The basic function of soundproofing is to reduce the loud sound from leaving the room. For that, you need to use soundproof materials. Certainly, sound absorption is also crucial for soundproofing success. You can place as many layers of sound absorption materials on the walls, but the soundproofing effect will eventually provide you with the material from which these layers are made. In this article, we’ll talk about the best soundproof insulation materials that are used in homes. So, let’s start!
What Is a Soundproofing Material?
Soundproofing material is a material that is used to improve the sound quality within a room. Also, it is used to reduce the level of sound that is leaking into adjacent rooms and areas. To better understand how soundproofing materials work, we must first understand how sound works. First, try for a moment to think of sound as the type of energy that comes from the vibration of an object.
The energy that is generated by the vibration needs to go somewhere. As it searches for its path to the exit points, it makes things in the air around vibrate. When sound reaches a person, they experience vibrations in the brain as sound. If we summarize this story about sound, we can say that sound travels through various obstacles to reach our ears and then our brains after it is created.
Thus, soundproofing means reducing the sound pressure from a particular source so that it does not reach a certain area. For this purpose, specialized materials are used, without which soundproofing would not be possible.
There are materials on the market that have the characteristic of noise reduction. Among them, it is important to choose the one that suits you best in terms of noise frequencies and transmission modes. Also, an important role is a location where these soundproofing materials will be placed.
For those who want to learn more, be sure to read Does a Laundry Room Need a Floor Drain? Plumber Explain.
Main Types of Soundproofing Materials
Below we will present the most popular soundproofing materials. Each of them is the best for a particular need, and each of them belongs to a specific category such as: Sound Dampening, Sound Insulation, and Decoupling.
- Acoustic Foam – This is the material that is also called ‘Studio Foam’. It has a very distinctive wedge that associates to a pyramid shape. It is extremely effective for sound absorption. This material can be attached to the wall, can sit in the room corner like bass traps, or can hang from ceilings in form of baffles.
- Sound Insulation – Sound insulation represents batts made of rock wool, fiberglass, and mineral wool. They are designed to fit in gaps in wall studs. The batts are fitted very comfy between studs and take up airspace.
- Acoustic Panels – This is the material that is used for sound insulation and foam sound-absorbing. They can be found in many fancy patterns, fabrics, and colors. Their purpose is for soundproofing and making the room snazzy.
- Acoustic Fabrics – This type of fabric is usually used in blackout curtains, theater curtains, and studio blankets. They are much heavier and thicker than other models of fabrics.
- Acoustic Coatings – This is a dense material that resembles rubber. A good example is Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) which is used in vehicles. From car soundproofing to soundproofing of appliances and machinery. It can also be used as an underlayment. The mass of this material acts like a sound barrier.
- Floor Underlayment – We are talking here about felt, polymers, and cork rolls, which are the most common choices for underlayment materials. They are used when a tile or hardwood floor needs decoupling for the flooring surface or the subfloor to reduce sound transmission.
- Architectural Soundproofing – Basically in this category are all the materials that are used when it comes to building construction. Here we have soundproof walls, soundproof doors, and windows. Also, the decoupling products that are used for installing them.
7 Best Soundproof Insulation Materials
As already mentioned, soundproofing materials are used to absorb sound. This section will talk about the best soundproof insulation materials that you can use in your home or office to reduce sound. This is very important if you have loud neighbors or if you are surrounded by an area that is quite noisy. So, let’s start with the list:
1. Owens Corning 703
This model is designed so that its basic function is energy conservation with the help of climate control. However, this is not the only advantage. Among them is the improvement of acoustic properties in buildings during construction.
Corning 703 fiberglass boards and panels are acoustic panels that are usually used during the construction of churches, special buildings, and homes because they are great when you need to capture higher tones frequency in space. If you like the bass sound, this model is also suitable for you due to the density inside the panels.
Related Article: Are Moving Blankets Soundproof (Explained)
2. Rockwool Acoustic Mineral Insulation
When installing insulation in their home, the first thing that comes to mind is how the insulation material will ensure climate control of their house. They are often unaware that the materials they use have soundproofing properties because they block the space through which sound usually passes.
Well-known manufacturers of insulation materials, such as Roxul, have designed an acoustic insulation material that has a sound-blocking function and is excellent in performing this function. Because of that, this is an excellent base for soundproofing spaces, especially when it comes to facilities that are still under construction.
If you want to achieve soundproofing with the help of this type of material, and the home where you live already has this (sheetrock) installed on the walls, you must remove them first. Otherwise, soundproofing will not achieve the best results.
3. Johns Manville Mineral Wool Batt
Johns Manville Wool’s primarily produces insulation material that is intended for climate control but still has good soundproofing properties. We are not talking about “faced” insulation, which means that both sides of it are equal and have no coating. But that’s why it’s an insulating material that’s twice as dense as the previous two we talked about.
