It is important for us to be aware of the most effective materials that can be used for soundproofing. If you are constantly bothered by a noisy neighbor or want to soundproof your house, it is important that you know the most general materials and how they can help solve these problems.
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is one of the best noise-canceling materials, but it’s not cheap. There are different alternatives to mass-loaded vinyl and you will be surprised at how much you can achieve with them.
The best part about the alternatives of mass-loaded vinyl is that they are much cheaper, yet as effective as their expensive counterparts.
Mass-loaded vinyl will be your most effective soundproofing option for strong and steady noise. So, if that’s the type of noise you are experiencing in your studio or apartment, I strongly suggest using MLV as an effective solution.
Underlayment is a great alternative to mass-loaded vinyl. It can make the floor quieter and more comfortable.
This subflooring material is applied under the floor and on top of the subfloor.
Underlayment can improve the flooring by adding its insulating and soundproof nature. It is used as a cushion underneath hardwood floors, to reduce the impact noise.
Our suggestion for a great floor underlayment is Roberts 70-193A Super Felt Cushion Underlayment Roll. This product creates a soft surface beneath the floor, which helps reduce noise levels.
Another benefit is that it helps insulate the home from temperature fluctuations. This underlayment will also help reduce cold drafts from below, on top of the current floor.
Sound Reducing Curtains
Sound reducing curtains are a good alternative to mass-loaded vinyl. These curtains are made of heavy fabric and can be used in any room that has a window or door.
Unlike MLV these curtains look good and can add to your home interior. Thick curtains can be used to block out sounds such as traffic or people talking.
These curtains may not block out the noise completely, but they will reduce it, absorbing audio energy as they trap air in their fabric. If you consider buying noise-reducing curtains, then make sure to buy the best quality you can afford.
Even cheap curtains would be better than nothing at all as they can reduce some of the ambient noise. Parameters like size, weight, thickness, acoustic resistance, and others play an important role in the whole effect.
That means that a good quality thick curtain will be more effective. The size of the curtains is paramount for reducing noise as it gives you a certain amount of surface area.
When you are buying thicker curtains, make sure to consider the length of your window or door. They mustn’t be too long or short for the particular. Considering it all we suggest you choose NICETOWN Bedroom Blackout Curtains because of their great quality and affordable price.
Green glue is another soundproofing option, and it is a great alternative to mass-loaded vinyl.
This is a relatively new material for soundproofing the wall and ceiling panels in a home. This type of soundproofing requires less time to install. Its adhesive properties are permanent and not affected by changes in temperature.
Green glue could be used to soundproof drywall or ceilings because it minimizes noise transmission to the space outside or even between rooms. This product is a good alternative to mass-loaded vinyl, as it has similar noise absorption properties and does not require special tools for application.
It is also a great solution for floor underlayment because it reduces the impact of noise. One of the best qualities of green glue is that it can be used in wet rooms, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
Green glue consists of either rubber-based adhesives or synthetic resins that contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) – this makes it a good alternative to mass-loaded vinyl, which is also not regulated by VOCs.
Related: Green Glue Alternatives: What’s Your Best Choice?
Drywall is a type of material that you can use to build your walls. It provides several different benefits, primarily to do with the way it performs.
As you will already know if you have some experience of building and maintaining walls in your home or business premises, one of the main problems is keeping soundproof properties and damp resistance levels up to standard.
The normal drywall does not add much to noise-canceling, since many of the sheets have too many air pockets. This means that sound can travel through it far too easily. As a result, you will still find some properties in your home or business un-soundproofed.
There is special drywall that contains viscoelastic materials and ceramics. These materials greatly increase soundproofing properties and make it easier to get a good level of damp resistance.
You can pair it with green glue for even better soundproofing.
Carpet or Rug
A carpet or rug can help make your room quieter. This is a good solution especially when there is no floor underlayment. Also, they are relevantly cheap and easy to install compared to floor underlayment and are a good alternative to mass-loaded vinyl.
Soundproofing the windows, doors, and walls is a must but covering the floor can seriously help. Carpets add softness, warmth, and beauty to a room. The thick and tight carpets make it difficult for noise to travel through them. Those are the most important factors to consider when buying a new carpet.
If you are planning to go with carpets, make sure that you choose a carpet that is dense and thick in fibers like this Soft Fluffy Area Rug, as it will be able to block more noise than a thin one. It should have as much weight as possible.
If you already have a rug or carpet on your floor, adding padding underneath the carpet can provide additional soundproofing. If that’s the case, look for padding that is suitable for your carpet, and remember that comfort and soundproofing are most important in this case.
Even if the padding is thin, it will still make a difference. It will not only improve soundproofing, but it will drastically increase the lifespan of your carpet.
Lastly, installing the carpet padding is really easy, and you don’t need any professional help to do it.
Acoustic Foam Panel
The acoustic foam panels absorb sound rather than reflect it. They are used for soundproofing in places like recording studios, auditoriums, theatres, and sports halls. Acoustic foam panels are made of a polymer that absorbs the sound as it goes into the material. They are a great alternative to MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl).
The size, color, and design of acoustic foam panels can also be changed to suit the needs of the customer. Because they have a very low mass per unit area, these foam panels are a fantastic choice for soundproofing. They may be cut into any form and size to suit your needs, making them easy to install as well.
If you are looking to buy a foam panel, we suggest you check Acoustic Wedge Soundproofing Studio Foam Tiles, because they are lightweight, easy to install, and can also be used for multiple applications.
The panels are usually made in rectangular shapes, but you can order customized sizes according to your requirement. These panels are also fireproof, unlike other acoustic foam panels on the market.
Sound clips are usually installed on the floor beams, but they can be used for wall and ceiling soundproofing as well. That makes them another really good alternative to MLV.
Sound clips reduce vibrations and are really effective on lower frequencies, but they are not as effective on high frequencies like mass-loaded vinyl. Yet, sound clips do provide in a certain way damping.
Sound clips like RSIC-1 Resilient Sound Clip with Mounting Screws are really easy to install, you just need to use a stapler and the clips don’t require any extra materials like mass-loaded vinyl.
In general, sound clips can be installed on walls, floors, and ceilings, giving you more freedom of placement in areas with limited space. Sound clips should be used mainly as an impact sound dampener. With such sound clips, you can get up to 15 STC Points in sound reduction, which is excellent for impact sound elimination.
Write a conclusion for the article If you are looking for ways to make your studio or apartment quieter; there are a variety of solutions that can be tailored to fit the type and severity of noise.
Mass-loaded vinyl is an effective soundproofing option if you experience steady noise like traffic or construction, but it won’t do much good in places with high frequencies.
If those higher pitches bother you more than low rumbles, consider using acoustic foam panels instead – they provide dampening while still being easy to install and lightweight.
Sound clips may also work well as impact sound dampeners; however, don’t expect them to block out everything. Remember that choosing one solution over another does not mean giving up on all others – choose what will suit your needs best!
Further Reading: Best Soundproofing Insulation 2023: 10 Top Performers to Block out the World