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How To Insulate Sound Walls




Billy P. of Cleveland, OH wrote:

Hey Itchy,

My bedroom wall separates it from the living room. I want to make it sound proof so my wife and I can have some privacy, if you know what I mean. How do I soundproof a wall?

Depending on the method, soundproofing a wall can be relatively simple or it can get complicated. I'll show you a couple of methods.

Method 1.

Boy, this is going to be messy. Get out your pry bar and take your aggressions out on one side of the wall by removing all of the sheetrock. Make sure all of the nails are pulled as well.


Once all sheetrock is removed you can install the insulation. In a 2X4 framed wall I would use unfaced R-19 batts, crammed in tight. You'll stop more sound when the insulation is packed more denser. Sure you'll lose some R-value but we aren't insulating to keep out heat or cold. Once done, hang new drywall. Don't use the regular 1/2" drywall but instead use a fire rated drywall of 5/8". It will help control the sound better and doesn't cost much more.

Method 2.

Rent a insulation blowing machine from your home improvement store. Make sure to get a 2 inch hose. Next drill 2" holes about across the top of the wall, about 8 inches down from the ceiling. Make sure you have a hole in every wall cavity. Let me tell you man, it's about to get mighty dusty. Make sure your wearing a respirator and goggles. Using the blowing machine, turn on the settings to low and fill the cavities with insulation. I would recommend using cellulose as it is denser. Insulating in this manner can be tricky. You have to listen while filling the wall cavity to make sure it's getting completely filled.


A lot of walls have fire blocks in them and in that case you will have to locate the fire blocks and drill another 2 inch hole about 6 inches underneath it and fill that portion of the wall cavity with insulation. Next you'll need to patch and refinish the drywall. Warning: Do not overfill wall cavities with insulation! I've done it before only to find out the sheetrock on the other side of the wall was bulging and detached from the studs. What a nightmare!

These two methods are probably the easiest. Other methods include framing a wall attached to the existing wall to be soundproofed. Using a 6" plate and staggering the studs 16" on center, one on the inside and the next on the outside edge. Once framed pack all cavities with insulation.

I can't attest as to how well these work but another method is using finished wall covering materials designed for soundproofing. These are hung over existing drywall and come in different colors or you can get the type that you can paint over. Ask someone at your local home improvement center.

Related Tips and Advice:

How To Insulate Knee Walls
How To Insulate An Unvented Crawl Space
How To Insulate A Floor In A Vented Crawl Space
How To Insulate Wood Stud Walls



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