This insulation wool is pre-cut. This material is only used when it comes to interior walls, and it is not recommended for exterior walls. Keep in mind that this is a low-cost option in opposition to Owens Corning.
4. ATS Acoustics Rigid Board
The ATS acoustics is a name for insulation boards of rigid fiberglass boards. They are initially made and used for different purposes, and not for the inside wall insulation. This type of board is mostly used covered by the fabric and affixed to the wall from the outside so it can absorb sound that is spreading within a room.
This installation process is well known on walls inside churches and theaters. They are not as popular as the rest mentioned, but they still represent effective insulation material for soundproofing.
5. Arrowzoom Acoustic Wool Board
An Acoustic Mineral Wool Arrowzoom is an insulation board that is almost the same as the previous models that we mentioned above. This material has no coating on its insulation. That’s because the manufacturers who made this board wanted to improve specifically sound quality along with the standard insulation characteristics.
6. Moving Blankets
Moving blankets are not only used for moving furniture but also for other things. Today, we know that thick plush blankets or fabrics, like, for example, blankets Sure Max Heavy Duty, are successfully used for sound absorption. You can put them over doors and windows, on the walls, and even in a sound booth used for recording.
The Sure Max blankets are made from polyester backing and cotton plush batting. Each one weighs over 5 pounds. They do not come with grommets that are used for easy hanging. But we are talking about good material, and it comes cheap. It is recommendable for sound-absorbing setups on the budget.
7. Sweep Kit & Door Sealing Gasket
Unwanted noise usually travels from the gaps between the door and a door jam. Compressible foam as gasket material helps to seal up that gap and absorbs a portion of the sound. The door sweep port is supposed to seal up the section of the floor up to the door, especially when it comes to hard floors.
It is, however, just one little puzzle piece when we talk about soundproofing doors. A cheap and hollow door will still transmit sound. Even if you use a door sweep and a gasket. You may need to use acoustic blankets or curtains in this problematic area.
Related Article: Is Spray Foam Good For Soundproofing?
Sound Absorbing VS. Soundproofing Materials
People most often make the wrong conclusion and think that soundproofing is the same thing as sound-absorbing. This is not true; sound absorption is just one part of soundproofing.
The biggest difference between soundproofing material and sound-absorbing is that sound-absorbing material is used to achieve better acoustics in the room, and soundproofing material blocks the sound path.
Sound-absorbing materials have the task of reducing echoing and reverberations of sounds present in the room. They do not have the ability to stop the sound from leaving or entering. So it happens that great sound-absorbing materials can be pretty useless when it comes to soundproofing.
However, when you need to complete sound isolation, the recommendable option is to join these two materials as they give their best together. But, when you do not mind the reverberations, and the only problem that you have is connected to sounds, soundproofing is your best choice.
If you want to improve your bedroom, be sure to read How To Soundproof A Bedroom In 8 Steps.
What Is The Best Material For Soundproofing?
It’s very hard to pick the best insulation material from this list. However, if I need to pick one, then I would pick – Owens insulation of fiberglass. Owens Corning represents the leading company for fiberglass insulation. It is so for a very good reason. Owens Corning insulation material is designed for effective climate control, but it also has acoustical control.
Materials for insulation are usually materials that can be found inside the framework in your home located between hanging drywall sheets. But you need to keep in mind that soundproofing in some cases includes also foam panels. Foam panels are mostly used when it comes to the exterior walls in a space where you are providing soundproofing for. When you are in need of an additional soundproofing layer, we advise you to use foam panels for your wall.
Acoustic Foam Panel
These panels are flat and 24 inches wide by 48 inches long, 1-inch thick. The great thing about them is that they can cover large surfaces and are very thick. How many panels you need is determined by the soundproofing insulation that is needed in the room. Sometimes is just one, and sometimes is many flat acoustic panels.
Foamily Acoustic Foam Pyramid Foam Panel
These flat foam panels come 24 inches wide by 48 inches long, and with a thickness of two inches. The surface of the panel is sculpted, not flat-surfaced, and it is visible as a pyramid design of 2-inches.
For applying foam panels to the walls, you have to spray it with an adhesive that is foam-safe and then just apply it to the wall. Foam panels that are used for soundproofing today can be bought in many sizes, colors, and shapes. This allows you to splash with decorating options, rather than choose standard dark gray or black color.
Adding quality insulation in the framework of the walls is the best way to soundproof your home. This type of insulation helps to soundproof the space as well as to keep the comfy temperature thought the home. Owens Corning fiberglass material for insulation is the best choice.
When you want to add extra soundproofing in just one room in your house, the option is to add foam panels on the exterior walls of that room. These foam panels are absorbing and reflect sound from coming into the room that is soundproofed with it.