How to soundproof a wall cheaply

Written by robert raphael
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How to soundproof a wall cheaply
You can insulate against the noise of a washing machine. (poplasen/iStock/Getty Images)

Soundproofing walls is a necessity if you have a home music studio or laundry room and want to create a totally or partially soundproof space. When it comes to sound isolation, there is no single magic material that can solve the problem. It is rather a combination of various materials and methods that makes a good soundproof barrier. That is why it is possible to make a cheap sound isolation that is just as effective as an expensive commercial kind.

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pry tool
  • Hammer
  • Fibreglass foam
  • Staple gun or nail gun
  • Power drill
  • Plasterboard screws
  • Egg cartons

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure all the walls in the room you wish to insulate. Make sure you have the exact dimensions of each of the walls in order to obtain the right amount of material.

  2. 2

    Prepare the wall for the installation by removing all furniture, pictures and other obstacles first. Remove one side of the plasterboard, using a pry bar and a hammer. Do it carefully, not to damage the panels, since they will be used after acoustic isolation is installed. Place the plasterboard panels aside for later.

  3. 3

    Cut the fibreglass insulation from the roll into strips the length of the wall height. Use a large utility knife and a ruler to cut the insulation.Wear sturdy working gloves during the whole process. Do not touch the fibreglass with bare hands. Wear goggles and a filtering face mask when working with fibreglass insulation.

  4. 4

    Attach strips of the fibreglass insulation to the inside of your wall using a staple gun or nail gun. Start from one corner of the wall, placing the fibreglass bat at the top of the wall and rolling it down to the bottom. After the first piece is attached, place the next one near it, without an overlap and without any space between. A thicker layer of acoustic insulation means better soundproofing results. Cut spaces for electric sockets or light switches as needed.

  5. 5

    Reinstall the plasterboard panels to your wall, replacing any damaged ones in the process. Use plasterboard screws and a power drill and follow the usual procedure for installing plasterboard.

  6. 6

    Attach egg cartons to the surface of your wall for extra acoustic protection. This material can be stapled, nailed and even glued to the wall surface.

  7. 7

    Hang thick and heavy tapestries all along the wall, covering the acoustic isolation material. The tapestry fabric will absorb any noise and generally dampen the sounds.

Tips and warnings

  • A non-invasive, although not as effective and cheap, method of soundproofing a wall is cutting small holes in the plasterboard and filling them with expendable foam insulation.
  • Use a pry bar, hammer and utility knife with great caution and care.
  • Wear a face mask while removing the plasterboard.

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