How to Use a Lead Sheet for Sound Isolation

Written by john jackman
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How to Use a Lead Sheet for Sound Isolation
Isolating the sound in a room is essential when building a home studio. (home recording image by Rachwalski Andrzej from Fotolia.com)

Isolating the sound in a room is essential when building a home studio. Sound isolation differs from acoustic treatments in that it is not aiming to improve the quality of sound within a room, but simply stop any sound entering or leaving the room. A cost-effective way to do this is with lead sheeting. A 4mm sheet of lead provides to same sound isolation as a 4cm sheet of plywood. While lead sheeting is effective at stopping lower frequency sound waves, it is essential to have foam on either side of the sheeting to absorb any sound waves that have been reflected.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Lead sheeting (4mm thick)
  • Plasterboard (1/2 inch thick)
  • Foam (2 inches thick)
  • Universal Bonding Compound

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the dimensions of the walls of your studio. Buy enough lead sheeting and plaster board to cover the walls. For the foam padding, buy double the area of wall space you want to soundproof.

  2. 2

    Mix the Universal Bonding Compound (UBC) with water to create a viscous liquid. Attach foam padding to both sides of the lead sheeting using UBC. Allow to dry. The lead sheeting should now be sandwiched between two layers of foam. This forms the insulation for your studio.

  3. 3

    Using a paint roller, cover one side of an insulation sheet with UBC and press it flush against the wall. Leave it to dry. Repeat this process for the entirety of the wall.

  4. 4

    Coat the underside of a plasterboard sheet with UBC and press this flush against the newly installed insulation. Let it dry and repeat the process along the rest of the wall space.

Tips and warnings

  • Many people now use MLV (mass-loaded vinyl) as an alternative to lead sheeting. It is more durable and just as effective at sound isolation. Follow the same procedure but attach MLV to the foam instead.

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