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Materials Can Block Sound?
There are two main classes of materials soundproofing materials.
First, we have materials that absorb sound, and the second class is the materials that block noise.
For starters, it’s important to note that materials that absorb noise such as soundproofing paint, acoustic foam panels, acoustic wallpapers won’t prevent noise/soundwaves from bleeding out or in the room.
Materials that block sound are the best for soundproofing and are highly recommended if you need to prevent sound waves from bleeding to the next room.
While sound-blocking materials play a more vital role in soundproofing, it doesn’t mean that sound-absorbing materials are of no use.
To better understand what materials can block sound, it’s important to first look at more important facts regarding sound blocking vs. sound absorption.
What Is the Difference Between Soundproofing and Sound Absorption?
Soundproofing, or rather sound blocking, refers to the process of stopping sound from leeching in or outside a room.
Sound blocking materials are essentially heavy since they physically have to block sound from passing through them.
When you have a noise problem, sound blocking isn’t the only solution; sometimes, all you need is sound absorption materials.
In the case of a home theater, you mostly need sound absorption to have clear audio qualities.
Additionally, sound-absorbing materials are soft, giving them characteristics that allow sponges to soak up water.
A-List of Materials that Can Block Sound
While you will need sound-blocking materials to help block noise/sound waves from leaking to other rooms in your home, you will also need sound-absorbing materials at the same time.
Soundproofing materials and sound-absorbing materials synchronize and complement each other to improve the acoustical properties of a room.
Even though their uses are quite different, the two products can share one overarching purpose to help achieve reduced noise and echo levels.
Nothing beats the effectiveness and ease of installation of mass-loaded vinyl.
It’s one of the most popular soundproofing materials you can get on the market today.
Not only is this sound barrier great for home soundproofing, but it’s also an effective automotive sound deadening material.
This product is made of heavy vinyl sheeting combined with metallic particles to increase mass.
It helps add more mass to the area where it is installed, providing an added advantage to blocking noise.
This material is comprised of two main ingredients; calcium carbonate or barium sulphate and polyvinyl chloride.
The product is viscoelastic and returns to its original shape once stretched.
One of my most recommended mass-loaded vinyl materials is the Noise Grabber Mass Loaded Vinyl.
If you can’t get mass-loaded vinyl in your local hardware store or online, I would recommend these alternatives to MLV.
2. QuietRock Drywall Panels
QuietRock Drywall panels are soundproofing products comprised of two layers of gypsum and viscoelastic polymers.
If you’ve read my comparison guide dubbed QuietRock vs. Double Drywall, then I’m certain that you’re aware in different ways how this product is different from your regular drywall material.
According to the manufacturer, this drywall product can improve the soundproofing properties of where it’s installed by 15-20 points.
It would take up to four sheets of drywall panels to achieve the same effect as regular drywall panels.
Quietrock will save you space and make sure that you get the desired soundproofing results you deserve.
You will need resilient and hat channels to attach the drywall to the walls or the ceiling.
3. Green Glue Compound
Green glue is a viscoelastic damping compound that isolates sound without hardening.
It’s ideal for renovation projects and new construction, and it’s also one of the most popular and affordable soundproofing materials you can get on the market today.
It’s an acoustic sealant that works best when sandwiched between two layers of soundproofing materials such as drywall.
It can also work great to seal gaps and cracks on the walls. This will help dampen sound vibrations from being transmitted from one side of the wall to the other.
Green glue is also used to fill gaps and joints where the wall meets the ceiling or the floor and where two walls meet.
Additionally, it can also be used around electrical switch boxes and outlets.
On Materials that Block Sound
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.