them, so you can avoid disturbing other people or being disturbed by outside noise at night.
In addition, Soundproof Blanket lower ambient temperatures due to opposition from thermal conductivity and their ability to block the radiating heat from a space heater. They can also help minimize drafts and thus lower your heating bill by as much as 30%.
4. Soundproof Paint
Soundproof paint is a type of paint made with special acoustic materials applied on walls, ceilings or floors. It reduces reverberation in enclosed areas such as entertainment venues, studios and home theaters.
Soundproofing paints work by blocking sound waves from traveling across surfaces such as sheetrock (drywall) and wood planking.
A 2012 study conducted by the Acoustical Society of America showed that these commercial soundproofing paints can perform up to expectations if applied correctly.
Soundproof paint is a gentle but effective way to reduce sound. The paint has an extremely thin absorptive layer that can block up to 70% noise.
Apply 2 coats of the paint over the entire surface at least three days apart for proper curing time.
5. Acoustic Caulk
Acoustic caulk is applied to create a seal between adjacent surfaces. It creates a tight seal against air, water and sound transmission. The benefit of using acoustic caulking is that it reduces the amount of noise transferring through walls, between rooms or floors.
Acoustic caulk is basically an aesthetic invention–it fills in gaps in walls, which reduces noise transmission by up to 75 percent.
It’s readily available at your local hardware store, and it’s easy to install. All you need are some basic tools (tape measure, utility knife, caulking gun) and about half an hour.
Acoustic caulk is also compatible with most types of wall surfaces, including drywall, brick; concrete; hardboard; metal; wood or vinyl siding panels (or any other material).
6. Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam panels are the most straightforward and affordable way to soundproof a wall. They can be used both as a standalone product or as a secondary Material layered behind drywall with additional acoustic insulation products.
Acoustic foam panels have been shown to reduce noise by as much as 50%, depending on frequency. The thicker the panel, the more effective it is at blocking sound from coming through your wall.
There are also corner foam panels that provide the highest absorption when mounted at the corner where two surfaces meet, usually inwards or outwards facing.
7. Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass loaded vinyl comes in many different thicknesses that can keep sound from coming through. If you are looking to soundproof a wall, you should use Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) 1/2″ inches thick.
This product is great for absorbing sound in acoustic studios and is easy to install on most walls. Mass loaded vinyl comes in long rolls that can be attached directly onto most interior or exterior walls without any additional insulation.
Mass loaded vinyl absorbs noise by converting the sound energy into heat instead of allowing it to travel through the wall, which reduces noise levels coming from inside your recording studio, office, living room or anywhere you want a greater degree of privacy.
The beauty of using MLV for this purpose is adhesive on one side. Just rip off a piece about 2-3 inches larger than your desired area, peel off the paper on one side, adhere it to the wall and staple it into place. When applied correctly, mass loaded vinyl is not going to peel off your walls since it’s manufactured using an industrial adhesive.
8. Block Air Vent
Block an air vent in the wall to prevent airborne noise from leaking into the room. Buy rigid foam and cut it into 6-inch squares long enough to fill the gap between two studs. Slip each piece into the gap, then seal each side of the gap with acoustic caulk.
The downside is that this method may reduce airflow from a heating/cooling unit if there is one on that side of the wall.
Pros: Affordable and easy to do yourself. Blocks air movement through a wall, helping prevent sound leakage through a shared wall.
Cons: Airflow will be reduced from any HVAC units on that side of the wall.
9. Rearrange Furniture
One of the simplest solutions to noise problems maybe just moving the furniture around. By rearranging your room, you might reduce the amount of sound that passes through a shared wall without significantly affecting your own ability to hear conversations or other sounds.
This solution is often overlooked but can instantly impact how much noise transfers between rooms without compromising anyone’s privacy.
Simply moving all your sofas to one side of the room could significantly reduce the amount of noise coming from it compared with both sofas facing toward each other in opposite corners of the room.
This method would work best for large, heavy pieces of furniture such as cabinets and bookcases; it is easier to arrange them so that they completely cover a wall, rather than a stack of books that often tends to fall over after a while.
It is also more effective when the wall they cover is shared with someone who creates excessive noise.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is Acoustic Partition Wall?
Most commonly, it’s an interior wall in place of a standard wall which creates two separate rooms. The most typical partition is drywall with studs or blocking that separates the rooms. However, for soundproofing purposes, the construction of these walls can be done in various ways depending on what you’re trying to accomplish acoustically.
How Can I Temporarily Soundproof a Room?
If you want to soundproof a room without permanent modifications, a great trick is to start by lining the floor with foam tiles, either the egg-crate kind or preferably an interlocking rubber mat. Cost: around $100. You can also hang heavy drapes over all of your walls and windows and hang some acoustic blankets on your door.
How Can I Cheaply Soundproof a Wall?
To cheaply soundproof a wall, you can use egg cartons. Cut them, so they create the shape of your wall and place them between the acoustical fiber insulation panels on your wall. You can also use quilt batting or cotton cloth, though it’s harder to find in standard drywall widths.
What Are Some Examples of Cheap Soundproofing Materials?
Some examples include egg cartons, mineral wool, and carpet tiles. Of these three, mass loaded vinyl is one of the top choices since it’s durable enough to resist mold and moisture while still being far cheaper than other options like foam or rock wool.
Can Egg Cartons Soundproof a Room?
Put simply…yes! Egg cartons are very good for soundproofing rooms. They can reduce sounds by up to 50% (sometimes more). This is because the egg carton effectively absorbs the sound. It does this in 3 main ways:
1) The Fiber Particles in the Cardboard absorb high frequencies.
2) The Paper on the inside of the Carton absorbs mid-frequencies.
3) And, lastly, Styrofoam also absorbs mid-frequencies.
All these elements combine beautifully to give you an egg carton that is very good at absorbing sounds.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.