How To Soundproof Thin Walls

by Matthew David | Updated: 09/15/2023

How To Soundproof Thin Walls

Hey friend! Do you ever feel like your apartment walls are just too thin? Like your neighbor’s loud music, barking dogs, or screaming kids are right there in your living room with you? We’ve all been there – thin walls make it seem impossible to get any peace and quiet.

But don’t stress, there are some simple and affordable ways you can soundproof those thin walls and finally get some relief! In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about soundproofing thin walls, from materials to methods.

Why Soundproof Thin Walls?

Before we dive in, let’s go over why you may want to soundproof in the first place. Here are some of the top benefits:

Now that you know why soundproofing is worthwhile, let’s look at what materials you’ll need.

Materials Needed for Soundproofing Thin Walls

There are a variety of soundproofing materials that can help with different noise issues. Here are some of the most common and effective options:

Soundproof Blankets and Curtains

Soundproof blankets and curtains are a flexible way to reduce noise coming through walls. They can be installed temporarily or permanently using adhesive strips, nails, hooks or tension rods. Key benefits:

Acoustic Foam Panels

Acoustic foam panels are specially designed to absorb sound waves and reduce echoes. They come in various sizes and levels of thickness. Advantages include:

Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is a heavy, dense vinyl material used to add mass to walls. Key features:

Soundproof Insulation

Soundproofing insulation contains noise-absorbing materials that reduce sound transmission when installed in walls, ceilings or floors. Key traits:

Now let’s go over some simple soundproofing methods and tips you can start applying right away.

Soundproofing Tips and Methods

Here are some straightforward techniques for soundproofing thin walls:

Add Furniture and Shelves

Placing furniture like bookcases, hutches and wardrobes against shared walls creates additional mass to block noise. Make sure to leave a small gap between furniture and walls, and fill it with acoustic insulation or foam pads for enhanced sound absorption.

Use Absorbent Materials on Walls

Hanging blankets, corkboards, foam egg crate pads, tapestries or acoustic panels directly on thin walls absorbs noise energy and reduces sound transmission. Use adhesive strips or removable mounting putty for renter-friendly installation.

Install Additional Drywall

Adding one or two extra layers of drywall to walls beefs up mass and creates more airspace for noise to dissipate before passing through. Check with your landlord first if you rent. Stagger seams between layers for best results.

Seal Cracks and Holes

Even tiny cracks and holes allow noise to leak through easily. Seal openings with acoustic caulk or spray foam to prevent sound entry points. Acoustic sealants remain flexible over time compared to traditional caulk.

Apply Noiseproofing Paint

Special soundproofing paint contains absorbing materials and polymers that dampen noise vibrations rather than reflecting them. The extra coating thickness also adds damping mass. Use two coats for optimal effectiveness.

Next, let’s go over some more advanced soundproofing techniques.

Advanced Soundproofing Techniques

For even higher noise blocking capability, consider these upgraded soundproofing methods:

Sound Isolation Clips and Channels

Sound isolation clips mechanically detach drywall from wall studs to prevent noise transfer through framing. Channels create a noise damping air gap. This eliminates noise flanking at edges.

Double Stud Walls with Staggered Studs

Using two rows of staggered wall studs with a small gap creates airspace for greater noise reduction. Sound has to turn corners repeatedly rather than passing straight through. Excellent for blocking persistent noise sources like busy roads.

Safe and Sound Insulation

Specialized acoustic insulation like ROXUL Safe and Sound contains density-varying materials engineered to absorb a wide sound frequency range. Installing in wall cavities provides superior airborne noise absorption compared to standard insulation.

Additional Tips for Noise Reduction

Here are a few more simple tricks to make your space as quiet as possible:

White Noise Machines

White noise machines generate soothing background sounds like falling rain, ocean waves or ambient tones that mask unwanted noises. Place one near your bedroom or living area to cover external sounds.

Draft Stoppers Under Doors

Stop noise leaks under doorways by lining the gap beneath with an acoustic door draft stopper. The dense filler blocks sound escape routes for improved noise containment.

Thick Rugs and Carpets

Adding plush, padded rugs over floors absorbs impact noises and dampens vibrations caused by footsteps and dropped items from transferring to lower units. Rugs also add beneficial mass.

Heavy Drapes Over Windows

Sound waves can pass through glass easily. Installing heavy, insulating drapes over windows facing noise sources blocks outdoor noises from entering your interior space. Choose drapes with blackout lining for maximum effectiveness.

Conclusion

I hope this overview gave you plenty of ideas on how to tackle the problem of noise coming through thin walls! The good news is that there are many straightforward, budget-friendly ways to upgrade your walls for soundproofing using simple DIY materials.

Start with basic solutions like furniture placement, absorbing wall hangings and sealing cracks. For more robust sound blocking, bring in reinforced drywall, isolation clips, insulation and soundproofing paint. With the right combination of upgrades, you can transform even the thinnest walls into a noise-free oasis. Here’s to keeping the peace and quiet right where it belongs – inside your own space!